Just For Laughs, in association with Loto-Québec, is proud to announce their newest lineup of artists performing at the 41st edition of the Just For Laughs MONTRÉAL festival, taking place from July 14 – July 29, 2023.
With a renowned reputation for creating legendary comedy moments over 40 years, the festival consistently delivers unforgettable experiences, and this year will be no exception!
New acts joining this year’s lineup include:
The Leslie Jones Gala – Saturday, July 29, 2023 – Théâtre Maisonneuve, 9:45 p.m.
Three-time Emmy nominee and SNL alum, Leslie Jones can currently be seen starring in Taika Waititi’s pirate comedy series Our Flag Means Death for HBO Max. Jones is currently collaborating with Ruben Fleischer and David Bernad to produce an untitled Christmas comedy for Lionsgate. Additionally, she will be lending her talents to her new podcast, The Fckury, alongside co-host Lenny Marcus on Stitcher. Recently, she completed filming her new role on the second season of the hit series, BMF for Starz which is executive produced by Curtis (50 Cent) Jackson and written/produced by Randy Huggins. Jones also wrapped production on Out of Office, a film featuring Ken Jeong, Jason Alexander, and Cheri Oteri. In 2020, she starred alongside Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall in Craig Brewer’s Coming 2 America, which earned her the “Best Comedic Performance” award at the 2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards; as well as a nomination for “Favorite Movie Star” at the 2021 People’s Choice Awards. Jones has an impressive filmography that includes hits The Angry Bird Movie 2, We are Family, Masterminds, Sing, Ghostbusters, Trainwreck, and more.
The Eddie Izzard Gala – Friday, July 28, 2023 – Théâtre Maisonneuve, 9:45 p.m.
One of the most celebrated comics of her generation since the early nineties, Eddie Izzard has an equally stellar reputation as a film, television and stage actor. Izzard’s world-renowned stand-up shows include Unrepeatable, Definite Article, Glorious and Dress to Kill, which earned her a New York Drama Desk Award and two Emmys. Izzard now tours her shows in four languages English, French, German and Spanish in countries all over the world. She completed her most recent global tour, Wunderbar, in 2020, to wide critical acclaim. Highlights from Izzard’s film career include Six Minutes to Midnight, Stephen Frear’s Victoria and Abdul, Ocean’s Thirteen, and Valkerie. TV credits include NBC’s Hannibal, Netflix’s Stay Close, and Showtime’s United States of Tara, amongst many others. This summer, Izzard will transfer her critically acclaimed one-person show, Great Expectations, from Broadway to London’s West End.
The Mae Martin Gala – Saturday, July 29, 2023 – Théâtre Maisonneuve, 7:00 p.m.
Mae Martin is an award-winning Canadian comedian, actor, writer, and producer who can be seen starring in Feel Good; a scripted, semi-autobiographical comedy drama series, which they also created and co-wrote. Co-starring Lisa Kudrow and Charlotte Ritchie, the series launched globally on Netflix and Channel 4 in the UK to widespread praise and a perfect 100% “Certified Fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes. Martin’s performance earned them a RTS “Breakthrough Award” and Bafta TV award nomination as well as “Best Comedy Writer” again at RTS. Feel Good also won the Edinburgh TV award for “Best Comedy” as well as the “Best Comedy Drama series” at the C21 award and “Best Scripted Representation of LGBQT+” at the Mipcom Diversify Awards. Their stand-up show, Dope, focused on addiction and was nominated for “Best Comedy Show” at the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Awards while earning four- and five-star national reviews in the UK. The show has since been turned into a stand-up special for Netflix as part of their first global stand-up series, Comedians of the World. Followed by their recently released Netflix special, “SAP” which has been widely applauded by international critics as one of their best specials to date.
In addition, the previously announced must-see Galas this year include:
The RP4 – A Very Special Event – Hosted by Russell Peters – Wednesday, July 26, 2023 & Thursday, July 27, 2023 – Théâtre Maisonneuve, 7:00 p.m. & 9:45 p.m.
