Seven of Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch were on hand for the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal. The honorees were unveiled before such industry influencers as “Arrested Development” brain Mitch Hurwitz, Netflix chief Ted Sarandos and Improv partners Budd Friedman and Mark Lonow at the mostly-serious, Cohen and Gardner-sponsored cocktail on Thursday afternoon.
By contrast, Friday’s free-for-all-style panel gave chosen cut-ups Emily Heller, Nick Kocher, Mark Little, Brent Morin, Barry Rothbart, Spoken Reasons and Dan St. Germain a chance to crack jokes, while Variety editor Peter Debruge played traffic cop.
When Mr. Reasons sprung the trick question, “Sex or comedy?” on his fellow panelists, Heller didn’t miss a beat: “I think it’s pretty obvious that I made my choice.”
(PIctured, left to right: Mark Little, Barry Rothbart, Dan St. Germain, Emily Heller, Peter Debruge, Brent Morin, Spoken Reasons and Nick Kocher.)