12 reasons to hit Just for Laughs

Highlights of Montreal’s annual mega comedy festival, in full swing this week and on till July 28.

Cecily Strong
“We’re not porn stars anymore…” with Cecily Strong (right)
The Just for Laughs comedy festival is in full swing this week, and the programming is as diverse and plentiful as usual. These are our highlights (to buy tickets to any of these shows in advance, click here):

Tonight and tomorrow night, TV, film and stand-up star Aziz Ansari performs his new stand-up show, Modern Romance. Place des Arts (Théâtre Maisonneuve), July 16–17, 7 p.m., $62.35

Montreal’s DeAnne Smith is the star of Stand-up Strip Down, a must-see (and you’ve got three nights to do it). Mainline Theatre (3997 St-Laurent), July 21–23, 11:45 p.m., $20

The creators and stars of web-series-turned-TV-sitcom Broad City (on Comedy Central in the U.S., MuchMusic in Canada), July’s Cult MTL cover stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, bring a live version of their show to JFL. See our feature interview with them here. Club Soda, July 22, 7 and 10 p.m., $39.65–$54.15

Brit-com buffs, be aware of Brit(ish), hosted by Noel Fielding (The Mighty Boosh). L’Astral, July 22, 23, 25 at 7 p.m., July 24, 26 at 11:30 p.m., $36.15–$48.15

Andy Samberg & Chelsea Peretti
Andy Samberg & Chelsea Peretti

SNL alumnus Andy Samberg, of Digital Shorts fame, landed on a great, Golden Globe-winning cop sitcom called Brooklyn Nine Nine. If you’ve seen his TV material, or his anti-roast bit at last year’s James Franco roast, you know his JFL gala will be killer. Place des Arts (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier), July 24, $45.35–$113.59

One of Samberg’s Brooklyn Nine Nine costars, Chelsea Peretti, is an actress, TV writer, journalist and stand-up comedian who you may have also seen on The Sarah Silverman Show, Louie or The Kroll Show. Her American Treasure show at JFL should be tight. L’Astral, July 23, 11:30 p.m., $36.15–$48.15

SNL Weekend Update cohost Cecily Strong and Parks and Recreation scene-stealer Nick Offerman host a pair of Talk of the Fest shows apiece, with surprise special guests. Club Soda, Strong on July 24, Offerman on July 25, shows at 7 and 10 p.m. both nights, $39.65–$54.15

The other current host of SNL’s Weekend Update, Colin Jost, brings his preppie airs, plastic hair-do & a bunch of friends to one of Montreal’s grittier venues. Katacombes, July 22, 23, 25, 7:30 p.m., $20

Lewis Black may be an acquired taste, but if you dig pointed rants and being yelled at for a couple of hours, The Rant Is Due will satisfy. Place des Arts (Théâtre Maisonneuve), July 23 & 24, 7 p.m., $62.35–$72.70

WTF podcast host Marc Maron is the thinking (and vaguely nihilistic) man’s stand-up comedian. His Netflix special is gold. Place des Arts (Cinquième Salle) Saturday, July 26, 9:30 p.m., $33

Ah, Seth Rogen. He’s Canada’s top stoner bro comedian, star of all those Judd Appatow flicks from the aughts, part of the brilliant ensemble cast in last year’s This Is the End. He’s also at the centre of an international controversy, as a movie he made with his playmate James Franco (The Interview, due out in October) has caused North Korea to threaten war on the U.S. if it’s released. That should make for some serious laughs at when he hosts the Hilarity for Charity gala. Place des Arts (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier), July 26, 10 p.m., $62.35–$166.37
The Just for Laughs festival runs through July 28. See the complete program here.