Some comedians and industry folk joked that Just For Laughs could no longer really do New Faces in Montreal now that the ICM agency had purchased a large stake in the comedy festival.
ICM certainly is getting the last laughs.
They’ve packaged New Faces 2018 into a streaming TV series docu-drama with Amazon Prime. So cameras already were rolling across America as comedians auditioned, and then found out if they were getting the call to head to Montreal this week. Former New Face and favored JFL host Alonzo Bodden will host the first showcases this Wednesday.
And here are the lucky comedians who got not only New Faces but also an upcoming Amazon TV credit!
New Faces of Comedy
Rosebud Baker is a stand-up comic and writer based in NY. Baker has been featured on SiriusXM’s Raw Dog Comedy Radio, SeriouslyTV, SeeSo, and FOX’s Red Eye w/ Tom Shillue. Her acting has been featured on Discovery Channel and Sundance Channel, and in several independent feature films. In 2016, Baker was winner of the New York Comedy Competition at New York Comedy Club, and in 2017, she headlined Caroline’s On Broadway, as part of their prestigious Breakout Artist Series.
Emmy Blotnick is a stand-up comic, actress and writer based out of NY. She has appeared on CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where she is also one of the program’s staff writers. Blotnick was a head writer for Comedy Central’s The President Show, with other writing credits including Comedy Central’s Not Safe with Nikki Glaser and @midnight. Blotnick was highlighted as one of Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch, and recently shot a half hour special for the network.
Joel Boyd is a comedian, actor and writer originally from Milwaukee. He moved to Chicago, where he honed his stand-up, sketch, improv, and theatre skills. Boyd has done commercial work for McDonald’s and HealthCare.gov, and is currently working in the writers’ room for TBS’ Drop The Mic. He is one of the original members of the Chicago comedy collective the Martin Luther Kings of Comedy, and has performed in some of Chicago’s most prestigious theater productions including work at Steppenwolf, Steep, and The Goodman.
JC Currais is a comedian actor, and writer from Miami. Beginning his stand-up career while in college, Currais’ high-energy performance style and outrageously quirky material gained him notoriety with credits including NBC’s Last Call w/ Carson Daly and TBS’ Conan. Currais made
his filmic debut in the Sundance Film Festival film New Low, was selected as one of the Comics to Watch at the NY Comedy Festival, and has performed at festivals across the U.S.
Rocky Dale Davis is a stand-up comedian from Brookwood, Alabama now based in Las Vegas. He has appeared on MTV’s Greatest Party Stories Ever and Comedy Central’s Kevin Hart Presents: Hart of the City. Davis was a finalist in the Laughing Skull Festival and most recently selected by Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco as a Comic To Watch at the New York Comedy Festival.
Robert Dean is a stand-up comedian from Trumbull, CT. Robert has been featured on AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live, WNYC’s 2 Dope Queens podcast, and on Nick Vatterott’s Comedy Central half hour. His work has been seen and written about in numerous media outlets, including Paste Magazine, Uproxx, News Channel 12, Time Out NY, and the Huffington Post. In 2017, he recorded his first stand-up album, (It’s Not Easy) Being Dean, and was named one of Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch at the 2014 New York Comedy Festival.
Kenny DeForest is a stand-up comedian based in NY. DeForest is recognized for producing and co-hosting Comedy at the Knitting Factory, one of Brooklyn’s best independently run comedy shows, after being selected by and taking over for Hannibal Burress. DeForest will be guest starring in the upcoming season of HBO’s Crashing, and recently made his stand-up debut on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers. Named one of Comedy Central’s Comics To Watch at the 2015 New York Comedy Festival.
Kellen Erskine is a Los Angeles-based comedian originally from the San Jose area. Erskine has been featured on nationally syndicated radio, including The Bob and Tom Show, as well as Tom N Tyler. Since recently making his late-night debut on TBS’ Conan, Erskine has also been featured on the seventh season of NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Selected as one of TBS’ Top Ten Comics to Watch in 2017, Erskine has performed at renowned comedy festivals across the U.S.
Jourdain Fisher is a NY-based comic, originally from North Carolina. Diving into stand-up at 17 to avoid working for his family’s funeral home, Fisher has since found success in clubs and
colleges across the country. A finalist at this year’s NBC Stand-Up Showcase, he is a current writer and actor on BET’s sketch comedy show, 50 Central.
