Just For Laughs is excited to announce the first line-up of artists who will be performing at the 2023 edition of the Just For Laughs MONTRÉAL Festival, presented in in association with Loto-Québec and running from July 14 – July 29, 2023.
The festival, which draws more than 2 million visitors to the city, will bring the most sought-after comedy stars and rising talent together, creating the world’s largest comedy hub for two consecutive weeks of laughter. Featuring shows citywide in a variety of venues from large theatres to more intimate club settings, the fest also features panels with esteemed celebrities and key industry insiders, live recordings of today’s most popular comedy podcasts, TV tapings, and so much more. JFL has earned their reputation as an essential launchpad for comedic talent, with many of today’s most successful comedians, writers, and actors having gotten their start at the festival, and who always like to return every July!
“With this great roster of star power already lined up for this summer, this year promises non-stop laughter and unforgettable experiences“, shares President Bruce Hills. “We have many more announcements to come, as our festival continues to celebrate the power of humour to bring people together, and to provide a platform for new stars to be discovered”.
Over the years, Just For Laughs has transformed the comedy landscape by serving some of the most iconic comedy moments of the last four decades. Quintessential JFL moments include Norm MacDonald’s festival debut, to Jim Carrey’s, to John Candy hosting HBO’s first live comedy special live from the festival. Rowan Atkinson debuts Mr. Bean character at JFL to intentionally prove to network executives its international appeal which then catapulted his famous TV franchise worldwide. Jimmy Fallon notoriously shares how his show-stopping performance at JFL, opening for Penn & Teller, led to his first development deal; to breakout New Faces performances by Hasan Minhaj to Quinta Brunson, which all led to their trajectory of stardom.
The festival also played host to the world premiere of comedy film Sausage Party with Seth Rogen, Kristin Wiig, Nick Kroll in attendance; and let’s not forget the festival’s famous galas that have been hosted by comedy icons like Mary Tyler Moore, Lily Tomlin, George Burns, Jerry Seinfeld, Wanda Sykes, Howie Mandel, Don Rickles, P.K. Subban, Dame Edna and countless others. Some of the most memorable moments still talked about today include the cast panels with HBOs VEEP joined by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, Timothy Simons; the cast table reads of The Simpsons to the cast of Brooklyn Nine Nine; and a sold-out live table read of The Big Lebowski where director Jason Reitman gathered some of the biggest Hollywood celebrities for it including Jennifer Lawrence, Olivia Munn, Dennis Quaid, Michael Fassbender, and others.
Rising talents who got their big break at the fest includes 19-year-old Dave Chappelle, who landed his first development deal while at the festival after impressing Bruce Hills with his VHS audition tape; to a young Chris Rock who first performed at JFL 3 years before joining SNL. Many of today’s biggest comedy stars were first discovered as part of the festival’s New Faces showcases. This series serves as a platform for up-and-coming comedians to showcase their talents and catch the attention of audiences and industry professionals. This iconic discoverability series introduced many stars of today including Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer, Ali Wong, Jo Koy, Tom Segura, Kumail Nanjiani, Iliza Shlesinger, Sam Jay, and countless others. SNL has a long history of casting JFL New Faces alumni, with notable past cast members including Jimmy Fallon, Pete Davidson and Colin Jost, among others. Today, many of SNL’s current cast members, such as Sarah Sherman, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim, James Austin Johnson, Marcello Hernandez Andrew Dismukes, and Punkie Johnson can trace their roots back to JFL’s New Faces showcases.
The festival is where iconic moments are made.
Ali Wong: Live! – Wednesday, July 26, 2023 – Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, 7:00 PM
Ali Wong is a comedian, writer, actress, and director known for her comedy specials Baby Cobra, Hard Knock Wife, and Emmy-nominated Don Wong. Ali executive produces and voices Bertie in Tuca and Bertie, co-wrote and starred in Always Be My Maybe and directed Sheng Wang’s Sweet and Juicy. She is also the author of the New York Times Bestseller “Dear Girls.” Beef, her next project in collaboration with A24, will be released April 2023 on Netflix.
Wong will be joined by a special guest, Sheng Wang, for this one-night only performance. Sheng Wang is a comedian, actor and writer. His first Netflix special, Sweet & Juicy, released in September 2023 and was produced and directed by Ali Wong. He was a featured stand-up on HBO’s 2 Dope Queens special and also wrote for the ABC show Fresh Off the Boat.
