What to choose, what to choose. That is always the problem with the Just For Laughs Montreal International Comedy Festival. It is even worse this year since the comedy fest is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The people at Just For Laughs pretty much pulled all the stops to make sure stand-up comedy fans pretty much spend July 10 to July 22nd running around from show to show.
If this will not be your first year at the Just For Laughs Montreal International Comedy Festival and/or are a serious fan of stand-up comedy you pretty much already know which shows and which stand-up comics you will want to see. It is too late for tickets to Russell Peters July 19th and 20th. You better move it if you want to go see Ron James' new show, Full Tilt, July 21st even if I am betting a second show will be added. Ron James is a master story teller, my favorite form of stand-up, and always, always a good show.
There are also John Pinette, Eddie Izzard, Billy Connolly, Jimmy Carr, Greg Proops, and Danny Bhoy -in the Richard Jeni One Person Show series and a show I have tickets for- to name a few so good luck picking a one-man show amongst all these great comics.
In terms of buffet-style shows, another personal favorite, I always get tickets to Laughrodisiacs, at the Spectrum, and Bubbling With Laughter, at the really great Club Soda, and never regret that decision. Other good club bets is whatever is going on at the Comedy Nest like Comedy Night in Canada with Joey Elias and the best ticket for your money in town, Best of the Fest at Comedyworks, a great club if you are not claustrophobic.
I enjoyed the Wiseguys show last year so am going back again this year. Wiseguys is al all Italian stand-up comic show and basically an offer you can't refuse. I enjoyed Uptown Comics in the past but, as I mentioned before, Just For Laughs is a series of tough choices.
If you like your comedy adult style and are not easily offended the Nasty Show July 10 to 15th with new host Nick Di Paolo is also a fucking good ticket
Just For Laughs is also the Gala shows and for its 25th anniversary the Montreal International Comedy Festival has a killer line-up of hosts: William Shatner, Howie Mandel, George Lopez, and John Pinette. The 25th Anniversary Gala July 22nd has already announced Lewis Black, Russell Peters, Tommy Tiernan, Andre Philippe Gagnon, and Susie Essman. I am not sure I would plan for another show that evening as I am guessing this all-star caliber show will go long.
Finally, and just because there are so many shows to choose from you got to stop somewhere, the Flying Solo Series that started last year has doubled in size. Flying Solo is also an excellent price/quality series especially if you buy three or more as there is a deal to be made there.
Don't know what show to go and see at the 25th Anniversary Just For Laughs stand-up comedy festival? Join the club. The best way might be to get a dart and a schedule of events or close your eyes and drag your mouse and click: whatever you get will be pretty damn good if not brilliant.