Just for Laughs festival packed with talent
By: StuatNulman – mtltimes.ca
Along with the Howie Mandel gala on July 25, Just For Laughs will be presenting eight other Videotron Galas. A mainstay since the festival began 33 years ago, each gala will feature a top name host and an impressive line-up of some of the best comedians around today. In order of appearance, here are what comedy fans will expect at this year’s series of Just For Laughs Videotron Galas:
July 22: At 7 p.m., Jane Lynch, best known as the mean gym teacher from “Glee”, as well as the host of “Hollywood Game Night”, will emcee an evening filled with such international comedy stars as Danny Bhoy, Tom Papa, Wil Anderson, Ronny Chieng, Ian Edwards and Dan Naturman; at 9:45 p.m., Captain Jean-Luc Picard himself – Sir Patrick Stewart – will show a side of himself from beyond the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, as he welcomes Kyle Kinane, Jim Breuer, Russell Howard, Gina Yashere and special guest Sebastian Maniscalco to the Place des Arts stage.
July 23: Wanda Sykes will host the 7 p.m. gala that will be filled with pure stand-up comedy, which will be provided by Keith Robinson, Nat Bargatze, Harland Williams, Tom Ballard and Ethnic Show host Alonzo Bodden; and before he officially inherits the mantle from Jon Stewart as “The Daily Show” host, Trevor Noah will helm the 9:45 gala, and will be joined by HasanMinhaj and the “Roastmaster General” himself, Jeff Ross.
July 24: Actress Ellie Kemper, first seen on “The Office” and now as the star of her Netflix series “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, will host the 9:45 gala with a line-up that contains some of the hottest comics today, such as Debra DiGiovanni, Reggie Watts, Michael Che, Chris Hardwick, Pete Holmes and Margaret Cho.
July 25: Broadway comes to Just For Laughs at the 7 p.m. gala, as veteran Broadway actor Alan Cumming (who is also seen on the CBS drama series “The Good Wife”), helms a gala with a line-up of seasoned veteran comics that include Rob Schneider, Orny Adams, Dana Gould, Joel Creasey, Todd Glass, Jen Kirkman, and Canadians Shaun Majumder and Sean Cullen.
July 26: Quebec City native and former SNL cast member Norm MacDonald (who made his festival debut way back in 1986) makes his gala host debut at 7 p.m., and will be joined by Rhys Darby, Natasha Leggero, Brent Morin, OmidDjalili, J.B. Smoove and Sam Simmons.
July 27 and 28: The Videotron Gala series will wrap up in spectacular fashion as actor and awards show host extraordinaire Neil Patrick Harris will be the ringmaster for four galas entitled “Circus Awesomeus”. So step right up and prepare to be amazed as Harris (or “NPH”) will present an impressive array of comic and circus talent that were specially chosen by Harris himself, including burlesque performer Bridget Everett, sword swallower Brett Loudermilk, puppet comedy pair Sammy J and Randy, musical clown Puddles Pity Party, magician Ed Alonzo, local trapeze artist Hugo Desmarais, heavyweight beatboxerBeardyman and comedian Brad Williams.
For more information about the Videotron Galas, or any other Just For Laughs show – or to purchase tickets — go to www.hahaha.com.