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Articles - Just For Laughs - Toronto July 23rd to 28th 2008

Just For Laughs - Toronto July 23rd to 28th 2008
Just For Laughs Comedy Festival
Toronto July 23rd to 28th 2008
Yuk Yuks, Absolute Comedy, Massey Hall, Other Venues

For a second year Montreal's  Just For Laughs Comedy Festival will drop by Toronto July 23 to 28 2008 with a street festival component July 25 7:00 to 11:00 P.M. and July 26 5:00 to 11:00 P.M. at Yonge and Dundas. This Montrealer cannot but notice it is true they roll up the sidewalks early in Trannah.

Personally, I would try and figure out where stand-up Mike Marino will be appearing and get that ticket. Marino is a lot of fun.

The stand-up comedy section of the Toronto Comedy Festival will include the traditional Just For Laughs Gala format. Martin Short will host the July 24th gala with  Andre-Philippe Gagnon and Shaun Majumder. On the 25 host Jason Alexander will introduce Robert Schimmel and Robert Klein (A Child of the Fifties CD) while on the 26th Jimmy Fallon will host John Oliver and Larry Miller.

Something that is sure to be interesting is ventriloquist Jeff Dunham at Massey Hall. If one is to go by his DVDs Dunham can be either ordinary or excellent.

In the probably more affordable range in the Just For Laughs Toronto segment, Yuk Yuks will be host for something called Headliners which will feature 2 stand-up comics per night doing a thirty or so minute set. Scheduled to appear are Adam Hills and Elon Gold on July 23rd at 8:00, Jeff Ross and Al Madrigal on the 24th. Shaun Majumber and Mike Birbiglia will share the stage on the 25th at 7:30 while Jo Koy will be there at 10:30. The always funny Wendy Liebman and Gerry Dee appear July 26th 7:30, and Robert Schimmel and the uneven Kevin Hart July are at 10:30, 

Canadian Debra DiGiovanni will be over at Absolute Comedy for the all-Canucks Best of the Homegrown Comics Competition.

For those who like sketch comedy (I do not) Craig Robinson of The Office fame will be at, logically enough, Second City Toronto. Also on the bill are The Sketchersons, The Imponderables, The Williamson Playboys, and Kelly and Roeters.

The street festival is a major component of Just For Laughs in Montreal. The Toronto version will include  stiltwalkers from Italy's Teatro Pavana; interactive comedy by England's Plungeboom; Los Galindos  from Spain will perform New Life with Josep and Maria on the Future Shop Stage, said to be a hilarious clown act with a very unusual ending (of, I am guessing, biblical proportions); also part of the Toronto Comedy street fest segment will be  giant sculptures by Spain's Sarruga and the incredible aerial routines of France's Transe Express Circus -I do not know if there will be translator but they will be accompanied by 40 of Toronto's finest percussionists.

The street festival is on Yong Street between Dundas and Shuter Friday, July 25 from 7:00 - 11:00 pm and Saturday, July 26 from 5:00 - 11:00 pm.

More information on this Just For Laughs expatriate show is available at

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