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Published on May 26th, 2009 | by Sharilyn Johnson


Just for Laughs: that monkey 'round my neck

The long weekend is behind us, and as we deal with the sudden reality of summer (well, not today if you’re in Toronto), thoughts inevitably turn to Just For Laughs. The Montreal edition is July 16-26, with the English programming filling out the bottom end of that.

But what about Just Comedy, the new-in-2008 industry conference? The event’s website, www.justcomedy.com, features the nearly-esoteric text “this website is no longer available”. And the only news we’ve gotten on the industry email list is about the Chicago edition. What gives?


Not to worry, say the JFL folks. “Just Comedy” is dead in name only, and there will be an industry event again this year, with an announcement to come. So far, though, details mirror the same old from previous years: $400 gets you into the parties and State of the Industry. Standing room only at the club shows (stray from your obstructed-view spot and get yelled at). No actual tickets for anything unless you mooch comps from performers. Yep, nothin’ makes you feel like a VIP like a JFL Industry laminate!

I kid, of course. After attending 4 years straight (3 as media, 1 as industry), I skipped the ’08 festival and missed it dearly. I was looking forward to checking out Just Comedy this year. I’m on the fence about whether I’ll be there or not ($400?!), and will wait to hear what’s offered beyond what I just outlined. Kindler was trying to talk me into it over the weekend, and since he was able to convince me to drink, consume ice cream, and stay out ’til the subways stopped running three nights in a row, I think he’s probably talked me into this as well. Comedy habits die hard.

Planning on going and want to kick it old school? Those who don’t have fancy expense accounts will enjoy this promo at the good ol’ Delta Centre-Ville: $109/night with promo code PTZC (expires June 7).

About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.

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    Third Beat editor Sharilyn Johnson presents the ultimate fan guide to The Colbert Report, available from all major booksellers including amazon.com