The Most Important Things That Happened At Montreal's Just For Laughs

The Montreal Just For Laughs Festival always has a seriously impressive artist lineup, with galas hosted by the likes of Joan Rivers, Eddie Izzard, and Sarah Silverman. But it's JFL's industry conference, now dubbed ComedyPro, that makes the festival the comedy world's equivalent of an annual convention. Executives, agents, bookers, comics, and other interested parties (like your correspondents) collect for a festival that is part sales convention and part summer camp. And what happens in Montreal in July tends to impact the comedy community for the year to come. 2011's saw Louis C.K. named Comedy Person of the Year, the same year he would go on to revolutionize [...]

Marc Maron's Heartfelt Keynote at the Just for Laughs Festival

Marc Maron delivered the keynote speech at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal today, and the newly-redesigned Comic's Comic has posted the entire thing. It's pretty great! He talks about his own journey as a comedian and how he's finally found stability in his life in ways he couldn't have previously imagined. He also talks about the untimely passings of Greg Giraldo, Robert Schimmel and Mike DeStefano. The whole thing is very much worth a read. Here's a taste: We risk all sense of security and the possibility of living stable lives to do comedy. We are out there in B rooms, dive bars, coffee shops, bookstores [...]

Just for Laughs Festival: Louis CK, Andy Kindler and the Showrunners Panel

If you think it’s tough going to music festivals and deciding between which bands you want to see, try going to Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival.

What do you do when your plans to see a new comic everyone says is the next big thing are interrupted by a sudden announcement that simultaneously one of your favorite comedians will be performing a surprise set to 40 people at an underground club across town? That pretty much sums up Just For Laughs. It’s maddening.

Being a Just For Laughs newbie, I went where the crowds were. Here’s a recap of some of the final weekend’s events.

Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, Paul Feig, Ken Jeong, Garry Shandling and Louis CK Get Awarded at Just for Laughs

You know you’re in Canada when a shmuck like me is allowed into a star-studded comedy awards ceremony and the security guard actually apologizes for making me wait in line.

One of the premiere events at this year’s Just For Laughs Festival is the Awards Luncheon, which honored Modern Family Creators Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd for Comedy Writers of the Year, Ken Jeong for Breakout Comedy Star of the Year, Paul Feig for Comedy Director of the Year, Garry Shandling for the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Louis C.K. for Comedy Person of the Year.

Maybe “premiere event” is a little too strong. As MC and Comedy Central Roast [...]