Here are our annual suggestions for the 2008 Just For Laughs Montreal International Comedy Festival in terms of club / buffet style shows. Here are suggesitons and comments on shows that are back again this year.
Perennial sell-out Nasty Show is at the Club Soda from July 8th to the 13th with shows at 7:00 and 9:30. There is also a third Nasty Show at 11:59 on July 10, 11, and 12th. Host Nick De Paolo will be there with Patrice O'Neal, Joe DeRosa, and Jason Rouse.
The Nasty Show is exactly what it promises to be and a lot of people who go to that show are there for their annual -or is it anal-pilgrimage.
Bubbling With Laughter is always, always a hot ticket because it is an absolutely reliable buffet style show with a host and six or more comics. The record for me was set last year with 10 comics and a host. The show this year is July 14th to 19th sometimes at 7:00 sometimes at 9:30 and sometimes both. This is a not perfectly clean show with a good mix of veteran and young comics.
The Ethnic White Shows:
Just to be nice Britcom will be at the Club Soda July 14 and 15 for a seven o'clock show. I might be convinced to give this ticket another try now that it has moved away from my personal enemy the Kola Note. In the past though Britcom has been not bad hit and dreadful miss. I still regale friends with the story of how one night you could hear the a/c turn on and off and the barmaid wipe glasses as comics inundated the stage with flopsweat. Pete Firman, Craig Hill, Matt Kirshen, and Hal Crutttenden will be the Brits.
I am not sure putting Britcom and O'Comics up against each other. O'Comics is also July 14th and 15th at 7:00. If you are going to go for humor with an accent O'Comics is a safer bet. The line-up of stand-up comics this year includes Jason Byrne, David O'Doherty, Neil Delamere, and John Lynn. Aside from Jason Byrne, I am not familiar with these comics so there you go. O'Comics is July 14th and 15th at 7:00 at the Kola Note.
Another package with an accent is Late Night Down Under, It will follow O'Comics for 9:30 shows. So far, Brendon Burns, Adam Hills, and Dai Henwood have been announced. Adam Hills is good. I am not familiar yet with Henwood and Burns.
Ever noticed there sure are a lot of Brits and its derivatives named Burns or Byrne? What's up with that?
Even more ethnic is the all-Canuck show with the Homegrown Comics Competition -which will also be held in Tranna later on that week. This is a one night only gig July 16th at 7:00 at Cabaret Juste Pour Rire. I disagreed with the judges' 2006 decision (Mark Forward) but my guest had him as the winner so what do I know. I do know it certainly is a good bang for your stand-up comedy dollar
Laughrodisiacs, the relationship show is only on two nights this year. This year it changes venues and moves to the Metropolis but starts at 7:00 of course (can't keep those married folks out too late, you know). July 17 and 18 are weeknights to boot. Hmmm. Well host Greg Behrendt
I have never been to a Masters show -Kola Note and long story. The host will be Larry Miller and feature, as always, some well-known comics and somewhat longer sets from each.The shows will be July 18th and 19th.
I am not impressed with the time 10:30. This really screws up a comedy fan's schedule in terms of taking in two or more shows the same night unless you also do the previous show that same night at the same club.
Eat before you leave for the Kola Note though as the neighborhood is very thin when it comes to decent restaurants.
Best of the Uptown Comics is another very quick sell-out. This year's host Bruce Bruce who alone is worth the price will take the stage of the Metropolis July 19th at 8:00 and 11:00 with Craig Robinson, JB Smoove, and the famous TBA. This is a really hot and reliable ticket so do not wait. Unfortunately, Sheryl Underwood will be hosting the Nasty Girls show down the street so unless she's got special magic transportation do not expect her to be at Uptown this year.
One Show Deal
Ernie Butler, Montreal's most famous and generous comedy impresario, fan, and supporter, passed away last year. Just For Laughs is paying tribute to the man who created and managed to keep the Comedy Nest alive for many, many years. The many comics he helped along will be at the Club Soda July 20th at 7:00 for a tribute and charity event. Look for a solid line-up including Joey Elias, Scott Falconbridge -to whom I once again apologize for last year's faux pas as I can still taste my shoe in my mouth-Kenny Robinson, Heidi Floss, Steve Patterson, Pete Zedlacker, Jocko Alston, Phil Shuchat, Brian Lazanik, and Wayne Flemming will certainly do Ernie Butler proud and pay a long due homage.