New this year at Just for Laughs is a parallel fest called Montreal’s Zoofest, which has been designed by Just for Laughs to showcase edgier, alternative and other up-and-coming artists. This alt-fest will include some club series that previously wereunder the Laughs umbrella, including New Faces of Comedy (one of the key series for talent scouts), the Flying Solo series and the Alternative Comedy Show. In addition, Zoofest will include an appearance by the Upright Citizens Brigade, who will be in town to present UCB Montreal.
Adam Sandler’s latest starring vehicle, “Funny People,” preems at the Just for Laughs Film Festival, which will also unspool Sundance hits “Humpday,” “World’s Greatest Dad” and “Paper Heart.”
The marquee galas at Just for Laughs will be hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, Martin Short, Lewis Black and John Cleese, with guests including Ross Noble, Jimmy Carr, Mark Watson, Danny Bhoy, Gina Yashere and Idiots of Ants.
Bill Cosby returns to the comedy fest for two perfs, while other live shows include Broken Lizard, Elon Gold and Louis CK. The fest’s Club series packages comics under themes including the Ethnic Heroes of Comedy and Late Nite Down Under, featuring top Oz and Kiwi comics.
The Just for Laughs Comedy Conference runs July 23-25 and features panels on creating comedy for TV, the Web, producing and adult animation, with speakers including “The Hangover” helmer Todd Phillips, FunnyOrDie.com’s Michael Farah and writer Jeremy Garelick (“The Break Up”) plus network comedy execs from the U.S. and Canada.