Just For Laughs unveil 2018 line-up
Just For Laughs unveil 2018 line-up – After a fall and winter of discontent as a result of the scandal that was brought about by the sexual abuse charges levied against Gilbert Rozon, the Juste pour rire and Just For Laughs comedy festivals are ready to move forward in promoting the business of funny.
At a combined press conference that was held on May 16 at Club Soda, both festivals unveiled to a gathering of media, artists and festival personnel what festival Chief Operating Officer (COO) Bruce Hills proudly proclaimed as “the strongest line-up ever” for its 36th edition, which is scheduled for July 11-29.
And joining the proceedings that day was veteran Canadian comedian Howie Mandel, who made his festival debut nearly 20 years ago, and is now part of Just For Laughs’ new ownership consortium along with major U.S.-based talent agency ICM Management.
“Montreal has meant a lot to me. I performed one of my first stand-up shows here in Montreal back in 1980, and I had my first ever sold-out show at the St. Denis Theatre,” said Mandel, who will be hosting his fourth consecutive all-star comedy gala at Salle Wilfrid Pelletier of Place des Arts on July 26 at 6:30 p.m.. “There is no important event for comedy than this event. When you cross the border into Quebec and hear another language spoken (at this festival), then you feel that you’re at a truly international, bilingual and bicultural event.”
And speaking of the festival’s flagship galas, another new gala was announced, as comedian/actor Ken Jeong (best known for his role in “The Hangover” movies) will host his first ever Just For Laughs gala on July 26 at 9:45 p.m.
Just For Laughs also announced a series of solo concert shows that will feature the following comedy stars: Russell Peters’ “Deported World Tour” show at the Maison Symphonique (July 26 and 27); David Cross (“Arrested Development”) will offer his “Oh Come On” show for one night only on July 25 at the Olympia; Iliza will also perform at the Olympia with “Iliza: Elder Millennial” on July 27; and veteran stand-up Maria Bamford, who was named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the “50 Funniest People”, will perform her show for one night only at the MTelus on July 27.
As well, a whole new slate of solo shows has just been added to the festival’s growing line-up, including “Tom Green: One Night Only!” at the Maison Theatre (July 25); Irish comic Dylan Moran will present “Dylan Moran – Grumbling Mustard”, also at the Maison Theatre (July 28); “Daily Show” correspondent and host of Comedy Central’s “This Is Not Happening” Roy Wood Jr. will be at the Cinquieme Salle on July 27; Doug Benson will bring his popular “The Benson Interruption” show to the Cinquieme Salle on July 26; and popular Australian comic Hannah Gadsby will perform her international smash hit solo show “Nanette” for the very last time on July 26 at the Maison Theatre, before it’s released as a stand-up special on Netflix.
The OFF-JFL and Zoofest series of stand-up shows that take place in intimate venue settings, will continue to offer audiences the best value for their comedy buck with shows headlined by Judah Friedlander, Sabrina Jalees, Godfrey, Tom Papa, Michael Ian Black, Todd Glass, Gary Gulman, Mike Ward, Big Jay Oakerson, and so many more.
And the ComedyPRO conference will continue its mission of dealing with the business of being funny over a four-day period in late July at the Hyatt Regency Hotel with an expanded schedule of panel discussions, guest speakers, special events and shows, and podcasts, which begins with a keynote address by Kenya Barris from the hit TV sitcom “Black-ish”, and continues with Andy Kindler’s wildly popular, and always irreverent, “State of the Industry Address”. As well, there will be more live podcast recordings that includes “The Todd Glass Show”, “You Know What Dude!” with Robert Kelly, “Doug Loves Movies” with Doug Benson, and the insightful industry insider “The Industry Standard with Barry Katz”.
Stay tuned for even more Just For Laughs show announcements within the next three to four weeks. Tickets for all announced Just For Laughs shows are now on sale, and can be purchased at the festival website at www.hahaha.com.