Join Russell Peters for a landmark Just For Laughs event as he hosts four special galas, each with a unique star-studded line-up of carefully curated comics. Always uncensored and honest, Russell will be at the helm of shows that will be guaranteed to be provocative, funny and unforgettable.
The Jack Whitehall Gala – Friday, July 28, 2023 – Théâtre Maisonneuve, 7:00 p.m.
Award winning comedian, actor and world traveller, Jack Whitehall, is making his way to Just For Laughs MONTRÉAL this summer to host his very own Gala. Widely celebrated for his hit Netflix show Travels With My Father, his starring role in the BBC’s adaptation of Decline & Fall and Bad Education, he can also be seen in Disney’s The Nutcracker And The Four Realms, Amazon’s Good Omens and Clifford The Big Red Dog.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks when we announce the artists who will be joining these incredible line-ups for an evening full of laughs!
Ronny Chieng – Thursday, July 27, 2023 – L’Olympia, 7:00 p.m.
Ronny Chieng is a stand-up comedian, actor and Correspondent on The Daily Show. He starred in the worldwide hit movie Crazy Rich Asians, his Netflix stand-up comedy special Asian Comedian Destroys America! and has appeared on Young Rock, Godzilla vs Kong, Bliss, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and has been featured in The New York Times, GQ amongst others. Most recently, he also starred in the mega Marvel Studio’s hit movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Neal Brennan: BRAND NEW NEAL – Friday, July 28, 2023 – L’Olympia, 9:30 p.m.
Three-time Emmy nominated writer, director, producer, and standup comedian Neal Brennan has become a force in the comedy world. Neal’s newest podcast, The Blocks Podcast – based on his newest comedy special, can be heard on all podcast platforms. That latest Netflix comedy special Neal Brennan: Blocks, was adapted from Neal’s hit one-man show Unacceptable. The stage show had a sold-out NYC residency in the Fall of 2021, with Interview Magazine lauding “together, Brennan and DelGaudio have crafted a genre-bending show focused as much on fun and laughter as it is on intimacy and honesty” and Theatermania gushing “The comedians Neal Brennan has written for is insane… Even more insane (in the best way), is the material Brennan writes for himself.” As in-demand behind the camera as he is in front of it, Neal was recently a writer, creative consultant, and on-air correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. He is a long-time collaborator of iconic comedian Dave Chappelle, with whom he has created multiple comedy fan favourites including the legendary Chappelle’s Show and the Emmy-winning Saturday Night Live episode immediately following the 2016 presidential election. Neal served as Executive Producer on Chris Rock’s recent standup special Chris Rock: Tamborine and as Director on fellow Daily Show Correspondent Michelle Wolf’s HBO special Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady.
Ramy Youssef – Friday, July 28, 2023 & Saturday July 29, 2023 – Gesù, 7:00 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
Ramy Youssef is an award-winning Egyptian American creator, actor, producer, director, and comedian who brings his unique voice and perspective to his storytelling. Youssef created, produces, directs and stars in the hit Hulu show Ramy, inspired by his own experiences centring around a first-generation Egyptian-American Muslim on a spiritual journey in his politically divided New Jersey neighbourhood. He won a Golden Globe® in 2020 on behalf of Ramy in the category of “Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy.” In 2020, the Television Academy nominated Youssef for two Emmy Awards® in the categories of “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series” and “Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series” on behalf of the second season of Ramy. He also won the Peabody Award on behalf of the series. The third season of Youssef’s widely celebrated Ramy premiered on September 30th, 2022. Youssef was also nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award and a Writers Guild Award for his one-hour HBO comedy special Ramy Youssef: Feelings, produced by A24.
Youssef is a co-creator and executive producer of Netflix’s new series Mo, a semi-autobiographical series inspired by Amer’s life as a Palestinian refugee growing up in Houston. Mo recently debuted to critical acclaim and was produced with A24 and Youssef’s new production company, Cairo Cowboy.
Darcy & Jer – Friday, July 28, 2023 – L’Olympia, 7:00 p.m.
