Zach Galifianakis hasn’t made a new episode of Between Two Ferns in a while. Today he released a timely one. His guest was Hillary Rodham Clinton who was willing to take Zach’s jabs. He hit on gun control, Obama, pant suits, and email among other topics. We doubt that Donald Trump Continue reading
It’s coming up on the end of September and you know what that means: it’s almost time for JFL42! Toronto’s comedy festival starts on September 22 and runs until October 1. If you have a pass and have looked at the lineup you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. There are so many shows! How do you choose who to see? We’ve got you covered.
For our JFL42 preview, we thought that it would be a good idea to give you what we’ll call our starter pack. Assuming that you bought a four credit headliner pass, our recommendations should get you on your way. With the reusable credit system that JFL42 employs you can keep going to show after show, but we want to make sure that the first five shows that you book are winners.
Headliner: Tig Notaro
Since we limited ourselves to just one headliner pick we felt like we couldn’t go wrong no matter who we chose. While we are huge fans of all of the headliners, we went with Tig Notaro because she’s hilarious and she is most likely to provide one of the most talked about shows of the festival. After her HBO special, Boyish Girl, Interrupted and Grammy nominated album, LIVE, and her new Amazon show One Mississippi, Tig has been one of comedy’s biggest newsmakers over the last couple of years. Though we haven’t seen her latest set, there is a good chance that she has something else that is memorable up her sleeve. Mixing funny material with very personal stories, Tig Notaro is one of the most unique performers working today.
Tig Notaro performs on September 25 and is in conversation during that afternoon.
The 42 #1: Cameron Esposito
If you don’t know Cameron Esposito’s comedy, you should. If you don’t go to see her at JFL42, you’ll regret it. The star of SeeSo’s new series, Take My Wife is bringing her stand-up to Toronto and it would be hard to think of a better act to include in your festival schedule. Cameron draws on personal experiences for a source of material. As a lesbian who experienced a very religious childhood, Cameron Esposito takes her very personal stories and always provides audiences with relatable jokes that will leave you in stitches.
Cameron Esposito performs the evenings of September 22-24.
The 42 #2: Kumail Nanjiani
Are you looking for some mid-week laughs? Kumail Nanjiani should have you covered. He is now probably best known for his role as Dinesh on Silicon Valley, but Kumail is also an accomplished stand-up comedian. As one of the leaders of the Los Angeles alt comedy scene, Kumail Nanjiani is respected by his peers and adored by audiences. If we were in Toronto mid-week during JFL42, we would be using one of our credits to see him, but unfortunately it won’t work out for us this year. Don’t miss out on seeing him, if you have the chance.
Kumail Nanjiani performs the evenings of September 27 and 28.
The 42 #3: Maria Bamford
Before we talk more about Maria, we want to make it clear that although we’ve numbered these acts, we’re not saying that one is better than the other. Rather we like them all. We want to make that clear because Maria Bamford is simply one of our favourite stand up comedians. Period. She’s delightful, she’s unique, she’s hilarious. We missed out on her solo show at Just for Laughs in Toronto, but we did get to see her as part of Eugene Mirman’s podcast taping. Seeing her perform live was a real treat. We weren’t surprised given how funny all of her work is, but seeing her was an experience that no comedy fan should miss out. If you can, book your tickets for Maria Bamford ASAP and get ready for her set by bingeing her fantastic Netflix series, Lady Dynamite.
Maria Bamford performs the evenings of September 22 and 23.
The 42 #4: Natasha Leggero
There is a real mix of comedians performing and we’ve tried to provide you with very different perspectives. Natasha Leggero works a little more blue than the other three comedians that we listed. If that’s what you are looking for, her show will be as good as any at this year’s JFL42. Natasha has incredible stage presence and she’s also a great joke writer. If you are looking for proof just go to YouTube, type in “Natasha Leggero Roast”, and get ready for some of the funniest (and meanest) jokes you’ve heard. Last year we saw Natasha’s husband, Moshe Kasher at JFL42 and we’re hoping to catch her show this time around.
Natasha Leggero performs the evenings of September 30 and October 1. She is also in conversation during the afternoon of September 30.
