Fierce, Feminist, and Funny: Just For Laughs Highlights 2016!

Just For Laughs at the Saint Denis Theatre in 2005. Photo by WikiPedant at Wikimedia Commons. Just For Laughs at the Saint Denis Theatre in 2005. Photo by WikiPedant at Wikimedia Commons.

Just for Laughs impressed me this year: we are spoiled for funny ladies. There is so much talent on display that it its hard to choose who to see. The festival is hosting such talents as Julia Lewis-Dreyfus, Maria Bamford, Iliza Shlesinger, Beth Stelling, Carmen Esposito, Marie-Lynn Rajskub, the list goes on and on. Considering that we are in an era where bros bully the immensely talented Leslie Jones for being hilarious in Ghostbusters, it is nice to see the representation and straight-up recognition that funny ladies are not to be discounted or ignored, or relegated to a gender-specific club show, Jerry Lewis be damned. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing these two ladies’ specials and you should be excited to see them too.

Janeane Garofalo. Photo credit: JFL.

Janeane Garofalo. Photo credit: JFL.

Janeane Garofalo
This powerhouse has been doing stand up since the early 1990s, and debuted her career in the alternative comedy scene in L.A. With over 50 film credits to her name, you can recognize her from her roles in Reality BitesThe Truth About Cats and DogsI Shot a Man in VegasThe Matchmaker, Wet Hot American SummerManhoodAsh Tuesday, and Bad Parents, among others, and supporting roles in The Cable GuyCop LandHalf BakedPermanent Midnight, and Dogma.

Outspoken feminist and anti-war activist, her style is not preachy, but more intimate that you would expect. Her style is observational, and pessimistic, and that is really ok, because its ok to think while you laugh. This is a seasoned performer that is still working the road and you would be foolish to pass up on the opportunity to see her at Mainline Theatre, a fairly intimate setting for someone of her calibre.

Aparna Nancherla. Photo credit: JFL.

Aparna Nancherla. Photo credit: JFL.

Aparna Nancherla
“Imagine a public official addressing a nation with food on their face the entire time. That’s what the RNC feels like to me.” This was her twitter page on July 21, 2016 (@aparnapkin). And damn is she right about that. If this is what I am in for, I am all in.

She has appeared on Inside Amy Schumer and has written for Late Night with Seth Meyers and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. She has appeared on Conan and Comedy Central’s The Meltdown with Jonah and KumailVariety named her to its list of Top 10 Comics to Watch for 2016. In 2016 Nancherla released her album “Just Putting It Out There”. She is also the co-host of Blue Woman Group, which the Daily Beast calls “a hilarious podcast about depression”. She collaborates with Tig Notaro, who really broke into the national consciousness when she did her hilarious bit about breast cancer. She has been a working comic for 13 years and her willingness to discuss her social anxiety and depression makes me a great night of comedy and I for one am really looking forward to getting to know her.

You can totally see both in one night. I’m doing that Monday.

Janeane Garofalo is preforming at Mainline Theatr e (3997 St-Laurent) as part of the Just for Laughs Festival on July 25-30 at 7:30pm, tickets are 20.87$.

Aparna Nancherla is performing at Montreal Improv (3697 St-Laurent) on Monday July 25, Tuesday July 26 and Thursday July 28th at 9pm, tickets 20.87$.