What's Your Scene?

The Comedian heavy hitters and up-and-comers making us laugh at Just For Laughs

Yesterday, the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal continued with performances from some of the world’s top comedians, including Judd ApatowAli WongSasheer Zamata and more.

Judd Apatow returned to his stand-up roots to a packed house and Ali Wong brought her unapologetically raunchy and “real” style of comedy in her sold-out show.

Ali Wong (Photo Credit: Just For Laughs / Joseph Fuda)

Comedy legend Jim Carrey joined the stars of “I’m Dying Up Here” Melissa Leo, Ari Graynor, Erik Griffin, Andrew Santino, RJ Cyler and Michael Angarano on an amazing cast panel that discussed the Showtime series that follows a group of comics who are struggling for fame and fortune in 1970’s Los Angeles during comedy’s golden era.

I’m Dying Up Here Cast Panel (Photo Credit- Just For Laughs / Joseph Fuda)
I’m Dying Up Here Cast Panel (Photo Credit- Just For Laughs / Joseph Fuda)

And Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud (LOL) Network screened the finalists of his Eat my Shorts film competition with a star studded show and hysterical Q&A.

KevinHart, EMS Carpet
Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud (LOL) Network / Eat My Shorts Film Competition Carpet. (Photo by Nicolas Abou)

So many stand-up superstars got their big shot the Just For Laughs’ New Faces of Comedy including Amy Schumer, Hannibal Buress, Demetri Martin and Kevin Hart. Not a bad list, if we do say so ourselves.

Tonight’s sold out New Faces Characters show at the Monument National didn’t disappoint, featuring rising stars Ana Fabrega, Avery Monsen, Bill Posley, Kat Palardy, Matt Gehring, Matt Rogers, Geoff Dow, Heidi Gardner, John Throwbridge, and Yoni Lotan. Pretty safe to say a few comedy stars were born.

Photo Credit: Just For Laughs / Nicolas Abou

And you may not recognize their names now but the New Faces Unrepped show featured the best emerging comedic talent found across the USA. These up-and-coming comics performed for a full-house at Ludger-Duvernay Theatre at Monument National this evening, and we won’t be surprised if Andrew Dismukes, George Civeris, Jackson McQueen, Marie Faustin, Mia Jackson, Steven Castillo, Jeremy McLellan, Jiayong Li, Jordan Doll, Turner Barrowman, and Vanessa Gonzalez are repped by morning!

Russell Peters-Block Party (Photo Credit: Just For Laughs / Nicolas Abou)


Sugar Sammy Gala

Surely you’ve heard of Montreal’s own international comedy superstar Sugar Sammy, who has joined forces with Just For Laughs to select the best stand-up acts from around the world for his Gala, each performer a star in their own country. Tonight’s Sugar SammyGala featured soon-to-be international star comedians including Ismo Leikola, Loyiso Gola, Urzila Carlson, Wil Anderson, Vir Das, Daliso Chaponda, and Michael Mittermeier. Sammy and co. brought the house down at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place Des Arts, making Montreal glow with pride!


Russell Peters Old School Mixtape Live

What better to celebrate Just For Laughs’ 35th Anniversary than with a good old-fashioned Russell Peters block party? For one unforgettable night, standup comedy and 80’s & 90’s dance & hip hop came together on JFL’s outdoor stage in the form of Russell Peters Old School Mixtape Live. Featured performances included hip hop greats Naughty By Nature, the legendary MC, Melle Mel of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, freestyle icon Lisa Lisa of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, and Russell’s own DJ’s, New York City’s DJ Spinbad and Toronto’s DJ Starting From Scratch, as well as some other special Just For Laughs comedians. This epic soiree had the streets of Montreal bumping all night long!


The Alternative Show Hosted by Andy Kindler

The quintessential comic’s comic Andy Kindler returned to OFF-JFL this evening to host The Alternative Show at the Theatre St-Catherine, and this wild evening took us way off the beaten path of mainstream comedy into the chaotic and thrilling wilderness of Kindler’s natural habitat. Featuring comics such as Mark Forward, Jen Kirkman, Sasheer Zamata, DeAnne Smith, Ron Funches, Arj Barker, Kate Berland and many more. What a whacky and wonderful night!


Sasheer Zamata

Comedian, actress, writer, former cast member on NBC’s Saturday Night Live and ACLU’s Celebrity Ambassador for the Women’s Rights Project, are just some of the many glowing titles that soon-to-be comedy superstar Sasheer Zamata holds. Though she is better known for her improvisational and sketch comedy work, this evening Zamata introduced a jam-packed audience at the Katacombes to her outrageously unfiltered and r-rated stand-up game. Look out, stand-up comedy hall of fame – Sasheer is coming for you!


JFL Thruline Television Staged Readings

The comedy industry is always on the lookout for the next big hit; I mean, who doesn’t love a good reason to laugh till you’re stomach hurts? As a result, Just for Laughs has partnered with Thruline Television to create JFL/Thruline Television. This evening presented two of the best unproduced and unencumbered scripts from both the US and Canada. The scripts were brought  to life by an all-star cast of actors and comedians in front a super-packed crowd who were lucky enough to experience this staged reading at the Hyatt Regency Hotel!


CNN The History of Comedy

A special screening of “Spark of Madness” from Kliph Nesteroff’s CNN The History of Comedy proved to be a smashing success this evening! “Spark of Madness” delves into the creative, eclectic and often misunderstood minds of comedians, and explores the difficulties of mental illness and substance abuse that seem to plague so many comedians.  Following the screening, a panel discussion moderated by Kliph Nesteroff with executive producer Mark Herzog and comedian W. Kamau Bell captivated a super crowded audience at the Hyatt Regency hotel. What an emotional, educational and hilarious night!


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