Simon Gibson is a stand-up comedian and performer originally from Portland, currently residing in Los Angeles. He has been performing his boisterous style of stand-up throughout LA for the past 5 years. Gibson has completed his first half hour special last year, and he was one of Riot L.A. 2017’s Comics to Watch.
Mekki Leeper is a comedian from Philadelphia, now living in Los Angeles. His work has been featured on NPR, College Humor, and can be seen in the Comedy Central digital series he co-wrote and directed, Resolutions. Leeper was recently named one of the 2018 Comedy Central Up Next Comics to Watch, and he has written for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner hosted by Hasan Minhaj, as well as the Lovett or Leave It podcast.
Zach Noe Towers is a Los Angeles-based comic, actor and writer. Recently named one of Time Out
Magazine’s 2018 Comedians to Watch, Towers’ hosted Verizon’s Go90 The Elite Daily Show for four
seasons, and is set to host and star in the feature presentation of Out On Stage. His short film, Killer
Friends, which her directed, wrote, and starred in, has been screened at various film festivals
domestically and internationally.
Erica Rhodes is a comedian and actor from Massachusetts now based in L.A. Rhodes has many acting credits, including ABC’s Modern Family, HBO’s Veep, FOX’s New Girl, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, and recurring role on TruTV’s Fameless, Rhodes was also a regular panelist on Comedy Central’s @midnight and FOX’s Punchline. Her stand-up TV appearances include SeeSo’s The Guest List, Hulu’s Coming to the Stage, and AXS’ Live at Gotham. As a semi-regular performer and writer on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion, Rhodes currently stars in Audible’s Dr. Katz: The Audio Files and ABC Digital’s The OffSeason.
Paris Sashay is a comedian, actor and producer from Washington, D.C. Sashay has opened for many notable comics, including Dick Gregory, Sampson McCormick, and Michael Che.
Usama Siddiquee is a stand-up comedian and actor based in New York. He recently made his stand-up television debut on BET’s 50 Central. Siddiquee’s humour has been featured on videos for major platforms including NBC, Buzzfeed, Refinery29, The Scene, Mic.com, FusionTV, and Huffington Post, and more. He has won many comedy competitions across the country, including the 2016 Laughing Devil Cup Comedy Festival in New York.
Daphnique Springs is a multi-talented actress, writer and comedian from Florida, currently based in Los Angeles. She has starred in an eclectic variety of roles on such shows as, CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live and BET’s The Comedy Get Down.
Nina Tarr is a stand-up, actor, and writer from Southern California. Recently playing the starring role on Verizon Go90 and Tumblr’s Like and Subscribe, Tarr also co-starred in the pilot for Starburns Industries’ Dope State. She had a recurring role on MTV’s High Crimes and starred as herself in their pilot, Flickerlab. Tarr has written many video shorts for Buzzfeed, and has starred in videos for Super Deluxe, Buzzfeed, IHEARTCOMIX and more.
Ron Taylor is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actor who hails from Detroit, currently living in Los
Angeles. Taylor has been featured on BET’s Apollo Live, FOX’s Laughs, and on the All Def-Digital
Network, where his videos regularly garner hundreds of thousands of views. Taylor performed at last summer’s Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal as part of Kevin Hart’s LOL Live showcase.
Jordan Temple is a New York born and raised stand-up comedian, writer and actor. He recently wrote for BET’s The Rundown with Robin Thede, following his role as a staff writer on Showtimes’ Smilf. Temple was one of TBS’ Comics to Watch in 2017, landing him his first televised stand-up performance on Conan later that year. Temple wrote and performed in his play, Hidden Fences, inspired by the viral mistakes made at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards that combined the two films, 20th Century Fox’s Hidden Figures and Paramount Pictures’ Fences. The play was recently covered in The New York Times and Time Out New York.
Jeremiah Watkins is a stand-up comic from Kansas, now based out of Los Angeles. Establishing himself as one of the most physical stand-up comedias in Los Angeles, Watkins has performed on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Comedy Central’s The Comedy Jam, Seeso’s What’s Your F@%king Deal?!, and in HBO’s Crashing. His most notable role is part of The Wave from Comedy Central’s Roast Battle. Watkins is half of the musical comedy super-duo Regan and Watkins, performing on Kill Tony. Watkins has performed at a number of festivals across North America, making his second
Just For Laughs Festival appearance this year.
