Day: July 28, 2018

Highlights from Andy Kindler’s 2018 State of the Industry Address at Just For Laughs Montreal

Andy Kindler delivered his most sincere and focused State of the Industry Address in years at Just For Laughs in Montreal. Which, of course, is extra funny since the actual industry hasn’t felt sincere in a long time, could definitely use some focus, and Kindler joked that JFL might be ready for him to pass the torch, so to speak. “Trust me: Nobody wants this torch!” DeAnne Smith delivered a wonderful introduction that playfully roasted Kindler as well as the comedy biz. “I am the inside of a Hannah Gadsby babushka doll. That is exactly what this looks like....

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Howie Mandel on owning Just For Laughs: “I was chasing this”

Howie Mandel recently opened a comedy club bearing his name in Atlantic City, and he’s long been a mainstay judge on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. But Mandel’s heart has remained in his native Canada, so when Just For Laughs suddenly became a real-life Deal or No Deal for him, the comedian jumped at the opportunity. “I was chasing this,” Mandel told Ron Bennington in an interview for SiriusXM, “and I wanted to be part of it. My goal was to say: This is a brand. This is, when I grew up, what National Lampoon was to comedy. National Lampoon...

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Darren Knight’s Southern Momma hits a bump north of the border at Just For Laughs 2018

Can a white Tyler Perry make it in show business without the wigs, makeup or disguise? That’s not a rhetorical question in comedy, circa 2018. Three years ago, Darren Knight was broke in the sticks of Munford, Ala., not far from Talladega Speedway but far far away from show business. Then he started posting videos to his Facebook page as “Southern Momma.” Knight got representation only three months after his first open mic in 2016. Why? Because his Facebook following exploded. In just a couple of years, he has accumulated almost 2.5 million Facebook fans. He went from practically...

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