Bobby Slayton has been the host of the Nasty Show for over 20 years. This year, JFL is shaking things up and passing the torch to new host already in town. Mike Ward is a new host of the Nasty Show at this years Just For Laughs Festival. I couldn’t believe the news when I was reading the email. The news for Mike was “bigger than he could ever imagined”.
Read below the abbreviated version of the chat I had with Mike about this year’s Just For Laughs Nasty Show.
J: What was your reaction when you heard you were the new host of the Nasty Show?
Mike Ward: I was surprised. Robbie from JFL came to see me just before the holidays and he’d had told my manager that we’re gonna offer something big to Mike this year. I’ve done the festival 6 or 7 times but I was always on a little show or on a big shows as one of the guys. But this year he wanted to position me as one of the major comics and then he offered me the Nasty Show and that was bigger than I could ever imagine.
J: How do you feel about filling such big shoes?
MW: They are huge shoes to fill. I’ve hosted 5 galas in French and I think people will be surprised how comfortable. I’m more excited than nervous.
J: What will you bring different to the Nasty Show?
MW: I’m going to make it a little younger. Right now I’m doing 4 shows a week to figure out what material I’m going to do. I don’t just want to do just dick jokes. I want to find the perfect dick joke. And I want to bring some local flavor, do my thing about French people et comment on va perdre notre langue. I want to make it for people who are out of town that they get all the jokes but also for the people of Montreal that they feel that someone gets their city.
J: Will you still be doing French Galas too?
MW: No I was going to but since we’re doing 11 nights, I’m booked every night on the Nasty Show. It’s a long run.
J: What is your preferred show? The 7pm -9pm or 12am?
MW: The midnight show is the best show for the first 45 minutes. The best show is the second half of the 9 o’clock show and the first half of the midnight show.
J: What is your favorite part of the festival?
MW: I really like the Best of the Fest shows. Just Seeing amazing comics work on their gala sets or their Nasty Shows set. It’s just cool seeing a Dave Chappelle. And the parties are very good too.
J: You do a lot of podcasts appearances and you host your own podcast, what do you like about that medium vs live comedy?
MW: My podcast was going really well and then I just stopped doing cuz it wasn’t fun anymore. things we’re going well but it’s better with a crowd. I think most comedian have podcast to get their name out there. and it’s better than television because you have to censor everything and in a podcast you can say whatever.
J: What is your favorite country to perform in?
MW: My favorite place to perform is Holland…
J: If you could compare your comedy to an alcohol, what would it be?
MW: I’m thinking rum but maybe more Jägermeister
Listen to the full raw interview with Mike, his funny responses and my unprofessional interjecting laughter.
Just For Laughs starts July 8th until the 28th this year. You can purchase your tickets now for the Nasty Show which goes on from July 16th-25th. Gilbert Gottfried, Jimmy Carr, Mike Wilmot, Tiffany Haddish and more comedians will be appearing during the Nasty Show this year.
I can hardly wait to see what else Just For Laughs and Juste Pour Rire has in store for us this year!