Director steals spotlight at annual comedy fest

Montreal’s Just for Laughs comedy festival turned into a kind of “Just for Judd” event Friday, with laughter maven Judd Apatow honored with the “Comedy Person of the Year” trophy at a late-afternoon just-for-industry roast, then headlining a live midnight show at the Metropolis club in front of a sell-out crowd of 1,075.

A premiere screening of the Apatow-produced “Pineapple Express” unspooled in front of a packed Imperial Theatre on Saturday evening.

“I have a lot of money because of you, which is nice,” quipped comic actor Seth Rogen (“Knocked Up,” “Pineapple Express”), one of a number of Apatow-movie denizens who were on hand Friday at Montreal’s Hyatt Regency Hotel to toast and roast Apatow after he received his trophy from Just for Laughs fest topper Bruce Hills.

Roasters at the event also included Apatow producing partner Evan Goldberg, and actor/comedians Bill Hader and Craig Robinson (“The Office”). The latter headlined at the piano a short tongue-in-cheek music-vid tribute that parodied the iconic soundtrack from “Shaft” (“Who’s the man with the Midas touch who uses dick jokes as a crutch?… Judd!”

Later that night at Metropolis, Apatow’s 10-minute marriage-and-family-themed stand-up set kicked off “Apatow for Destruction,” a two-hour live show that also featured short sets from Rogen, Hader, Robinson, as well as Brit import Russell Brand (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”). The high-energy Brand’s night-capping perf came after he had earlier in the night produced what was perhaps the festival’s most buzz-worthy performance with a sold-out headliner gig at the nearby Centaur Theatre.

The 26th edition of Just for Laughs in Montreal closes Sunday

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