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


Carrey, Noah & Ferguson winners at JFL35 Awards

  MONTREAL — People come to the Just for Laughs comedy festival for the laughter and stay for the wisdom. Take Friday night’s all-star awards show, please. The event is held at a hotel built into the side of as mall, which seems about right as presenter Jimmy Carr pointed out. Several of today’s top comics… Read on


Carrey at JFL35: “I don’t believe I’m a person anymore”

MONTREAL — “I truly am in an existential crisis. I don’t believe in the character I’m selling. I don’t believe I’m a person anymore.” That statement had a packed, Place des Arts audience leaning forward Thursday night towards the end of an extraordinary, 90-minute show panel at Just for Laughs. The speaker was Jim Carrey, barely… Read on



JFL35: Seinfeld and Elmaleh face off at Bell Centre

MONTREAL — Things got real Wednesday night at the 35th annual Just for Laughs Comedy Festival with a return engagement 20 years in the making — by Jerry Seinfeld. The stand-up specialist teamed with Gad Elmaleh, a Moroccan-born funnyman who has lived in both Montreal and Paris and brought a french flavour to the duo’s two-hour set. The… Read on


Jon Dore got his comedy chops by conquering “Everest”

“Bill,” said Jon Dore — right into the mic on my digital recorder so I would hear it many months later– “when you are listening to this back, put ‘The Story of Everest’ into  YouTube. It changes everything.” Dore, who is back Friday nights on HBO Canada with new episodes of Funny as Hell, was… Read on


Tonight: look for Kimmel to ace The Emmys

When I spoke with Jimmy Kimmel in July in Montreal at Just for Laughs he admitted hosting The 68th Annual Emmy Awards was “my big focus right now.” We’ll see what he and his writers came up with tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and CTV. “I wouldn’t say I’m looking forward to it… Read on


Apatow, Bamford among the 2016 JFL Award winners

MONTREAL — Writer-producer-director Judd Apatow has been at Just for Laughs adding another hyphen to his resume: stand-up comedian. He was honored Friday at the festival at the annual Just for Laughs Awards with the 2016 Generation Award. The award salutes comedians who make an impact that resonates and inspires, something Apatow has done with… Read on