Fun & Slutty, A Night with Jonathan Van Ness – Saturday, July 29, 2023 – Salle WilfridPelletier, 9:30 PM
Queer joy and side-splitting comedy. Jonathan Van Ness is an Emmy-nominated television personality, 2x New York Times best-selling author, podcaster, comedian and hairstylist to the stars. He stars on Netflix’s Emmy Award-winning reboot series Queer Eye, where he shines as the hair guru and self-care advocate, and he is the host and executive producer of the Netflix series Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, based on Jonathan’s popular podcast of the same name. The series is nominated for a 34th Annual GLAAD Media Award for ‘Outstanding Reality Series.’ He was a 2022 Primetime Emmy nominee for ‘Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program’ along with his Queer Eye cast mates. Jonathan also starred on the Emmynominated web series Gay of Thrones, a witty social commentary series recapping HBO’s Game of Thrones. Launched in 2013, the series wrapped its eighth and final season last year and garnered Emmy nominations in 2016, 2018 and 2019 for ‘Outstanding Short Form Variety Series.’
The Bald and the Beautiful with Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamo – Thursday July 27, 2023 Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, 9:30 PM
The Bald and the Beautiful with Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamo features a pair of grizzled gay ghouls exploring the cultural boundaries of modern beauty through interviews with gorgeous guests who inhabit various facets of the beauty industry. From models, moguls, influencers, drag queens, RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants to adult performers, actors, and more, Trixie and Katya break down the beauty behind it all.
Anthony Jeselnik: Bones and All – Saturday, July 29, 2023 – L’Olympia, 9:30 PM
Anthony Jeselnik is a stand-up comedian from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He can currently be seen on his podcast, The Jeselnik and Rosenthal Vanity Project, alongside co-host Gregg Rosenthal. His most recent stand up special, Fire in the Maternity Ward, premiered on Netflix to critical acclaim. Anthony was also the creator, host and producer of his series, Good Talk and The Jeselnik Offensive on Comedy Central. He also appeared on multiple roasts for the network, most notably The Roast of Donald Trump and The Roast of Charlie Sheen. Additionally, Anthony wrote and performed the stand-up specials Thoughts and Prayers, an hour-long for Netflix and Caligula, an hour-long for Comedy Central which followed his debut comedy album, Shakespeare, for Comedy Central Records. He has performed on CONAN, The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and was a writer and the first ever stand-up comic to appear on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Kurtis Conner: Live at JFL – Wednesday, July 26, 2023 – L’Olympia, 9:30 PM
A headlining comedian, podcaster, and global YouTube sensation, Kurtis Conner has sold out shows across North America and the world. After studying comedy writing and performance in Toronto, Conner quickly found an audience on Vine, later migrating to YouTube and growing that audience to over 4.2 million subscribers worldwide. His 2016 stand-up record Cuppla Jokes reached number 6 on the Billboard comedy chart and number 1 on iTunes, while his videos regularly hit the top ten trending page on YouTube. Conner has previously appeared on stage alongside collaborators Danny Gonzalez and Drew Gooden, and also hosts the Very Really Good podcast.
Daniel Sloss: Can’t – Tuesday, July 25, 2023 to Thursday, July 27, 2023 – Gesù, 9:30 PM
Daniel Sloss is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning Scottish comedian who has become one of the biggest global names in stand-up. He has, to date, created 13 solo shows, was the biggest ticket selling comedian in the world for most of 2021, has performed seven New York seasons off-Broadway, and appeared on TV’s CONAN ten times, and had broken box office records at the world’s biggest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. His massive global live tours span 54 countries – so far! In February 2020, Daniel Sloss: HUBRiS, premiered in New York, just before the global pandemic shut the world down. As restrictions lifted, he performed as many live shows as was safe and legal – accelerating rapidly into becoming another global smash-hit hit tour. HUBRiS became 2021’s biggest touring solo comedy show as well as the 5th biggest ticket selling event of any genre for most of that year (as reported by Pollstar). In 2021 saw Sloss’s first book “Everyone You Hate is Going to Die ” published by Penguin Random House prestige imprint Knopf.
