My Uber interview with JFL’s funny expat, Katherine Ryan

Last July I flew back from a brief stop at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles to head directly to Montreal and the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. One of the people I most wanted to speak with there hosts The Stand-up Show with Katherine Ryan, premiering Tuesday, Jan. 22, on The… Read on



Little and Bush dish on their new comedy Cavendish

Comedies mixed with elements of horror have long been staples of movies and TV. The latest example: Cavendish, a new sitcom created by Canadian stand-up/sketch comedians Mark Little and Andy Bush. The former Picnicface co-founders have teamed on this shot-in-Nova Scotia and P.E.I. project, which premieres Tuesday night at 9:30 on CBC — right after the… Read on


Seinfeld: take your next Coffee break in Canada

Much as I love Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, there was something off about the latest season, the first parked in the Netflix garage. The 12 new episodes are as star-packed as ever, featuring a diverse cross section of talented comedians, including Zack Galifinaikas, Ellen DeGeneres, Dave LaChappelle, Alec Baldwin, John Mulaney, Kate McKinnon, Tracy… Read on


Howie Mandel stays “Forever Young” with JFL, AGT and two new “Deals”

When does Howie Mandel sleep? The 62-year-old comedian just came off his first Just for Laughs comedy festival as part of the new ownership consortium. Besides performing at his own gala, he was, as he put it, representing “white guys” at the annual comedy awards on Saturday. The awards featured a a tremendously diverse group… Read on



Diversity the big winner at Just for Laughs 2018

MONTREAL — Want to make a comedian cry? Give him an award. That seemed to be the case over the weekend at the 36th annual Just for Laughs comedy festival. The industries top comedians were celebrated by their peers in an event that isn’t streamed or televised and — as with the TCA Awards coming… Read on


Mike MacDonald 1955 – 2018

Comedian Mike MacDonald’s death at 62 on March 17 wasn’t totally unexpected. He suffered from serious health problems in recent years, at one point requiring a liver transplant. Still, his passing was decades premature and jolting for me personally because it stirred memories of shared comedy club stages way back in the day. I had the good fortune to catch… Read on


Mike Birbiglia: “All comics idolize Dave”

I spoke with comedian Mike Birbiglia this past July during the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal. The 39-year-old Massachusetts native was breaking in a show he’ll perform tonight in Toronto as part of JFL42: “The New One.” Birbiglia performs 90-minute monologues that explore aspects of his personal life. This one covers the birth of… Read on


JFL35: YouTube phenom Lilly Singh goes gala

MONTREAL — There’s an expression here at Just for Laughs: “Jump-the-liners.” These are folks who — in the minds of many stand-up comedians who have put in their dues in comedy clubs from Saskatchewan to Van Nuys — have had their big comedy break handed to them on a silver platter. One veteran comic I… Read on