If you who haven’t made it to Just For Laughs yet, the last weekend of the festival is so jam-packed with shows you’d need an Excel spreadsheet to coordinate them all. But stress not, Rover’s comedy team has been doing all the research for you (hey, someone’s gotta do it).
And since you probably don’t need us to tell you that Seth Rogen, Andy Samberg and Russell Peters are all hosting big-name galas, and since you might be figuring out how to maximize the number of comedians seen see while minimizing the number of dollars spent, your best bet is to stick with the smaller venues and off-JFL shows that feature a slew of different acts. Not only do you get to see up and comers in comedy (for future “I saw him when…” stories), but you may just get to see a comedy legend as well – comics often stop by the smaller stages to practice or do a more relaxed set. Based on what we’ve seen so far, and our own completely subjective comedic biases, here are our suggestions:
As Seen on TV
Friday July 25 and Saturday July 26, two shows each night at 8:00 pm and 10:30 pm at The Comedy Nest
Hosted by Shaun Majumder (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), each show features between 5 to 7 different comedians. Depending on which night you choose, you’ll get a jam-packed 90-minute show with comics like Robert Kelly (Louie), Lynn Koplitz (How to Boil Water) and Deb DiGiovanni (Last Comic Standing). At shows earlier in the week, Rover was lucky enough to see Nasty Show host Bobby Slaton and the legendary Ron White. In addition to the impressive names already scheduled, you never know who else might drop by.
Go here for more information.
Mini Nasty Show
Friday July 25 and Saturday July 26, 10 pm at La Barock
Shhhh, judging by the crowd of less than 40 people at this show on Wednesday, no one seems to know that there’s a mini-version of the Nasty Show for the mini-price of $10, every night at 10 pm, in La Barock. This is possibly because nobody can actually find it (it’s a white and green tent, beside Place des Arts and the Tentation burlesque tent). On Wednesday night, Nasty Show-stealer/local hero Derek Seguin headlined. Also performing was fellow Montreal favourite Joey Elias as well as Luisa Omielan, in between performances of her show, What Would Beyonce Do? All that, plus stadium seating, in a tent.
Tickets can be purchased at the Just For Laughs ticket booths at the Place Des Arts Esplanade in the Quartier des Spectacles, next to the corner of Ste Catherine and Jeanne Mance.
Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch
Friday July 25, 7:00 pm at Cinquième Salle, Place des Arts
Every year, the entertainment bible Variety picks their top ten future stars of comedy. This year’s list includes Nathan Fielder (Comedy Central’s Nathan For You and the viral video ‘Pig Rescues Baby Goat’), college campus favourite Cristela Alonzo, and I-Can’t-Believe-He’s-Only-20 Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code).
Go here for more information.
New Faces of Comedy
Friday July 25 and Saturday July 26, 9:30 pm and 11:30 pm at the Wiggle Room, as well as Friday July 25, 9:30 pm at Mainline Theatre; the Characters show is on Friday July 25, 7:30 pm at Mainline Theatre
Like Variety’s ‘10 to Watch,’ this show features up and coming stand-up acts selected by the Just For laughs festival organizers themselves, as well as a Characters show, with the best new sketch and improv comedians. Some of the New Faces this year are Eliza Skinner, Matteo Lane, LaKendra Tookes, and Hampton Yount.
Talk of the Fest, hosted by Nick Offerman
Friday July 25, 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm at Club Soda
This show has had a stellar lineup all week with comedians at their very best, as it is also the show for live tapings. Hosted by Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman, the 7 pm show features Sean Cullen, Deb DiGiovanni, Bobby Slayton and Nick Thune, while the 10 pm show includes Lynne Koplitz, Fortune Feimster, and Nick Cody.
Saturday July 26, 11:59 pm at Cabaret Underworld
A late addition to the fest, the show features Chris D’Elia, Rick Glassman and Ron Funches. One show only, for the night owls.
My First Time
Sunday January 27th, 7:00 pm at Théâtre Ste. Catherine
What better way to end the fest than to catch the very best of Montreal’s comedic talents? Catch some of the city’s brightest new talents like Kate Conner, Guido Cocomello, Jason Hatrick, Mike Meo, and Scott Carter, hosted by local Scotsman Darren Henwood.
Go here for more info.
The Just for Laughs festival runs until July 28. For more information visit hahaha.com.
Natalie Willett is a comedy-lovin’ freelance writer based in Montreal