By: Lauren De Vries
Sure that title sounds ominous, but what’s more ominous than missing out on some of the top comedy talent in North America? JFL42, which is Toronto’s Just For Laughs festival, is mere weeks away folks! So now is the time to get your ultimate comedy wish list at the ready. Take a look at our list, and let us know who you’re excited about seeing in the comments!
1) Ali Wong
If you haven’t heard of Baby Cobra by now, then I have to assume you are also a fetus. As in, similar to the 7-month-old fetus that Ali Wong was carrying while performing one of the most game-changing shows the comedy world has seen in years. Buy tickets to this show before they sell out in literal minutes like her previous headliner performances.
2) Jay Pharoah
I will give you one link. It will be this link. You will listen to this link, and you will understand that Jay Pharoah deserves wayyy more credit than he gets. The man is a master of impressions, and not just the ones he’s famous for on SNL, (your Barack Obama, your Jay-Z) but also Smeagol because the man is a nerd. Buy tickets to see this nerd. You won’t regret it.
3) Jenny Slate
I’m going to be honest. All it took was one performance on Parks and Recreation to get me ready and willing to buy into anything Jenny Slate is selling. Drugs, American history, comedy, I’m in. You should be too.
4) The Beaverton Live
Have you read our interview with Emma Hunter of the Beaverton? If not, allow me to introduce you to Canada’s gentle cousin of the Daily Show that is The Beaverton. Whether they’re doing fake ads with hidden burns, poking fun at what constitutes political drama in our country, or getting real with satire on immigration fear-mongering, they’re doing it the Canadian way. With a fake apology and an unwillingness to acknowledge Quebec. Watch this live panel discussion to learn more about how the magic happens.
5) Mike Birbiglia
Oh my heart. Mike Birbiglia is a goddamn treasure, and his recent netflix special Thank God For Jokes just further proves my point. If you like your comedy a little more gentle, still with a hell-of-a-lotta laughs, this is the show for you.
6) Guys We F*cked Podcast
Are you drunk? Are you drunk-adjacent? Do you wish you were? Or are you just bored, feminist and horny? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then chances are you are an ideal candidate for this podcast. Check out their Ted Talk (yes they have a Ted Talk) if you’re still not sure. Or, check out our interview with them.
7) Ali Siddiq
Ali Siddiq got his start in some of the hardest rooms in North America. Literally, because he started his standup career in prison. He’s funny, he’s fearless, and he’s already making waves. If you don’t believe me, check out some of his work.
8) Flula Borg
Have you seen standup and thought, this is great but what if it was 1000 times more weird and with a German accent? Great! JFL42 has got you covered! Flula Borg hit the world hard in 2011 with some confusion about party poopers, and hasn’t stopped swinging since. He’s musical, he’s foreign, and he has a lack of facial expressions that is frankly unnerving. In other words, he’s perfect. Go get your tickets.
9) Michelle Wolf
The best thing to come out of the Daily Show since Hasan Minaj, Michelle Wolf is not a ginger to be trifled with. She’s already worked at Late Night with Seth Meyers, made her own web series, and appeared in the UK at Live At The Apollo. Whether she’s ranting about the lack of a redhead emoji or getting serious about women’s rights, we want tickets to see it happen.
10) Politically Re-Active Podcast
If you need an anger-translator as much as Obama does, these are the comedians for you. W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu (who also have their own solo shows you should check out) battle against the deluge of American political news armed only with comedy and some of the most brilliant activists, artists and thinkers out there as their guests. A great show if you want to balance your raucous laughter with a little somber reality.
11) Last Podcast on the Left
I binged-listened to this podcast after seeing them at Montreal’s JFL. They were incredibly dark/hilarious/honest…like, unrelenting brutal jokes about Jeffrey Dahmer, werewolves, cults, serial killers, and UFO abductions, Last Podcast on the Left laughs into the abyss that is the dark side of humanity. Plus, they add a little something special to their live shows: a super light, fun, gore game called “Me for You”.
JFL 42 will be running in Toronto from September 21-30, click HERE to learn more about passes and tickets. Passes start at just $75 to see 1 headliner and get 2 credits, or you can really splurge and spend $299 for a VIP pass that gets you in to see 4 headliners and gets you 12 credits. A credit guarantees you a reservation to see any of the 42 performers at JFL or a spot at a ComedyCon event. Buy your tickets now, before your favorites are sold out!