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Just For Laughs Comedy Festival 2010: July 6th-25th

Posted by Amie / July 7, 2010

20100706_Just For Laughs Montreal.jpgFor some, the end of the Montreal Jazz Festival is a sad time, but for locals (and the next influx of tourists to the city) it means the Place des Festivals around Place-des-Arts is about to get rampaged by Just For Laughs. Just replace jazz with side-crushing laughter, some human cannonballs, buskers, acrobatics and Victor, the well-known green devil mascot with the big horns. The Galas - the big ticket indoor shows, the best material from which end up on the TV shows - feature festival headliners John Pinette, Cheech and Chong, Lewis Black and Brad Garrett, but this year Just For Laughs is giving you a few more affordable options, like the all-you-can-laugh $30 pass for the emerging talents of Zoofest, and huge discounts on tickets packages if you choose carefully. Or you can check out the smaller venue one-man-shows and hope the reason you can afford the ticket is because this guy just hasn't made it big yet. Here's what you need to know...

Just For Laughs ParadeStreet Arts (July 17th-25th): If you're more into free entertainment, starting July 17th, acts from around the world will run amok around the festival grounds. High jinks will include throwing water balloons, robots (not throwing them...probably), labyrinths, parades with giant, scary heads, a break-dancing competition, dance lessons and carnival games that all shout "G-rated" and "fun for the whole family".

Zoofest (July 12th-17th): These evening comedy club shows at venues like Theatre Ste-Catherine and Katacombes shout "adults shouldn't even think about letting their kids accompany them to this". It's $21 for a single Zoofest ticket, or $20 as part of the 2 for $20 Zoofest package (on the French website it says 2 for $25, but that's not right...), but the best deal is the $29.99 for all-you-can-Zoofest. It comes to about $37 with taxes somehow, but it's still the best bang for your buck). These smaller shows are cabaret-style, so perfect to go with friends, sit back with a drink, and laugh, like any comedy club on a good night. At these shows, however, you've got a whole lot better chance of being completely entertained. These guys aren't exactly first-timers:

Donald Glover - with a stint on 30 Rock as a guy who chastises an old guy...more importantly, as a writer for the show, this guy could be good. He has a nicely balanced CV of studying dramatic writing ("comedy's gloomier, more 'frowny' brother") and being well-acquainted with comedy (drama's "goofier, more 'smiley' brother". Aw, that's adorable) through being on Conan O'Brien.
July 12-17, 8:30pm, Katacombes

Noel Fielding - this guy has great delivery. As long as you like what he's talking about (often there is not so much a point as just a constant flow of mind-boggling dialogue) you'll like the show. This is probably the one guy who won't make it feel like you're hearing material, or bit after bit, for his whole set.
July 12-17, 10:30pm, Savoy

Jamie Kilstein - If you like rants about American politics, religion, war, and Nickelback, this is the show for you. July 14-17, 11:30pm, Theatre St Catherine

Bo BurnhamBo Burnham - If you like Judd Apatow you're supposed to like this guy, since they're buddies, but I've worked with lots of people I don't like...not the other Midnight Poutine writers...they're all super. Unlike Bo Burnham, I suppose I didn't write the music for their upcoming high-school musical-esque movie. Nice thing about working on big movies like Apatow's is that you make a whole lot of cash and don't need to charge a fortune to do a few shows at Just For Laughs. I kind of want to get this guy in a room with Jamie Kilstein, sit back, and enjoy the dirty jokes that rhyme with Obama, all set to emo piano music...
July 12-17, 7pm, Theatre St Catherine

Upright Citizen's Brigade - this is where you want to head for the best affordable sketch comedy and improv. It's been around for a long time, breeding some of the best one-man-shows the Just For Laughs Festival - and the continent's comedy scene - have to offer. There's nothing quite like the excitement of having absolutely no idea what will happen next. For example:July 13-17, 10pm, Theatre St Catherine

The One-Man-Shows: These are a bit more expensive (approximately $35-$47 including tax) and feature some pretty established comedians, like John Leguizamo, Chris Titus, Bill Burr and Tom Green. Actually, Tom Green's show is one of the most affordable.

You can also get the one-man-show tickets and a Gala ticket or 2 as parts of special multi-ticket packages (2 shows for $69, 3 for $89, or 2 Galas for $89). If you secretly really want to see dogs dancing but also want to check out some first class stand-up, the $109 package that groups these things together will also get you in to Mom's The Word 2: Unhinged.

Comedy Conference - the business of comedy. Isn't it less funny when you explain the joke? Spend an afternoon with Kevin Smith or an evening with Leon Black in a way too dignified setting as part of the Insider's Series, and still check out some probably really good shows (Zoofest) as part of the complete $99 ComicPro Pass. It's a lot of money, but it's a really good deal for what you get. A single ticket to the chat with Kevin Smith costs over $60 alone, and you can't even buy an Insider's Pass separately, says the box office. The ComicPro pass will also get you into the film fest (July 13th-18th) with not-to-be-ignored feature, indie, and short films like Dinner For Schmucks (the new English, Hollywood version of Le Diner des Cons), Exporting Raymond, and Eat My Shorts 1 and 2.

The BEST deal of the Just For Laughs Festival is probably a mistake, so book it before someone realizes they messed up. Normally it costs over $50 for just one Gala ticket, with the best seats going for over $100. A slightly better deal is the "2 Galas for $89" ticket package. Sound like a steal? Not yet...

Choose the "3 Shows for $89" or "4 Shows for $99" option on the box office page and the online system lets you choose 3 or 4 Galas, not just 1 and some other shows. So you can essentially choose 4 Galas for $99, which is definitely better than the "2 Galas for $89" special that only appears on the Just For Laughs Festival homepage, and the "2 Galas for $99" that appears on the box office discounts page. I called the box office to verify this and the box office assistant said that it all appeared to be correct...

If you're lucky enough to be able to follow fast French hilarity, the francophone part of the festival (originally the festival was all francophone) is still huge, with great acts like Jean-Marc Parent, Guy Nantel, Louis Morissette, and Jean-Francois Mercier.

Just For Laughs Comedy Festival
July 6th-25th, 2010
Box Office: 2111 boulevard St-Laurent
Phone: 514-845-2322
Toll-Free: 1-888-244-3155
Where: various indoor venues, outdoor Street Arts around Place-des-Arts
Cost: from $21 to over $100, with Zoofest passes for $37 tax included, ComicPro passes for $99, or 2 shows for $69, 3 shows for $89 or 4 shows for $99.



Philemon / February 7, 2015 at 12:58 pm
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