Anyone seriously staking a career in comedy knows one gig performed at the right time in front of the right people at Montreal's Just for Laughs comedy fest can change everything. Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Dave Chappelle, Denis Leary and even this year's headliner, Craig Ferguson, saw their career take off in North America after performing in Montreal. But who will the 2011 edition's discoveries be? A mix of household names who paid their dues and made it as well as up-and-comers whose talent and efforts could be on the brink of paying off, below's list of 2011 highlights, complete with contextually relevant clips, may very well feature the next big comedy sensation.
July 11 to July 13, 2011
Eddie Izzard: Stripped
Let me keep this simple. I love this man. This man is a god. I want to have God's babies. Tickets $51 plus service charge. At the Gesù (map). Read my review of the show. Buy tickets.
July 14 to July 16, 2011
The Nasty Show
Is it ever. One of the few events in performance art history where guests should get a discount, free open bar or at least a parting gift for bravely sitting within spitting distance of the grottiest stage of the comedy fest, 2011's edition features professional mofo Jeffrey Ross -- i.e., he who roasted Hugh Hefner, Pamela Anderson, Charlie Sheen and David Hasselhoff -- at the hosting helm, sharing the spotlight with Ari Shafir, Mike Ward, Jay Oakerson and Anthony Jeselnik. Brutal. Tickets $41.50 plus service charge. On July 14 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. as well as July 15 and July 16 at 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. At Metropolis (map). Buy tickets.
July 19 to July 31, 2011
Danny Bhoy: Wanderlust
Montreal couldn't get enough of Scottish -- not Irish! -- comedian Danny Bhoy's charming, diplomatically delivered personal insights last year, so the humorous hottie proposes to hog the 2011 Just for Laughs stage on 11 separate occasions, a headlining record at this edition. Tickets $41 plus service charge. On July 19, July 20, July 21, July 22, July 23, July 26, July 27, July 28, July 29, July 30, July 31 at 7 p.m. At the Gesù (map). Read my review of the show. Buy tickets.