Together for over 20 years, Darcy & Jer are first and foremost proud dads to their daughter Grace and their golden retriever Yuma. And second, they’re idiots on the internet. Known for their hilarious videos around their relationship, ADHD, plants and more, Darcy & Jer have quickly become household names with a global audience. After just 3 years creating content online, they stand today with a combined total of over 4.5 million followers across platforms with an average of 50 million views a month. Darcy Michael and Jeremy Baer have become leaders in comedy content creation. Their comedy has allowed them to build a community that celebrates conversations around mental health, relationships, politics and living a happier life.
With Darcy having ADHD and the pair being members of the LGTBQ+ community, Darcy and Jer aim to create an inclusive, safe environment celebrating life with neurodivergence. Darcy and Jer’s sense of humour, joyful personalities, and unique content continues to build them an adoring fanbase. Aiming to grow beyond their online content, in 2023 Darcy & Jer debuted their live comedy show at the Just for Laughs Vancouver Festival. With plans for a full comedy tour across North America, they will also be following up their hit road-trip series Darcy & Jer Do America with season two Darcy & Jer Do Europe coming later this spring.
Brad Williams – Wednesday, July 26, 2023, MTELUS, 7:00 p.m.
Brad Williams is undeniably one of the funniest comedians in the industry today, earning his spot as one of the most sought-after and in-demand performers. Starting his stand-up comedy journey as a teenager, Williams has since embarked on successful tours that regularly sell out renowned venues across the nation and around the globe. Notably, he has made memorable appearances on esteemed stand-up television shows such as The Tonight Show, Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. With his first one-hour special, Fun Size, becoming the highest-rated special on Showtime, Williams continued to amaze audiences with subsequent specials like Daddy Issues and his uproarious hosting at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival. Garnering massive ratings and rave reviews, his ground-breaking special on Netflix, The Degenerates, solidified his status as a comedic force to be reckoned with. Beyond his comedy prowess, Williams has showcased his acting skills on TV shows like FX’s Legit, and Hulu’s original series Deadbeat and others. In a remarkable achievement, Williams became the first stand-up comedian to headline a Cirque du Soleil show, Mad Apple, receiving tremendous acclaim for his captivating performances. Alongside his career in stand-up and acting, Williams co-created and co-hosted the highly successful podcast About Last Night with fellow comedian Adam Ray. With his witty and inspiring observations on disability, relationships, sex, and race, Williams continues to win over audiences and prove that anyone can overcome their shortcomings. His electrifying stage presence often leads to standing ovations, prompting the late Robin Williams to aptly describe him as “Prozac with a head.”
Please Don’t Destroy Live – Friday, July 28, 2023 – Club Soda, 7:00 p.m.
Please Don’t Destroy is made up of Ben Marshall, John Higgins and Martin Herlihy. They are currently writing and making videos for Saturday Night Live – favorites include “Three Sad Virgins” featuring Taylor Swift and Pete Davidson, “Good Variant,” “Hard Seltzer”, “The Stakeout”, “Hangxiety” and more. They’ve been beloved repeat guests at NBC’s annual Miley Cyrus’s New Year’s Eve Party. Even before their viral videos online, the guys performed live sketch together all over NYC – since then they’ve headlined at the Netflix is a Joke Festival, the New York Comedy Festival, were featured at The Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas, and consistently sell out colleges and marquee shows across the country. Ben, John, and Martin wrote and will star in their first movie, produced by Judd Apatow, coming out on November 17th on Peacock.
Foil Arms & Hog: Hogwash – Thursday, July 27, 2023 – MTELUS, 7:00 p.m.
