Just for Laughs comedy fest kicks off

Judd Apatow wins comedy person of the year

MONTREAL — The Just for Laughs comedy fest kicked off its inaugural Just Comedy biz-to-biz confab on Thursday, with managers, agents, network honchos and other industry pros joining comic talent for two days of back-to-back activities.

Thursday’s kickoff events were punctuated by a keynote from Turner Entertainment Networks prexy Steve Koonin. Next up was a one-on-one between father-and-son filmmakers Ivan and Jason Reitman. The day’s activities closed with Variety‘s 10 Comics to Watch cocktail party, during which publication’s exec editor Steven Gaydos presented plaques to an emerging talent lineup.

Friday’s agenda, which included the “Women of Influence” panel, hosted by Variety chief marketing officer Madelyn Hammond, culminated with the presentation of the comedy person of the year trophy to Judd Apatow.

Seth Rogen, Craig Robinson and Bill Hader were among the “Apa-tites” on hand to roast and toast Apatow. The actors, who all star in the Apatow-produced “Pineapple Express,” also joined the filmmaker Saturday night at the Imperial Theater for a post-screening Q&A focused on the upcoming comedy.

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