The New Faces of Comedy showcases will take place at Salle Ludger-Duvernay at the Monument National on July 25, 2018 at 7:00 and 9:30 pm.
New Faces: Characters
Sheila Carrasco is a writer and performer from the South Side of Chicago. After attending both NYU and Harvard, she currently writes and performs every month with UCBTLA’s new Saturday night mega sketch team SQUADRON. She has also performed at the American Repertory Theatre, Steppenwolf Garage, Moscow Art Theatre, the Groundlings Sunday Company and is a member of IAMA Theatre Company. TV credits include CBS’ The Odd Couple, Life in Pieces, YouTube Red’s Me & My Grandma, ABC’s American Housewife, and CW’s Jane the Virgin. She is a creator for Más Mejor- Broadway Video’s premium comedy studio for Latino voices, and she recently wrote and performed in the 2018 CBS Diversity Showcase.
Chloe Fineman is an comedian and actress from San Francisco. She has an uncanny gift of embodying all the eccentric characters she comes across in life. Chloe’s television credits include ABC’s THE GONG SHOW WITH MIKE MYERS, AMAZON’s MOZART IN THE JUNGLE, FREEFORM’s GROWNISH and CW’s JANE THE VIRGIN. You can see Chloe live at UCB, Groundlings and comedy clubs across the country.
Katie Hartman is an actor, writer and comedian from San Diego. She most recently appeared in Adam Sandler’s Netflix film, The Week Of. Katie can also be seen on HBO’s High Maintenance, TV Land’s Younger and TBS’s Search Party. She is a staff writer on the truTV series, Paid Off with Michael Torpey, and was a regular correspondent and writer for Hearst Media’s Seriously.tv. Katie’s web series Made to Order was listed as one of “6 Brilliant Web Series” by Marie Claire and her sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting was hailed by Complex Magazine as “One of the Twenty-Five Funny People That Should Have Their Own TV Show.”
Michael Hartney is a writer, performer, director based in New York. A regular at the Upright Citizens
Brigade Theatre, he created roles of the Stanley and Mr. Williams in the original Broadway production of School of Rock The Musical where he also understudied the lead role Dewey. He served as a staff writer on TV Land’s late-night show Throwing Shade and co-created IFC’s digital sketch series Unique New York. Michael was one of 2016’s Comedy Central Comics to Watch and participated in this year’s NBC Late Night Writers Workshop. TV acting credits include The Break With Michelle Wolf, 30 Rock, and The Who Was Show.
Andrew Leeds is an actor and writer based in L.A. He has appeared on such shows as HBO’s Veep, HBO’s Silicon Valley, FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, FX’s American Horror Story, Showtime’s Shameless, and ABC’s Modern Family. He was seen in the feature film Office Christmas Party. He is currently a member of the main company at The Groundlings.
Matt Richards is an actor, comedian, and writer from New York, currently based in L.A. Matt has
performed on several thousands of shows all across the country and was a standout in the 2017 CBS Diversity Showcase. You can see Matt on CBS’ 2 Broke Girls, Nickelodeon’s School of Rock, as well as Disney’s KC Undercover and Bizaardvark. Matt is the VO host for the pop culture gameshow Trivial Takedown for FUSE, has written and produced for the past two seasons on TBS’ Jokers Wild Starring Snoop Dogg. He is currently the newest host of HQ Trivia’s weekly 9pmPT/ 12amET show.
Becky Robinson is a comedian Los Angeles based. Robinson has written for Comedy Central, Snoop Dogg and FunnyOrDie, where she became a fan favorite as the entertainment websites in-house character correspondent. She was a cast member on Season 8 of MTV’s Wild N’ Out with Nick Cannon and was recently in Kevin Hart’s series Writers Room. Her stand up and characters have been featured on MTV’s Acting Out, Hulu’s Coming to the Stage, ABC’s The Bachelor and the Wild N’ Out Stand Up Special.
Sarah Shook is an actor, writer and improviser from Chicago now based in Los Angeles. She is alumni of the Second City Main Stage in Chicago and has also performed at iO and the Annoyance. Shook is the co-creator of the sketch web series IT’S MEGAN, which was an official selection at the 2015 New York Television Festival. She can also be seen with her all female improv group FANNY at the iO theatre. She is originally from Baltimore, bakes pies and has two cats.
