Just for Laughs lines up Masters showcases

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NEW YORK -- Maria Bamford, Ian Edwards, Megan Mooney, Robert Rothstein, Pete Correale, Joe Matarese and Jim Short will perform in the Masters showcases at the 25th annual Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal this week, organizers said Monday.

Meanwhile, the annual fixture's first-ever sketch show will feature male trios the Buffoons and Hot Sauce, female duo Karla and the new duo of Kurt Braun and alternative comedy favorite Kristen Schaal. In between their performances, the sketch showcase will feature viral videos from two groups -- Straitjacket and Leon and Andy, JFL said.

The festival also announced a diverse -- in terms of age and style -- lineup of 16 comics for its New Faces shows, which together with the Masters are among longtime industry favorites at JFL.

Festival vp programming Maureen Taran has said that New Faces would this year feature a broader mix of performers than the usual stand-ups in their early 20s.

New Faces comedians include Pat Candaras from "Funniest Mom in America 3," Taipei, Taiwan-born and Houston-raised Sheng Wang and Julia Lillis -- known for celebrity-driven song parodies, including a particularly popular one of Paris Hilton, on E!'s Web site.

The names of all the performers were announced Monday morning on News Corp.'s MySpace social networking site, which has been expanding its comedy offerings.

It has this year deepened a partnership with JFL that includes cross-promotions and profiles and content featuring performers at www.myspace.com/justforlaughs.

The New Faces and sketch shows in Montreal start Wednesday evening.

The Masters performances, designed to put the spotlight on more experienced comics who might be ready for their next career steps, will take place Friday and Saturday.
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