JFL40: Here are 7 shows you shouldn’t miss at Just For Laughs

Pop Goes The News – Just like the summer weather in Montreal, the Just For Laughs festival is heating up and comedy fans will be flocking to air conditioned venues to enjoy some of the world’s funniest people.

There’s so much to choose from, including big shows by stars like Kevin Hart (July 29), Bill Burr (July 30), John Mulaney (July 28), Hasan Minhaj (July 29) and Amy Schumer (July 30) as well as the made-for-TV galas hosted by the likes of Hannah Gadsby (July 27), Jo Koy (July 28) and Ronny Chieng (July 31).

Montreal’s clubs are welcoming shows by a long list of comics including Rhys Nicholson (July 21 to 29), Jay Pharoah (July 29 & 30), Preacher Lawson (July 26 to 30) and Ms. Pat (July 27 & 28).

Looking for some eye candy to go with the laughs? The fest has Mateo Lane (July 28 & 29) and Moses Storm (July 27 & 28). And if you’re just cheap, there are free outdoor shows by “the world’s greatest lip sync band” Never Surrender (July 30) and Iron Ladel (July 27).

The full schedule and ticket information is available at hahaha.com. To help you choose, here are seven JFL shows you definitely won’t want to miss:


In his recent Netflix special His Dark Material, Jimmy Carr described some of his jokes as “career-ending.” Clearly, this wasn’t true because the sardonic British comedian is back with a new show, Terribly Funny 2.0.

“Jimmy’s brand new show contains jokes about all kinds of terrible things,” reads the description. “Terrible things that might have affected you or people you know and love. But they’re just jokes – they are not the terrible things.”

Carr, a JFL veteran whose distinctive laugh both attracts and confuses Canada Geese, promises all new jokes that we didn’t hear in His Dark Material. “It’s all new stuff and it’s funny. It’s edgy and it’s brutal and it’s hilarious – if you share my sense of humour,” he said in a YouTube promo. “And if you don’t, it’s a tough night out. Don’t come if you’re not into this sort of thing.”

Who’s not into laughing out loud?!

  • July 27 at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts


If anyone can inject a bit of edginess into a made-for-TV JFL gala, it’s Chelsea Handler.

The outspoken comedian, author and podcast host (Dear Chelsea) is guaranteed to have some hilarious things to say in between introducing the line-up of eight comics.

  • July 28 at Théâtre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts


Comedians at JFL get a chance to showcase their musical abilities at this fun show, hosted by Josh Adams Meyers. Each one does a stand-up set and short story and then performs a song backed by live band.

Since it debuted in 2014, stars like Dave Chappelle and Sarah Silverman have been a part of the Jam – and with so many big-name comedians at JFL, you never know who will show up.

Best of all, it’s a free outdoor show.

  • July 27 at Scène Beneva


There’s something funny about Canada: We’ve exported some of the biggest names in comedy (Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Seth Rogen) and we’re home to the world’s best comedy festival (hint: it’s happening in Montreal). But, can we laugh at ourselves?

Rick Mercer, the best thing to come from Newfoundland since cod, hosts a show that will celebrate – and poke fun at – everything that makes this country unique.

Even though the official description claims the comedians come “from coast to coast,” they’re all from Quebec and Ontario: Dave Merheje, Eman El-Husseini, Ivan Decker, Salma Hindy and Sophie Buddle.

  • July 29 at L’Olympia


If there’s one comedian who will have people talking at this year’s festival, it’s Jerrod Carmichael.

The creator and star of The Carmichael Show, which ran for three seasons on NBC, earned a lot of attention (and praise) for his third HBO special Rothaniel, in which he came out as gay. Since then, he hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live and inked a deal for another HBO special.

JFL is giving fans a chance to experience Carmichael’s talent in an intimate space, and, notably, one without phones (mobile devices must be secured in Yondr pouches).

“I love this generation,” Carmichael recently told GQ. “I actually fuck with them, and fuck all those comedians that are going so hard against them.”

July 28 at Le Studio TD


There’s something wrong with Jessica Kirson – and that’s precisely what makes her so hilarious. Catch her anywhere you can (she’s in the Just for the Culture line-up and part of the Jo Koy gala) but for an unhealthy dose of her comedy don’t miss Rogue Therapy.

Kirson and Rachel Feinstein (who’s at the festival with her show Big Guy) will be giving the audience and celebrity guests decidedly unlicensed therapy solutions. It’s going to be an afternoon of laughs.

  • July 28 in the Ovation Room at the DoubleTree


Fans of the No. 1 new network comedy, Ghosts will want to appear at this afternoon session featuring cast members Rose McIver, Brandon Scott Jones, Richie Moriarty, Danielle Pinnock, Asher Grodman, Sheila Carrasco, Rebecca Wisocky, Román Zaragoza and Devan Chandler.

They will be taking a break from shooting Season 2 of the made-in-Montreal series to talk about the success of the U.S. remake of the British series. It’ll be a fun warm-up for the new season, which premieres Sept. 29.

July 30 in the Inspiration Room at the DoubleTree

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