Andy Kindler has been a stand-up comic for over 30 years; toured endlessly across North America; co-starred in hit TV shows like Everybody Loves Raymond, Bob's Burgers, and Maron; spent years doing regular field pieces on The Late Show with David Letterman and returns to the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal every year to deliver his "State of the Industry" address.
If you've watched Late Night with Seth Meyers over the last few years, you've likely seen lots of Second City alumn Jenny Hagel, either performing alongside Meyers and fellow writer Amber Ruffin for the popular "Jokes Seth Can't Tell" segment or appearing in various other bits and sketches.
DeAnne Smith has been doing stand-up for nearly 15 years, beginning in Montreal, moving to the Toronto scene, and performing on stages all over Canada, the United States, the UK, and Australia since. After previous TV appearances for Just for Laughs, the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and The Late Late Show, the comedian debuted their own hilarious half-hour comedy special on Netflix called Gentleman Elf.
February 17 saw the return of metal titans Soulfly to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Along for "The Summoning" tour were thrashers Toxic Holocaust, and on this date we also received a metal barrage from X Method, Bears with Technology, and Cause of Death.
Comic Gavin Matts has had a pretty good last couple years.
Hawksley Workman has been making albums since the late 90s (his first full-length, For Him and the Girls, came out in 1999) and he's been releasing new music every year or 2 since then. He's rarely been one to stick to the same vibe record-to-record, jumping between styles and influences in a way that he says was likely frustrating for record execs, his touring band, and perhaps even some of his fans over the years.
Seán Cullen is one of those rare Canadian performers who has fans across any age group. People were excited to shake his hand and give him a hug as he sauntered to the stage at one of his recent JFL42 shows.
For followers of the comedian's long career, this was a decidedly deeper and more intimate evening.
Robby Hoffman is an original comedy voice whose writing and delivery on stage puts her at the top of the stand-up game. Her bit for The Chris Gethard Show with Queer Eye's Antoni Porowski is one of the funniest things on YouTube, and her other television writing -- which includes personal favourite Baroness Von Sketch Show -- has even won her a Daytime Emmy for Odd Squad on PBS.
Nick Nemeroff is a Montreal comic who has been a mainstay in the Toronto comedy scene for the past few years, winning Best Newcomer and Best Breakout Comic at the 2017 and 2018 I Heart Joke Awards. He's made appearances at Montreal's Just for Laughs and Comedy Central's Clusterfest, and his comedy has been described as "aggressively deadpan".
Chris Gethard is comedy's favourite underdog. He is the fine wine that other comedians cannot recommend enough. His years of study as an improviser at the UCB Theatre in New York have made him a great listener and a truly empathetic storyteller. During our interview in advance of his appearances at JFL42, Chris gave me some of the most emotionally open and thoughtful answers of my career -- all while driving!
Chris is a ringmaster of chaos.