Carlos Ballarta: TLATOANI – Thursday, July 27, 2023 – MTELUS, 9:30 PM
Carlos Ballarta is a Mexican standup comedian and actor, born in Mexico City, with a 10-year career in the Spanish speaking stand up scene. He has three Netflix specials, El amor es de put*s (2016), Furia ñera (2018) y Falso profeta (2021), and a fourth one, Rebelde Comodino, on YouTube. He has successfully toured all around Mexico, Latin America, the United States, Canada, Spain, France, Germany and England. Ballarta will make his festival debut, performing his entire set in Spanish!
Tom Papa: 2023 Comedy Tour – Tuesday, July 25, 2023 and Thursday, July 27, 2023 Gesù, 7:00PM
With more than 20 years as a stand-up comedian, Tom Papa is one of the top comedic voices in the country, finding success as an actor, host, and author, in film, TV, radio and podcasts as well as on the live stage. The comedian has had 4 highly rated stand-up specials on Netflix and recently released his 5th Netflix special, What A Day!. His highly rated podcast Breaking Bread with Tom Papa, features Tom and his guest eating, drinking, and celebrating the true meaning of breaking bread with insightful, revealing and always funny conversations. He also hosts the popular daily Netflix radio show, What A Joke with Papa And Fortune on Sirius XM Channel 93 and the monthly show, Come To Papa Live on Channel 94. He has starred in the critically acclaimed films; The Informant, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto and the HBO film Behind the Candelabra. He recently wrapped on Netflix’s Nike which is already garnering much critical acclaim.
The RP4 – A Very Special Event – Hosted by Russell Peters – Wednesday, July 26, 2023 & Thursday, July 27, 2023 – Théâtre Maisonneuve, 7:00 PM & 9:45 PM
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.
Russell Peters was recently named as one of Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Comics of All Time. He started doing stand-up at the age of nineteen at open mics in his native Toronto, and spent the next fifteen years honing his craft at clubs across Canada and the UK. Peters’ most recent tour, The Deported World Tour was seen by over 400,000 fans in 40 cities across 20 countries and culminated in the stand-up special, Russell Peters Deported on Amazon Prime Video in January 2020. Peters has been awarded Gemini, Peabody, Emmy and Canadian Screen Awards for his hosting, producing and acting talents. His last TV series, The Indian Detective set a Canadian viewership record for Bell Media /CTV in 2017 and was released globally on Netflix. Peters just launched his own Podcast, ‘Culturally Cancelled with Russell Peters’ on iHeart Media.
The Jack Whitehall Gala – Friday, July 28, 2023 – Théâtre Maisonneuve, 7:00 PM
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. Featuring a star-studded line-up from across the globe. 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. In late 2021, Whitehall starred in Disney’s blockbuster adventure, Jungle Cruise, opposite Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. An acclaimed comedian who loves the stage, his 2019 arena tour, Jack Whitehall: Stood Up, was his biggest-ever stand-up show ever — playing to sold-out arenas across the UK. He then took the tour to Australia, New Zealand and Dubai. He played to packed arenas across the UK on two tours: Jack Whitehall Gets Around and Jack Whitehall: At Large. In early 2021, Netflix filmed his final tour date at Wembley Arena. Jack Whitehall: I’m Only Joking, now streaming.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks when we announce more galas, hosts and the artists who will be joining these incredible line-ups for an evening full of laughs!
The Nasty Show – Tuesday, July 18, 2023 to Wednesday, July 26, 2023, Club Soda, daily at 9:30 PM; **with two special midnight performances added on Friday, July 21, and Saturday, July 22.
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.
The one and only Donnell Rawlings will hit the stage this summer. Besides his iconic stand-out role as Ashy Larry on Chappelle’s Show, Rawlings has also won critical acclaim for his role on HBO’s The Wire, and as Dez in Pixar’s hit film SOUL. In turn, he was honoured by The AfricanAmerican Humor Awards in 2021 with the Redd Foxx Award. This year’s line-up also features performances by Steph Tolev whose comedy and acting career has skyrocketed in recent years with Netflix and Comedy Central appearances, as well as being named a Comedian You Should and Will Know by Vulture; and JFL New Faces alum, Adrienne Iapalucci who has been featured in various Netflix specials, This Week at the Comedy Cellar, The Late Show with David Letterman, and Gotham Comedy Live. She won the first ever People’s Choice award at the New York Comedy Festival and made her debut on NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Her Degenerates Netflix special premiered on NYE 2020.