Sarah Smallwood Parsons is a comedian and performer from New York City. Currently a performer at the UCB Theater, you can catch her every month in Characters Welcome at UCBT East Village and her one-woman show The Many Lives Of Mickey at UCBT Hells Kitchen. Parsons is the creator and star of the series FUCKING, which takes place completely during sex, and was a resident Writer and Actor at Above Average, where she created the series Personal Business and co-hosted the daily news show We’ve Got Questions. She was head writer of the video team TOS Comedy and their public access show Terms of Service which aired every month on MNN and BRIC, and is a member of the improvised horror video team Three Weak Kids. Her work has been featured by Glamour, Elite Daily, Refinery 29, and a number of film and comedy festivals.
James III is an actor and writer from XXX. He’s currently a staff writer on TruTV’s Adam Ruins Everything. With his “Black Men Can’t Jump” comedy group, he is currently developing a series with IFC. With his Astronomy Club comedy group, James III is developing a sketch series with Comedy Central. He can be seen in episodes of NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, Law & Order: SVU, and TBS’s Tracy Morgan series The Last O.G. He has an active digital presence, guest starring in the go90 series Thanksgiving, and creating his own series for Seriously.TV, Projecting with his comedy group ‘Black Men Can’t Jump’. His work can also be seen on Funny Or Die, Fusion, and Above Average. You can catch him at UCB performing his own shows and with Astronomy Club, and he has performed with UCB’s Tour Co since 2014.
New Faces: Unrepped
LeClerc Andre is a stand-up comedian based in New York, originally from Maryland.
Vincent Bryant is a stand-up comedian based in Chicago. Originally from St. Louis, he will
make his television debut on the next season of Kevin Hart Presents: Hart of the City. Bryant has
performed in the NBCUniversal Breakout Festival and New York Comedy Festival.
Katie Hannigan is a stand-up comedian based in New York City. She’s appeared at numerous
comedy festivals and can be seen on various television programs on Seeso, The Travel Channel,
Oxygen Network, and MTV. She recently made her CBS network debut on The Late
Show with Stephen Colbert.
Joe McMahon is a stand-up comedian based in Chicago. McMahon has
become a mainstay at the Laugh Factory and a bonafide headlining act in Chicago.
Avery Moore is a stand-up comedian based in Austin. She’s toured with Louie Anderson, and
has appeared on PBS. She performed at comedy festivals including FunFunFun Fest, Sound on
Sound, the Orlando Indie Comedy Festival, Come and Take It, and the Moontower Comedy and
Ashton Womack is a stand-up comedian based in New York City. Womack started telling jokes
on stage at 16. Originally from Houston, Ashton won many city-wide comedy competitions and worked with some of the nation’s top acts at clubs all across the country.
David Rodriguez is a stand-up comedian from Santa Catalina Island, now based in Fort Collins,
CO. In 2015. Rodriguez burst onto the scene by winning Denver Comedy Works’ prestigious
New Faces Competition, then first place in the Stand-up Showdown at the Denver Improv.
Dusty Slay is a stand-up comedian based in Nashville. Recently featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!,
Slay made a career about his life growing up in a trailer. He has multiple albums “Son of a
Ditch” and “Makin’ That Fudge” that is a mix of childhood stories, his former work life and
observational comedy with a southern twist. In addition to Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he can be seen
on E!’s TMZ, Fox’s Laughs, and heard on The Bob and Tom Radio Show.
Dan Perlman is a stand-up comedian based in New York. Dan created and wrote an animated series, That’s My Bus!, which received a pilot order from FOX. As a writer-filmmaker, he has had four projects featured in the New York Television Festival, most recently the award-winning comedy series, Flatbush Misdemeanors, in which he co-stars and co-writes/directs. He has appeared on TruTV, MTV2, and as a cast member on MTV’s Vidiots. On radio, Dan was a writer for SiriusXM’s Bennington and Comedy Contributor for Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk Radio. Dan wrote for the 2017 WGA Awards, hosted by Lewis Black, and the 2018 WGA Awards, hosted by Amber Ruffin.
