The Montreal Just for Laughs Festival has announced a lineup of comedians, including Wayne Brady, Denis Leary, Joan Rivers, Howie Mandel and Kevin Pollak, for the event’s 20th-anniversary edition July 11-21.
Also skedded is “Simpsons — In the Flesh!” a live stage show of the hit Fox toon series. Hosted by skein’s exec producer, Matt Groening, the presentation features cast members Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Tress MacNeille and Pamela Hayden reading 30 voices.
Spalding Gray will be one of the prime headliners at “Reading It! An Evening of Literary Comedy,” a slate of comedy writers reading from their scripted works. Marc McKinney from “Kids in the Hall” will perform more than 40 characters in “Fully Committed,” a one-man show about an out-of-work actor working as the reservation operator at a New York restaurant.
Two U.S. Comedy Arts Fest events from this past winter also will play the Canadian fest; Janeane Garofalo’s standup set and a tribute to Bill Hicks.
Industryites have favored the Montreal laff fest over the years because of its proximity to the TV comedy development season.
Last year, festival entries that found life past the fest were standup comedian Dean Edwards, who snared a feature role on “Saturday Night Live,” and stage show “Puppetry of the Penis” which has had a successful run Off Broadway.