Foil Arms and Hog are an Irish sketch comedy group comprising Sean Finegan (Foil), Conor McKenna (Arms) and Sean Flanagan (Hog). The group performs on TV, radio, the stage and online. The trio write, shoot and edit a new sketch every week in their office, releasing it for YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Foil Arms and Hog do not have a specific genre, and make sketches that are often observational and occasionally topical. Popular sketches released to YouTube include When Irish People Can’t Speak Irish, An Englishman Plays Risk, WTF is Brexit, and How to Speak Dublin. Foil, Arms and Hog also perform live shows, primarily in Ireland and the United Kingdom, but also in the United States, Australia, Europe and a number of runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where they have become the biggest selling act for the last 3 years running. The group’s name evolved from nicknames each of the members had for each other, Foil (Finnegan) being the comedy foil, Arms (McKenna) was ‘All arms and Legs’ and Hog (Flanagan) because he ostensibly hogged the limelight. As of 2023, the group has 1.4 million followers on Facebook and 862 thousand YouTube subscribers. Their videos have amassed over 1 billion views online. They met each other in university, (where they studied engineering, architecture and genetics), formed the group and have been touring our live shows in Ireland, Europe, the US and Australia over the last thirteen years to audience and critical acclaim (no really).
Giggly Squad – Thursday, July 27, 2023 – Club Soda, 9:30 p.m.
Paige DeSorbo and Hannah Berner bring their top-rated podcast on the road. This live show will make fun of pop culture, fashion, dating, and get the crowd involved like they’ve never been able to before. Giggles are guaranteed. See you in court.
Hannah Berner Live – Friday, July 28, 2023 – Le Studio TD, 9:30 p.m.
One of JFL’s 2022 New Faces, Hannah Berner emerged on the comedy scene by directing, editing, and acting in videos on Instagram and writing viral tweets. She has two podcasts, Giggly Squad and Berning In Hell, with over 20 million combined downloads. She was a co-host on Bravo’s Chat Room, as well as a member of Bravo’s Summer House for three seasons, and has over 3.3 million followers across her social media platforms. She currently performs standup in NYC and at clubs and theatres all around the country.
Jessica Kirson – Thursday, July 27, 2023 – Club Soda, 7:00 p.m.
Jessica Kirson is a powerhouse on stage. She’s a hilariously relatable performer of sheer silliness, vulnerability, and ridiculous characters. Jessica’s one-hour special Talking to Myself was executive produced by Bill Burr and debuted on Comedy Central. She has also been featured on Netflix, is a regular on This Week at the Comedy Cellar, and has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The View, HBO’s Crashing, and Kevin Can Wait. Her countless comedic character videos have racked up over 200 million views on social media. Her audience is multigenerational, creating an excuse for large groups of friends and families to spend a night out together. In an era where only 10% of all touring comedians are female, she stands out as one of the strongest comedians regardless of gender.
Joanne McNally – The Prosecco Express – Friday July 28, 2023 – Club Soda, 9:30 p.m.
Described by the Sunday Times as a ‘truly gifted stand-up’, Joanne McNally has been taking Ireland and the UK’s comedy scene by storm, enjoying sell-out Edinburgh runs with her stand-up shows Wine Tamer and The Prosecco Express. Both shows have toured in Ireland, and she has sold out over 50 nights at Vicar Street in Dublin, four nights at the London Palladium, and three nights at London’s Eventim Apollo.
She is the co-host of the hugely popular podcast My Therapist Ghosted Me, alongside her best friend Vogue Williams, which has over a million downloads a week. She created, wrote and presented the funny and insightful documentary Baby Hater which was broadcast in Ireland for TV3. Her first one woman show, Bite Me, a show about eating disorders, was nominated for multiple awards at the Dublin Fringe in 2016. Her numerous TV credits include ITV’s The Jonathan Ross Show, Comedy Central’s Guessable and Comedians Solve World Problems, BBC’s Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel, Richard Osman’s House of Games, Channel 4’s The Big Fat Quiz of Everything, and Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back.
Joe Dombrowski – Saturday, July 29, 2023 – Club Soda, 7:00 p.m.
Joe Dombrowski (aka Mr. D) took the world by storm in 2017 with a viral April Fools’ Day spelling test prank that landed him multiple appearances on the Ellen DeGeneres show. Don’t get it twisted though! It takes at least 20 years to be an overnight sensation! He has been doing stand-up comedy since he was eight years old in his third-grade talent show. He’s never stopped! Since Joe’s rise to fame, he has been travelling the globe with his stand-up comedy which often highlights his crazy life as an elementary teacher. When he’s not getting creative on screens and stages, Joe spends his time in Seattle, Washington producing his podcast, Social Studies where he recaps absolutely insane stories from fans all over the world.
