Festival Time in Montréal – JFL Originals
How does it all end? In an uproar of laughs! On the last day of the festival, I finally got my media tickets approved to check out the JFL Originals taping at Théâtre Sainte-Catherine.
So many wonderful memories at this venue. From hilarious comedy shows to encountering famous comedians to meeting peeps in the front (before the terrasse) all the way to the sickening after parties that went to the break of dawn. Those were the days.
Théâtre Sainte-Catherine, now with its Cafe-Bar, is home to underground art. It hosts live theatre, improv, music and comedy most nights of the week. This was the perfect venue for this taping.
The first show at 7 PM included Carly Baker, Harrison Weinreb, Lucy Gervais, Mike Paterson, Oren Shbiro, Ryan Wilner & Viveth Kanagaratnam.
The second show at 9:30 PM included Ben Cardilli, Lawrence Corber, Max Martin, Michelle Forrester, Raajiee Chelliah, Renzel Dashington & Walter Lyng.
I wished I got tickets to the second one to see my boys Walter and Lawrence but I heard they tore it up!
Both shows were hosted by Tim Rabnett. As the amazing host that he is, he made the audience feel comfortable, laid out the rules and warmed us up with some real and fake laughter.
I don’t know about the second show, but I know the first one had the better fake laugh reel. I can’t wait to hear myself laugh.
The 7 PM started off hot with Oren Shbiro. Being bullet is no joke, especially on a taping. He came on ready to rumble and made the audience laugh out loud. Viveth Kanagaratnam amazed me. I remember watching him when he first started and knew immediately there was a future star in the making. His presence, delivery of jokes and pacing was all on point and who doesn’t love a guy with a blazer?
A surprise for me was Carly Baker. Her charming nature draws you in and then she hits you with the energy and the right amount of filth. Truly an example of a seasoned, professional comedian who is confident in her craft and owns it.
Harrison Weinreb. If you ask anyone who has seen him, they will all tell you the same thing: He is amazing. As a young comic, his style of observational humour takes you to unexpected places with a guaranteed laugh at the end. He has a bright future in comedy and I cannot wait to see where he goes.
If you don’t know, JFL Originals is a record label from Just For Laughs that showcases the best in Canadian comedy. Recorded in different cities across North America, each multi-comic album spotlights Canada’s rich pool of diverse comedic talent. It came under a lot of scrutiny when it was first announced.
In November 2019, Just For Laughs announced the launch of their new record label, JFL Originals. Just For Laughs (JFL) contacted The Canadian Association of Stand-up, Sketch and Improv Comedians (CASC) for support of the Association.
Just for Laughs is a programming consultant on Just for Laughs Canada, Channel 168 on Sirius XM Canada formerly Canada Laughs.
This move was highly criticized in the media and by the public. The launch of the JFL Originals record label presented a seemingly unusual and undeniable revenue generation advantage to JFL Originals, compared to independent record labels and comedians.
Canadian comedians were losing plays of their albums and the community was in a panic. The one revenue stream they had was being taken away and the situation was reaching a boiling point.
Thanks to open dialogues with the CTRC, Just For laughs and The Canadian Association of Stand-up, Sketch and Improv Comedians, CASC was able to bring awareness to the issue and help Canadian comedians keep their income.
I’m very pleased to see that they are still doing as promised: Creating opportunities for Canadian comedians to be heard all across Canada while getting paid for their art. Canada does not understand how gravely these opportunities are needed in this industry.
If you want to learn more about The Canadian Association of Stand-up, Sketch and Improv Comedians and how you can support them, click the link to learn more: https://canadianstandup.ca/
Overall, it felt amazing to be back in the action, catching up will old friends and making new ones, getting back in the swing of covering events, social media sharing live, writing for eyes that read, seeing those around me continue to grow, and learning to adapt and evolve after 2 years of world turbulence.
I think we’re off to a good start.