Just For Laughs Fest Books Chelsea Handler, Aziz Ansari and The Muppets
TORONTO – Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival is giving Chelsea Handler its 2012 Comedy Person of the Year award, and making Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy emcees at one of its glitzy galas.
Just For Laughs organizers on Wednesday unveiled a talent lineup for their 30th anniversary edition that includes Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Bill Hader, Bob Saget, John Pinette, Lewis Black, Jim Gaffigan, Patton Oswalt, Wayne Brady and Mario Cantone.
Handler will be in Montreal to receive the festival's top stand-up tribute ten years after her Just For Laughs debut, while Michael Key and Jordan Peele of the Key & Peele comedy act will receive this year’s breakout comedy star award, and Hannibal Buress will accept the rising comedy star trophy.
Just For Laughs also programmed The Muppets All-Star Comedy Gala!, where the Disney characters return to their variety show roots and host an exclusive gala at the Place des Arts theater.
Elsewhere, Parks & Recreation star Aziz Ansari is returning to Montreal with his Buried Alive tour, Jim Gaffigan will perform his new show at the Théâtre Maisonneuve and Young Adult star Patton Oswalt will perform in concert at the Metropolis theater.
Other comics returning to Just For Laughs include John Pinette, Tommy Tiernan, and Lewis Black, who will host the The American Dream? Election Year gala.
Also booked for Just For Laughs is Bob Saget, who will host the JFL XXX gala, while Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader will host yet another gala in Montreal.
Fest organizers have also booked into the Gesù Theater one-man shows by Wayne Brady and Sex and the City alum Mario Cantone, who will preview the follow-up to his Broadway show Laugh Whore.
Also coming to Montreal is the usual British contingent, with Jimmy Carr headlining the Britcom show at Théâtre Maisonneuve, while Bobby Slayton is back hosting the raunchy Nasty Show at Club Soda.
And the Just For Laughs Comedy Conference will be headlined by keynote speaker Patton Oswalt, and will include sessions and panels with Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory), Two and a Half Men co-creator Lee Aronsohn, Lionsgate TV group topper Kevin Beggs, College Humor’s Sam Reich and Brian Hunt, head of creative development at Yahoo!
Just For Laughs organizers will make additional talent announcements in the coming weeks, ahead of the 30th edition running from July 12 to 29.