Felipe Esparza – Wednesday, July 26, 2023 – Le Studio TD, 9:30 p.m.
Felipe Esparza is a stand-up comedian and actor who has come a long way since winning NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2010. While that may have opened doors and helped build his fan base around the country, his hard work and focus in more recent years has brought him longevity. With three successful stand-up specials on Netflix and HBO, his What’s Up Fool? Podcast holding steady as one of the top comedy podcasts for the last eight years, and his sold-out tour dates all over the country, he is now at a point where he is moving more into TV and film. He has been a recurring favourite on TV Shows such as Superstore, The Eric Andre Show, Gentefied, and Victor and Valentino, as well as appearing in films including Guest House with Pauly Shore, 7th & Union with Omar Chaparro, Daddy Daughter Trip with Rob Schneider and You People with Eddie Murphy and Jonah Hill.
The Nasty Show – Tuesday, July 18, 2023 to Wednesday, July 26, 2023, Club Soda, daily at 9:30 p.m. **with two special midnight performances added on Friday, July 21, & Saturday, July 22.
NOTE: Mike Ward will not be performing on Saturday, July 22. The host for that evening will be announced shortly.
The Nasty Show is back and will be hands-down the filthiest show of the entire festival. Prepare yourself for a night of comedy’s dirtiest minds, and see for yourself why this is one of the festival’s longest-running shows.
Drum roll, please…. This year’s host for The Nasty Show will be none other than the award winning, Guinness Record breaking, Supreme Court triumphing French Canadian comedy icon, Mike Ward! Ward has performed at every major comedy festival on the planet. The Québec comic set a Guinness World Record for the most tickets sold for a podcast recording, selling more than 20,000 tickets for the recording of his hit franco podcast, Sous écoute at the Montréal Bell Centre in July 2022. His stand-up has aired on TV in 20 countries including Showtime, HBO, France 2, Comedy Central, RTS Deux, and Network 10, just to name a few. With over 100 million downloads, his French podcast Mike Ward Sous Ecoute is the most listened to French-language comedy podcast in the world. It’s not just a podcast, it has become a Quebec cultural phenomenon. He even sold-out the Bell Centre for a taping of an episode. 20,986 tickets sold, beating the previous world record by more than 7,000 thousand. You can listen to his English podcast, 2 Drink Minimum (with Pantelis & Poseidon), wherever you get your podcasts.
Joining this year’s previously announced lineup that includes Donnell Rawlings, Steph Tolev and Adrienne Iapalucci will be Geoffrey Asmus.
Geoffrey Asmus began performing stand-up in 2013 immediately after wasting $143,548 on seven college degrees and becoming a 1st grade teacher. He regularly performs at the World-Famous Comedy Cellar in New York City, and was named one of the 2016 New Faces at Montréal’s Just For Laughs Festival. Amus has also opened for Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Dan Soder, Fortune Feimster, Sam Morrill, and Daniel Sloss among others. He headlines comedy clubs nationwide. In 2021 his debut album “Prodigal Little Bitch” went to #1 on iTunes. He also records the weekly “You’re An Idiot” podcast with Alex Dragicevich. More recently, Asmus has found success growing his social media platforms with his unfiltered stand-up clips, and has recorded an hour special that will air later this year!
That’s not all! Additional acts will be announced soon.
Brit(ish) – Wednesday, July 26, 2023 to Saturday July 29, 2023 – Le Studio TD, 7:00 p.m.
Back by popular demand, Brit(ish) brings together a collection of uproariously hilarious comedians from across the pond. While the complete line-up is still to come, one thing is certain: prepare yourself for a sarcastic, irony-laden, and side-splittingly funny experience that is sure to leave you in stitches!
