Folks, it's the week of JFL42! Living in Toronto, this means I get to go to comedy "space camp" and interview some of my heroes. First up on that list of heroes is Maria Bamford.
In the fall of 2017, Toronto comic Courtney Gilmour was coming off the biggest professional accolade of her comedy career: being named the co-winner (along with Montreal's DJ Mausner) of the Homegrown Comics competition at Just for Laughs Festival.
Bronx-born comic, writer, and actress Gina Brillon started her stand-up career much earlier than most, at only 17 years old. Finding a way to fit in with the other older comics at New York City clubs -- and keeping audiences laughing along the way -- gave her experience most comics don't get until their late 20s or 30s.
To learn about these daily JFL42 roundups, read the first one! Now, onto Friday's comedy shows, featuring Morgan Murphy, a live taping of The Last Podcast on the Left, and a Feminist Live Read of Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion...
The festival begins, and my task has been laid out: chronicle my experiences at one of the best comedy festivals in Canada, and make it seem somewhat enticing so that I can justify being here and hopefully get people out to see more shows. I can do that.
Problem is, reviewing comedy shows is a tad redundant.
It's September. It's Toronto. It's unseasonably hot, and I'm sleeping on my friend's couch again for two weeks.
This year's SheDot Festival ("Toronto's Festival of Funny Women") runs from May 4-7 and features stand-up, sketch, and improv shows; workshops; and industry panels. Now in its fourth year, it has grown from an essentially local Toronto festival to one featuring a majority of its performers from across North America.
Rebecca Reeds started her comedy career in Ottawa, performing at open mics and eventually being part of an Ottawa Fringe Festival show.
Tim Gray and Matt Nightingale are veterans of the Winnipeg stand-up comedy scene, and this year they're both a part of the local contingent at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. Besides their accomplishments as stand-up comics (Gray's first comedy album comes out this June, while Nightingale is a regular host at Rumor's Comedy Club), they're also members of the sketch troupe HUNKS.