10 Must See Shows at Montreal’s Just For Laughs, 2016 | With VIDEOS

Taylor Erwin Blog

By: Cheryl Anne Meyer, @IsCherylFunny

Just for Laughs is our comedy Christmas. Yet, with hundreds of performances over just two weeks of shows, your F.O.M.O has never been more fervent.  So whether you’re limited by time, money, or just can’t risk running into your ex,  we’re here to help you make the most of your festival experience.

Below, find our ten must-see shows of this year’s Just for Laughs festival in Montreal (in no particular order…except Trump vs. Bernie).


Trump vs. Bernie – Wed. July 27 – Fri. July 29

After seeing the Trump vs. Bernie show in Toronto earlier this year, we hailed it as one of the best comedy shows we’ve literally ever seen. Satirical, fearless, and masterfully executed by Anthony Atamanuik (Trump)  and James Adomian (Bernie), this progressive and socially vengeful show deserves to be indoctrinated as official Americana that almost turned the tides to a better world. This show epitomizes everything we love about comedy.

(Shout out to Empire Comedy Live for bringing them to #Toronto in May: real recognize real, dawg).
Tickets and Showtimes: $21 –  Wed. July 27 – Fri. July 29


Ali Hassan – Thurs. July 21 – Sat. July 23

After seeing him kill time and time again at the ALTdot Comedy Lounge (Toronto’s infamous weekly Monday night show) and around the rest of Toronto, we can say with conviction that Ali Hassan’s comedy has hit another level.  His upcoming Just For Laughs one-hour show Muslim: Interrupted is hilarious, deeply personal, socially relevant, both accessible and original, and undoubtedly the masterful culmination of Ali’s long-running comedy career to date. Props, bro; you’re killing it.
Tickets and Showtimes: $21 – Thurs. July 21 – Sat. July 23


Mark Normand – Wed. July 27 – Sat. July 30

Mark Normand works incredibly hard as a comedian, and it shows. (In fact, during one of our recent trips to NYC, we coincidently saw Mark grind out three sets in two days). Facing off about everything from relationships to racism, Mark’s dark and ambitious writing is indifferent to subject matter…just so long as it’s funny.

Mark’s JFL show synopsis: “Mark’s been told over and over again the same advice; “be yourself.” Unfortunately for him, that has never worked out well. Fortunately for you, everything Mark wants to talk about (drinking, race, religion, gender, sexuality) doesn’t make for appropriate conversation, but does make a hilariously twisted sort of logical sense. He’s not a bad guy, he just has a lot of questions, and no one will answer them. Maybe don’t bring your HR representative to this one.
Tickets and Showtimes: $23 – Wed. July 27 – Sat. July 30


Aparna Nancherla – Mon. July 25 – Thurs. July 28

Absurd and unassuming, Aparna’s comedy tore it up at Toronto’s Comedy Bar earlier this year. Her unique style and perspective makes for a noteworthy show best enjoyed by frequent comedy-goers. Vish Khanna, a reviewer from Exclaim magazine, communicated the Aparna comedy experience best: “Within her benign cynicism, she often discusses instances in which she’s been underestimated, as a comedian, as a woman, and as an aspiring entertainer who happens to be a visible minority. She’s open about her struggles with depression too, turning such stories into some of her funniest, most disarming fare.”
Tickets and Showtimes: $21 –  Mon. Jul 25 – Thurs. Jul 28.


Jermaine Fowler – Mon. Jul 25 – Thurs. Jul 28.

It’s been a big year for Jermaine Fowler. With his new CBS sitcom pilot “Superior Donuts”, and his recently acquired hour long stand up special Jermaine Fowler: Give ‘Em Hell Kid, Jermaine is undoubtedly working on his new hour. Raw and honest, Fowler wears his heart on his sleeve.

Obligatory shout out to Empire Comedy Live for bringing Jermaine to #Toronto this past December.
Tickets and Showtimes: $21 – Mon. Jul 25 – Thurs. Jul 28.


Louie Anderson – Sun. July 24 – Tue. July 26 -$23

Whether you know 2x Emmy winner Louie Anderson as the star of his own stand-up specials and sitcoms or as Zach Galifianakis’ mom on the hit FX show Baskets, he’s a true comedy legend (which is probably why he was named “One of 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time” by Comedy Central). For us, the Louie love goes way back; we’ve been diehard since Life with Louie.
Tickets and Showtimes: $23 –  Sun. July 24 – Tue. July 26


Andy Kindler’s: Alternative Show

Andy Kindler’s charm is borne of his obvious failure. Kindler, the quintessential self-deprecating comic’s comic known for his biting State of the Industry Address at Just For Laughs, returns to host his OFF-JFL Alternative Show presenting comics ranging from booked up-and-comers to impromptu drop-ins from the festivals biggest names. Whether it’s the post-midnight haze or the ‘anything goes’  culture of the Alt show, it should be on your JFL bucket list. Last year, our fav Alt Show moment occurred when Thomas Middleditch’s set consisted of solely acting out a 4 person scene recounting women at his university res, followed by a hilarious set (and existential existential crisis) by TJ Miller.
Tickets and Showtimes: $21 – Tue. Jul 26- Sat. Jul 30.


Brian Regan – Sat. July 30

One of the few comedians who still exclusively tours (visiting close to 100 cities a year), Brian’s appeared on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and also recently made Comedy Central history by performing the first ever live comedy special at Radio City Music Hall. Regan’s undeniable comedy is revered by fans and comedians alike. Obligatory “the big yellow one is the sun.”
Tickets and Showtimes: $50 –  Saturday, July 30


Sausage Party – Saturday, July 30

We know, we know….but even though this bad boy is already sold out, it looks too promising to leave out. The first ever R-rated CG animated film created by camp Rogan/Goldberg (Superbad, This is the End, Pineapple Express), and maybe even a drop-in by the stars themselves, we’re anticipating it’ll be, umm, lit.
Tickets and Showtimes: SOLD-OUT, bruddah.


LOL Live – Tues. July 26 – Fri. July 29

LOL Live is a six-night event showcasing some of the best national and international comedians appearing at the festival. Filmed exclusively for Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Network, (an “over-the-top streaming service….showcasing up-and-coming comedians and social-media stars”), LOL Live was created by “examining the success secrets of services such as Spotify, Tidal and Netflix”. No matter the platform, the shows will be killer as rising comics bring their grade-A material for their (likely) first TV debut (if you count cord-cutting streaming/VOD as TV…which you should).
Tickets and Showtimes: $16 – Tues. July 26 – Fri. July 29


The Just For Laughs Comedy Festival Runs July 13-31, 2016 | Full Festival Details: http://hahaha.com

The Just For Laughs ComedyPro Conference runs July 27-30, 2016 | Full Festival Details: JFL ComedyPro Conference

Follow JFL on Twitter: @JustForLaughs