This year the Brit(ish) series will be hosted by none other than Jen Brister! Brister is a critically acclaimed stand-up comedian and writer who has been seen on BBC’s Live at the Apollo, Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, QI and Mock the Week. She is a regular performer on the UK and international comedy circuits and has written 7 solo shows which she has performed at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival and toured extensively around the UK. Her book, a comedy memoir, The Other Mother was published by Square Peg in 2019. Her stand up show Meaningless can be streamed on Soho Comedy Live. Next Up and Amazon Prime while her special, Waves for BBC Radio 4 can be streamed on BBC Sounds.
Brit(ish) will proudly welcome to the stage special guest, Alan Davies. Davies is a highly successful stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and TV personality, known as a staple of British television, for his performance as the titular character in Jonathan Creek; and as a permanent panellist on QI. He is also one of the UK’s best-loved comedians, with his stand-up shows Urban Trauma running in London’s West End and Life is Pain selling out in many cities. More recently, Davies published his second memoir, Just Ignore Him. His talk show, Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, is now on its seventh season.
Rounding out the lineup, artists include:
Josie Long is a multi-award-winning comedian, writer, podcaster, and film-maker. She is a trailblazer of the UK comedy industry, as the first woman to be nominated 3 times for Edinburgh Comedy Award (2010 – 2012). Her 9 critically acclaimed tours showcase her unique and powerfully original voice and have been performed globally to sell-out shows. Her various podcasts and original radio shows have garnered her a world-wide audience of dedicated listeners and multiple awards.
Gina Yashere is an internationally acclaimed comedian who is currently starring in Chuck Lorre’s series, Bob Hearts Abishola on CBS. Not only does Yashere star in the series, but she is one of the co-creators, co-showrunner, executive producer, and writer. She can also be seen on Netflix with her own specials, Skinny B@tch, Laughing to America and part of The StandUps season 2. Her TV credits include, The Neighborhood, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Def Comedy Jam, Live at the Apollo, TruTV’s Comedy Knockout, Comedy Central’s @midnight, NBC’s The Tonight Show, HBO’s Crashing, ITV’s Married Single Other, The Lenny Henry Show and the animated series, Bromwell High and The Barbarian and the Troll. She came to the U.S. as a finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, and never left! Yashere is also a published author. Her memoir, Cack-Handed was released last year to rave reviews.
Reuben Kaye is an internationally renowned cabaret host, with previous residencies in London, Berlin and Stockholm, in addition to an award-winning comedian, singer, and writer. Kaye made his TV debut in Australia, performing twice on ABC Australia’s Melbourne Comedy Fest, as a guest on SBS Australia’s Celebrity Letters & Numbers, and on ABC Australia’s Spicks and Specks. Reuben has also appeared on UK television shows including BBC’s The Apprentice: You’re Fired, Channel 4’s Kids React to Drag, and given a lauded keynote at TEDxCurrumbin titled, When Your Child Comes Out. In 2022, his comedy cabaret show, The Butch Is Back won three Green Room Awards: for Best Cabaret Artist, Best Production and Best Musical Direction. In 2021, both Perth Fringeworld and the Adelaide Fringe awarded Reuben their Best Cabaret Award, and Melbourne Comedy Festival nominated him for the Most Outstanding Show award.
Jamali Maddix is a critically acclaimed comedian and host of Vice’s Hate Thy Neighbour and Channel 4’s Adventures in Futureland. His unique voice and style make him one of the most sought-after comedians working today. With an assured stage presence and considered material that comes from a sharp perspective, he already has the aura of a comic well beyond his years. His last tour sold-out shows across the globe, playing the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America. Jamali is currently a series regular on Never Mind The Buzzcocks and has been seen on Channel 4’s Taskmaster, BBC2’s Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, BBC2’s Live at the Apollo, More4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats, BBC1’s This is My House, Dara O’Briain’s Go 8-Bit, as well as many others.
That’s not all! Additional acts will be announced soon.
Urzila Carlson: It’s Personal – Thursday July 20, 2023 to Sunday July 23, 2023 & Tuesday, July 25, 2023 to Thursday, July 27, 2023 – Théâtre St. Catherine, 10:00 p.m.
