Day: July 20, 2015

Meet the New Faces of Just For Laughs Montreal: Class of 2015

Each July, talent managers, agents and casting agents converge upon Montreal to network, hobnob and circle around the freshest faces in comedy they can find and say they discovered. Which is how and why Montreal’s Just For Laughs presents its New Faces showcases. In 2015, JFL once more will offer four “New Faces” groups in three categories — two batches of “New Faces of Comedy” (read: original edition of stand-up comedians just waiting to be discovered), “New Faces Characters (comedians who specialize in impersonations and sketch-based characters, primed and ready for your next sitcom, movie or sketch comedy series),...

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Episode #6: Michael Ian Black

Michael Ian Black is familiar to anyone who has watched TV in the past two decades — first as a member of MTV sketch group The State, later in shows including Ed, Stella, Michael & Michael Have Issues, and several other series not named after first names. This summer, you can see him in scene-stealing roles on three TV series: The Jim Gaffigan Show on TV Land and Comedy Central, Another Period on Comedy Central, and the Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp prequel miniseries on Netflix. Black also is a best-selling author and podcast host whose...

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Sarah Franken (the artist formerly known as Will) comes out as transgender

The last time I saw Will Franken, he and I enjoyed a lovely chat years ago in the balcony of the Cabaret Juste Pour Rire during one of Andy Kindler’s “Alternative Comedy” showcases for Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival. Well, the Cabaret long since closed up shop, and so has Will. Now I’m speaking with Sarah Franken. He is a she. And she finally became comfortable enough with her transgender identity to come out this summer in the United Kingdom, where she now lives. A profile in The Guardian last week took stock of how far she has come already....

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