Amy Silverberg is a stand-up comedian based in Los Angeles. Silverberg co-hosts two monthly stand-up shows: “Wolf Den” and “Bitchface.” She will be appearing on Season 6 of Hulu’s Coming to the Stage, and was once a contestant on Wheel of Fortune (she didn’t win). Silverberg teaches Creative Writing at USC and writes short stories, one of which will be anthologized in Best American Short Stories 2018.
Caitlin Weierhauser is a stand-up comedian based in Portland, OR. She won Portland Helium
Comedy Club’s “Funniest Person” Competition and was voted “Favorite Comedian” in the
Willamette Week Readers Poll in 2017 when they placed in the Top 5 Funniest in 2016. She’s
performed in various comedy festivals, and soon, you can catch her in season 2 of Amazon
Prime’s The Benefits of Gusbandry.
New Faces: Unrepped will take place at Salle Ludger-Duvernay at the Monument National on July 26, 2018 at 9:30 pm.
New Faces: Creators
Abby Feldman crafts comedic solutions to today’s global issues on Netflix’s upcoming panel show, The Fix, starring Jimmy Carr, Katherine Ryan, and D.L Hughley. She also co-wrote and co-starred in the first-ever YouTube series to be picked up on Netflix, Gringolandia. Abby has written and performed in over 70 sketches, parody commercials, man-on-street pieces and desk segments as a correspondent on Redacted Tonight.
Anwar Jibawi has more than 3.1 million subscribers on YouTube and over 7 million followers on social media. In addition to writing, starring in, and editing all of his videos, he can be seen modeling for Dolce & Gabbana and partnering up with brands such as The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land, Axe, and Blue Apron.
Alan Wagner and art director Sydney Marquez create dark and surreal comedic videos, memes, and interactive experiences that blurs the line between reality and absurdity. The New York Post has said “The bizarre prank is, perhaps, the grandest project Wagner has worked on” and the BBC deemed their content as “everything you thought you knew about the world instantly turns to dust.”
Manon Lucy Mathews burst into the social media scene on Vine with over 1.6 billion loops. She has since gone on to partner with T-mobile, JBL, Master Card, McDonalds and Bud Light to create original content for the Super Bowl. Manon has starred in the film, Holiday Breakup, featured on Netflix, as well as made appearances on Comedy Central’s Broad City and the hit YouTubeRED series Single By 30.
Frankie Quiñones’s repertoire of characters, ranging from hippie woman named Sun Diamond, to
Juanita Carmelita, a spicy Latina diva on a budget, to Creeper, a Cholo who has changed his life
in a positive direction, have landed him on Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Funny Or Die, and
SeeSo. You can catch Frankie, these famous characters, and more on his new YouTube web
series The Funny Drop produced by Broadway Video and NBC Universal, as well as starring in the
upcoming TBS series, The Dress Up Gang.
Josh Ruben is a 5-time Webby award-winning actor, writer, and director best known for
appearing in and/or directing thousands of shorts for comedy mega-site, CollegeHumor. Josh
recently directed half of the Netflix action/comedy series, The Green Beret’s Guide To Surviving:
The Apocalypse, executive produced by Matt Damon & Peter Berg. He has also directed sketches
for The Late Late Show with James Corden, in addition to commercials for Geico, Comedy
Central, Lucky Charms, Michaels, The Bronx Zoo. His podcast, The Mindhouse, is on Jake & Amir’s HeadGum network. His other credits: Adam Devine’s House Party on Comedy Central, as the son
of Chris Elliott and Amy Sedaris in Go90’s Thanksgiving, and co-starring in the feature indie,
What Children Do, which was an official selection of the 2017 Cinequest Film Festival.
Molly Schreiber has created content for Funny or Die where she garnered over 1.5 million views, on top of Warner Brothers Records, McSweeney’s, and Circa Laughs. Molly can be seen in the films Daddy’s Home 2 and Netflix’s Happy Anniversary, as well as in shows like HBO’s Westworld, Comedy Central’s Workaholics, and ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Molly is currently developing a semi-autobiographical digital series, Heartbreak/Money, which was a 2018 Sundance/ YouTube Lab Semi-Finalist and a half-hour comedy about politics and family called Truth & Traci.
New Faces: Creators will take place in the Grand Salon Opera at the Hyatt Regency Montreal on July 26, 2018 at 12:30 pm.