We know that we said, we’d list our top four picks among “The 42”, but there are a few other performers that we have seen in the past that we want to mention. If you are looking for some big laughs, you should be successful if you see these performers:
- Jim Norton (September 24)
- Margaret Cho (September 23 and 24)
- Ron Funches (September 29)
- Neal Brennan (September 27-30)
- Todd Barry (September 22-25)
Judd Apatow has decided to back comedian Chris Gethard’s one man show. Titled Career Suicide, the show is all about Gethard’s life and the road he’s taken to get where he is. It is an incredible show and one that audiences should not miss.
We saw Chris perform this one man show last fall at JFL42 in Toronto. It was an incredible hour. The audience had Continue reading
Mel Brooks appeared on The Tonight Show yesterday to promote some sold out comedy shows. Since he didn’t need to push tickets, Mel had a chance to just have some fun with Jimmy and reflect on Continue reading
The latest Anthony Weiner scandal has given late night talk show hosts something to talk about besides Donald Trump, and no one ran with it further than Stephen Colbert on last night’s The Late Show. Stephen’s monologue was filled with some rock-solid puns and innuendos, and for that, we salute him. It was particularly fitting that Stephen would be the one to hit Weiner the hardest (seriously, even when you’re not trying to make puns, it’s impossible when the guy caught up in a sexting scandal’s last name is Weiner), because Weiner appeared on The Late Show only a month ago. Continue reading
Roast fans will be excited to know that the remaining Rob Lowe roasters have been announced. Again, Comedy Central has managed to put together an eclectic lineup of comedians, newsmakers, and celebrities. Joining the dais are Continue reading
If you want to laugh, HBO will have you covered through into next year. Today they announced a number of stand up specials an a new sketch series that will air in 2016 and 2017.
First, on the stand-up side. HBO will air new specials from Continue reading
Bob Odenkirk appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. The next season of Better Call Saul is still a few months away, but it was fun to see Bob on a talk show Continue reading
All summer, Seth has been floating an idea to get Donald Trump to drop out of the presidential race. He (like many other people) thinks that Trump doesn’t actually want the job of being president, he just wants the prestige and the title. So Seth created Chicago President, a scripted series on NBC in which Donald Trump would get to play the president, but of course it would be set in Chicago. Since Donald Trump still hasn’t responded to this generous offer of a guaranteed hit show, Seth decided to change his tactics. Continue reading
Amy Schumer spent the summer in Hawaii filming a movie with Goldie Hawn. She talked about it on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. While there, Amy got sick and ultimately broke Continue reading
As we mentioned, the late night hosts are back in full force now that the Olympics are over. Without international athletics to distract us, we’re back to focusing on that other intense competition, the presidential race. Seth Meyers has become our go-to late night host for political humor, and he did not disappoint with his first “A Closer Look” segment since the break. In it, Seth Meyers ran down all of the Trump campaign shenanigans of the last two weeks and man, there were a lot! And some of the stuff (like the “Second Amendment People”) comments seemed like they happened a lot longer ago, didn’t they? Or maybe it’s just that the sheer length and volume of this campaign has warped our sense of time. Continue reading
After a two-week Olympics hiatus, late night television is finally back! Jimmy Kimmel had the big get on Monday, as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Jimmy Kimmel doesn’t come up very often in the discussion of political comedy in late night, but he’s sneakily one of the best interviewers of politicians out there. He’s good at walking the line between keeping things light (and making the candidates look fun-loving) and asking some real questions (which they may or may not want to answer). Continue reading
While Last Week Tonight often dives into under-represented topics, the things that he talks about are rarely that controversial (particularly for his audience). It’s not that shocking to learn that debt buyers are a little shady, you know? If John Oliver’s discussion of a certain topic gets some people upset, he’s usually happy about it, since the people who get upset are the people he was hoping to make upset. But this week’s look at charter schools was a little bit different, as John noted that people on both sides of the political spectrum have praised charter schools and their benefits. However, Continue reading
Amy Schumer probably expected to spend this week promoting her new book, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. While her book is getting some great reviews, she’s instead spent most of the week talking about her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer and one of its writers, Kurt Metzger. After Kurt courted some controversy a couple of days ago with his comments on UCB’s banning of a comic who had been accused of sexual assault (read all about it here), Amy began receiving tweets and Continue reading
In its first two seasons, You’re the Worst has proven to be among the very best shows on television. Based on the trailer for season three, it looks like audiences will be in for even more fun and Continue reading