Over our last two days of our stay in Montreal for the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, we briskly walked throughout the Montreal rues to make it to almost too many shows. Even in the final days of the festival, the excitement for comedy is still palpable at the end of the very last shows some time around 1:30AM Sun. morning. From Andy Kindler roasting the industry or watching a wonderful documentary on one of the most under appreciated comedians on the planet, laughs abound and certainly no one is making a non-news story about something being unfunny and controversial.
Here’s the frosting of the “comedy cake” we ate over last couple of days:
–Bring Me the Head of Adam Riches, one of the few one person shows here at JFL, was mind-bending, hysterical, and thrilling all at the same time. He’s a force that pre-emptively reckons, always involving several unsuspecting audience members in his outlandish set-up which involve lizard costumes, skateboards, tennis balls attached to a pole by a rope for the sole purpose of hitting people with it, and more.
-The Eddie Pepitone documentary, The Bitter Buddha, was not only a well-deserved profile of one the best and most original voices in comedy, but a beautifully crafted film directed by Steve Feinartz. There’s plenty of Pepitone’s hilarious stand-up as well as a great dose of the real life war against himself that many of his contemporaries cite as the source of his hysterical comedy.
–Andy Kindler’s State of the Industry is a regular fixture, an institution if you will where the most inside baseball jokes of comedy are enjoyed by all those allowed in the dugout, a one man roast of the entertainment industry with no dais. It was pretty fantastic all around, but Kindler’s closer where he attacks the seemingly unchecked worship of Louis CK by talking non-stop like a robot that praises him was spectacular.
–Ari Shaffir’s This Is Not Happening storytelling showcased some of the most hilarious stories from hilarious folks like Pete Holmes, Sean Patton, and Ron Babcock involving crack, mushrooms (the theme was “I was so fucked up…”). It was like the Moth, but without the preening summer camp stories of the one that got away.
–James Adomian absolutely killed it where ever he went in JFL Montreal this year. In his normal stand-up sets throughout various shows, as Andy Kindler opening for Andy Kindler’s State of the Industry (which Kindler commented that he might not be able to follow himself), as Paul Giamatti hosting the New Faces: Characters showcase, and even as Gary Busey during the This Is Not Happening storytelling show, Adomian thoroughly reminded us that he’s at a level of funny that’s near unstoppable.
Wherever you are, Montreal or not, please try to catch all these acts as soon as possible.