Urzila Carlson has garnered a legion of fans worldwide in recent years, not least of all thanks to her hit NETFLIX hour-long comedy special Overqualified Loser which was released in 190 countries, and its stable partner, Comedians of the World. She won the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s People’s Choice Award for most tickets sold in both 2019 and 2022, and is a much-loved staple on Ten’s smash-hit panel show, Have You Been Paying Attention? both here and in NZ. Not content with owning the stage and the small screen, Carlson is now in the fourth season of her chart-topping premiere podcast That’s Enough Already! She also makes her feature animation debut in 2023 as the voice of Honkus in Ozi, alongside Donald Sutherland, Laura Dern, Ru Paul and Amandla Stenberg. Carlson has become one of the biggest names in comedy in Australia and New Zealand.
The Lucas Brothers – Thursday, July 20, 2023 to Sunday, July 23, 2023 & Tuesday, July 25, 2023 to Thursday, July 27, 2023 – Théâtre St. Catherine, 8:30 p.m.
The Lucas Bros, Keith and Kenny Lucas, are two of the freshest, most dynamic talents in entertainment. The Bros are two of the writers (story by) on the highly revered film Judas and the Black Messiah, which earned them Oscar and WGA Award Nominations for “Best Original Screenplay.” Adding to the massive success of JUDAS, The Bros have recently announced several high-profile upcoming projects, including a reboot of Revenge of the Nerds, with 20th Century Studios and Seth Macfarlane, a semi-autobiographical dramedy with Judd Apatow, and a new comedy feature with Universal and Lord Miller. The guys made their late-night debut when they performed standup on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in 2012 and have been a favourite on Fallon’s Tonight Show ever since, with multiple appearances. They were named one of Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch of 2014, featured in Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Hot List,” appeared on the cult hit TV show Arrested Development (Netflix) and HBO’s Funny As Hell, and were standouts at the prestigious Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival with Paste Magazine selecting The Bros as one of the top acts of 2017. They are the first black identical twins to be nominated for an Oscar.
BriTANick – Thursday, July 20, 2023 to Sunday, July 23, 2023 & Tuesday, July 25, 2023 to Thursday, July 27, 2023 – Théâtre St. Catherine, 7:00 p.m.
BriTANicK is the sketch comedy duo of Brian McElhaney and Nick Kocher. Together, they have written for Saturday Night Live, and Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia; and are currently writing for Dan Levy’s new animated show Standing By (or at least they were until the writers’ strike happened) (if the writers’ strike has been resolved please disregard but we friggin bet it hasn’t been by now). They’ve made a bunch of sketch comedy videos on the internet that were seen by a lot of people but they didn’t monetize the videos because they didn’t understand how to and they’re still upset about that. They’ve also performed live all over the world including a sold out run at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They love doing this show so much and would like you to please come and see it please.
Gina Yashere: The Woman King of Comedy – Thursday, July 27, 2023 – Le Balcon, 10:00 p.m.
In addition to joining the esteemed lineup of artists on this year’s The Nasty Show, Gina Yashere will also do her solo set, Gina Yashere: The Woman King of Comedy. She brings her fierce and funny comedic style back to the stage this summer with this unique chance to hear her personal story of how she made it in Hollywood from the streets of London.
Kyle Kinane – Wednesday, July 26, 2023 & Friday, July 28, 2023 – Café Cléopatra, 9:00 p.m.
Kyle Kinane is a comedian from Addison, Illinois. According to Wikipedia, he is a notable person from that town. Other notable residents of Addison have been the boxer Leon Spinks and a woman who wrote poetry about Beanie Babies. As a comedian raised in such a cultural fondue pot as this, it was natural for Kyle to find his way from warehouse work into show business. He has been seen on Conan, The Tonight Show, Netflix’s The Standups, and three of his own hour-length specials on Comedy Central. As an actor, he’s been in the Judd Apatow series Love and truTV’s Those Who Can’t. He was also on Drunk History, where he unfortunately wasn’t acting. As a voice over actor, he was the former voice of Comedy Central for 8 years and currently plays Bullet on the Netflix series Paradise PD. He is also co-host of the Boogie Monster podcast along with Dave Stone, and the podcast No Accounting for Taste with Shane Torres. His newest effort Shocks & Struts released in 2023 on YouTube marks his return to live-action stand-up after his 2018 set on Netflix’s The Standups, and When you’re Here, you’re Family.