That’s not all! The host and additional acts will be announced soon.
Just For The Culture – Tuesday, July 18, 2023 to Wednesday, July 26, 2023, Club Soda, daily at 7:00 PM; **with one special 4:30 PM performance added on Sunday, July 23.
Back by popular demand, Just for the Culture features a diverse line-up of comedians from various cultural backgrounds and experiences, each with distinct personalities, experiences and comedy styles.
Returning to reclaim his master of ceremonies title, is crowd favourite Alonzo Bodden. A regular panel member on NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, his first big comedy break came when he was named a New Face at Just for Laughs in 1997. Since then, he has been making audiences around the country laugh for close to 30 years. Amongst numerous TV appearances, Bodden’s fourth stand-up special, Heavy Lightweight, premiered exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
He will lead an incredible line-up with performances by JFL New Faces alum, Gianmarco Soresi, who has performed on The Late Late Show with James Corden, as well as Comedy Central, Netflix, and The Real Housewives of New York (no, really!). His first special Shelf Life, was nominated for three NY Emmy Awards and was selected as an NPR 2002 Comedy Pick. Joyelle Nicole Johnson who made her TV debut on Late Night with Seth Meyers, and more recently performed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon twice in one year. She was nominated for a Critics Choice Award as she’s also written for hit series such as HBO’s Broad City and HBO’s Pause with Sam Jay. JFL New Face alum, Malik Elassal, is a Lebanese Canadian stand up, writer, and actor who won the Yuk Yuks Top Comic competition in his hometown of Calgary, recorded sets for the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and is currently on CBC Gem’s The New Wave of StandUp. Returning to the fest, the incomparable Judy Gold who has numerous stand-up specials on HBO, Comedy Central and LOGO. She was a part of Netflix’s Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration; and is one of the main subjects in the Hulu documentary, Hysterical. She has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Tonight Show, and has won two Emmy awards for writing and producing The Rosie O’Donnell Show. She was also a writer on the final season of FX’s Better Things; A regular on CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud and The Debaters, Arthur Simeon is a Ugandan-born Toronto-based comedian who has been performing for a decade all over the world. A truly gifted storyteller, he has appeared multiple times at the Just For Laughs, Odd Block Comedy Festival as well as on CBC Television, HBO and the Comedy Network; and Zarna Garg who is “One in a Billion”, and that’s not the just name of her first comedy special. She’s also the only Indian mom comedian taking on her mother-in-law. She was recently profiled as one of the gutsiest women in comedy on Apple TV’s new Gutsy Women series, and is featured on This American Life with Ira Glass. That’s not all! Additional acts to be announced soon.
Brit(ish) – Wednesday July 26, 2023 to Saturday July 29, 2023 – Le Studio TD, 7:00 PM
Back for another year at Just For Laughs MONTRÉAL, Brit(ish) boasts a line-up of some of the funniest comedians from across the pond. The full line-up will be announced soon, but let’s face it, we all know it’s going to be sarcastic, full of irony and a laughing riot!
Midnight Surprise – Wednesday July 26, 2023 to Saturday July 29, 2023 – Le Studio TD, 9:30 PM
One of the festival’s most highly anticipated series that takes place at midnight… that’s all you get for now as it’s intended to be the best kept secret of the fest! Audiences eagerly race to buy these tickets before they will sell out, curious to discover which all-star comedians will make surprise appearances. Previous surprise guests have included Dave Chappelle, Jerrod Carmichael, Jimmy Carr, Tiffany Haddish, Jeff Ross, Judd Apatow, and many others!
Just For Laughs MONTRÉAL would like to thank its sponsors without whom this edition would not have been possible: Beneva and Chevrolet. We would also like to acknowledge the exceptional help and support of our public partners: Government of Canada through Canada Economic Development and Canadian Heritage, the Gouvernement du Québec through the ministère du Tourisme, the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine and the SODEC, as well as the City of Montréal, Tourisme Montréal and Montréal centre-ville.
Tickets will be available to the public as of Friday, April 14 at 10:00 AM ET at www.hahaha.com