If Canadians ever needed proof that we are as funny as any nation on this planet, the global hysteria surrounding a quaint little sitcom called “Schitt’s Creek” should offer more than sufficient evidence. Millions watched, teary-eyed, as Johnny, Moira, David and Alexis left our TV screens to find their own individual ways in that big beautiful world outside of the Rosebud Motel. You’ll see them again to be sure – as their cult-like popularity will surely ensure that they all live eternally in reruns and perhaps even revivals. But when it comes to Canadian comedy that lands, the Rose family were hardly trailblazers – brilliant yes – but not really unique. Canada has always had a prominent place on television comedy from Wayne & Shuster to SCTV to the Kids In The Hall to….well…you get the picture.
However, where I don’t believe Canadians get enough credit is with our special place in stand-up comedy. For decades now, we’ve been holding our own against the very best in the world, which is why the Just For Laughs Festivals in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver have always been so important. The very best comics in history have taken the microphone on JFL stages throughout the years and much of that star-power has been developed in our own backyards. Canada can go head to head with the very best from the US or the UK and never take a backwards step. Hundreds of Canadians have performed at JFL and it’s been a launch-pad for so many careers that it’s impossible to nail down a number.
Sadly, the JFL Festival in Montreal has been postponed this summer due to COVID-19 but fortunately, the laughs have been virtually preserved on Just For Laughs ch. 168 starting Monday, July 20th and rolling all week long across several SXM comedy channels. While we won’t be able to broadcast from the actual festival we will be going wall-to-wall with Canada’s most popular comics, including special performances from some of the most iconic stages and shows that JFL has to offer. It’s All Canadian – All The Time with the same brilliant stand-up comedy that you’ve come to expect from the most popular festival in the world. And while Just For Laughs in Montreal has given us Rickles, Seinfeld, Cleese, Hart, Chappelle, Hedberg, Rivers, Burnett, Silverman, Fluffy, Schumer, Burr, Cho and Steve Martin along with Nasty Shows and Ethnic Shows and hundreds of other stages and celebrities, it’s the Canadian contingent that is the lifeblood each and every year.
Is anybody in the world more cerebral than Norm McDonald? Or nastier than Mike Wilmot? Or more globally recognizable than Russell Peters? Or quirkier than Jeremy Hotz or Harland Williams? Or more outrageous than Deb DiGiovanni or Jon Dore? Or more successful than Howie Mandel? Or more well-known as Jim Carrey? Or as prolific as Mike McDonald? Or straight up as funny as K. Trevor Wilson or Mark Forward, both of Letterkenny fame? Not a chance.
You’ll be hearing them all, and many many more of Canada’s very best, for six straight days during the Just For Laughs Virtual Comedy Fest, running from Monday, July 20th to Saturday, July 25th on Just For Laughs Canada as part of a special SiriusXM-wide celebration of JFL’s 37 historical years.
So, a funny thing happened on the way to this year’s Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal…..it went virtual.
Hear the JFL Virtual Comedy Fest each day from July 20th to July 25th:
Raw Dog Comedy ch. 99: 12 pm & 9 pm ET
Laugh USA ch. 98: 1 pm & 7 pm ET
Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Radio ch. 96: 2 pm & 6 pm ET
Jeff & Larry’s Comedy Roundup ch. 97: 3 pm & 8 pm ET
Comedy Greats ch. 94: 4 pm & 5 pm ET
Just For Laughs Canada ch. 168: 24 hours a day