River Butcher – Thursday, July 27, 2023 – PDA Claude-Léveillée, 9:00 p.m.
River Butcher is a Los Angeles-based standup comic, actor, and writer. His first half-hour special A Different Kind of Dude, debuted on Comedy Central’s YouTube channel and was called “a masterclass in culture war commentary” by Esquire.com. The special also garnered the title of “Some of the Best Jokes of 2022 So Far.” They recently wrote and produced the FX pilot Belated, previously wrote for A League of Their Own, and created/starred in/wrote the critically acclaimed and GLAAD award nominated Take My Wife. You may have also seen them as nonbinary standup comic LB Brady on Good Trouble and Adam Conover’s sibling on Adam Ruins Everything or queer dinner guest Denim in the hit Friendsgiving. They’ve done stand-up all over the country, the globe, and the screen, including Ellen, Conan, Comedy Central, and HBO.
Tom Ballard: It is I – Friday, July 28, 2023 & Saturday, July 29, 2023 – PDA Claude-Léveillée, 7:30 p.m.
Tom Ballard is an award-winning Australian stand-up who’s trying to save the world with comedy lol. Since becoming the youngest ever winner of the Melbourne Comedy Festival’s “Best Newcomer Award” in 2009, Ballards twice been nominated for “Most Outstanding Show” at that festival, as well as scoring nominations for “Best Newcomer” and “Best Show” at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. He’s also hosted a panel show about the dark secrets of reality television and his own (very naughty) late-night show Tonightly with Tom Ballard; and in 2022, he released his debut book I, Millennial: One Snowflake’s Screed Against Boomers, Billionaires & Everything Else. In 2023 Tom will star as the lovable/hopeless Sven in the Amazon Prime series Deadloch, and is stoked to return to Montreal for his fifth JFL with his hot new hour, It Is I.
Nath Valvo: Live – Thursday, July 27, 2023 – Café Cléopatra, 9:00 p.m.
The 2022 & 2023 host of Just For Laughs, Australia TV series – Nath Valvo is one of the fastest rising stars in comedy. After storming the 2019 JFL stage in the Tiffany Haddish Gala, Nath Valvo now returns with his debut solo show. Nath was nominated for “Most Outstanding Show” at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and “Best Newcomer” at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Their razor-sharp wit and high-energy style have clocked over 10 million views on TikTok (and counting). Don’t miss your chance to see one of Australia’s funniest strutting his stuff.
Melanie Bracewell: Forget Me Not – Saturday, July 29, 2023 – Newspeak, 7:00 p.m.
At just 26 years old, she is taking the comedy world by storm. The Kiwi won the prestigious “Best Newcomer” award for her first solo show in the NZ International Comedy Festival. With goofy observations and natural stage charisma, Melanie Bracewell is a master of anecdotes. In 2018, Melanie won the famed “Billy T Award”, in 2019 she performed as part of the invite only Just For Laughs Comedy Festival at the Sydney Opera House, and in 2021 she won the coveted Directors’ Choice Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. And she only got busier in 2021 & 2022, co-hosting The Cheap Seats, which has been renewed for 2023 and making regular appearances on Have you Been Paying Attention? in Australia and New Zealand. When she’s not on stage, Melanie is a social media powerhouse. Whether she’s filming content for her TikTok channel, which has had over ten million likes and writing for the more than 250,000 followers of her meladoodle.tumblr.com blog.
Best of the Fest – Tuesday, July 25, 2023 to Friday, July 28, 2023 – Newspeak, daily at 7:30 p.m. & 9:45 p.m.
The title says it all, as one of the festival’s most exciting series, Best of the Fest promises audiences additional intimate access to the festival’s most hilarious acts. Line-ups are announced closer to the dates.
Tickets at hahaha.com.
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