15 FREE Just For Laughs shows you have to check out this year

Jun 28 2019, 7:35 pm

If laughter really is the best medicine then free laughter has got to be some sort of magic.

The Quartier des Spectacles has traded in Jazz Fest’s instruments for stand-up microphones as the city gears up to host Just for Laughs, the largest international comedy festival in the world.

Besides boasting an impressive lineup with the likes of Trevor Noah, Kevin Hart, Jim Jefferies, Wanda Sykes, Anthony Jeselnik, Jimmy Carr, Rachel Bloom, and so many more,  the 18-day festival also offers a slew of free outdoor shows.

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The free shows are all anchored at the Quartier des Spectacles.

Fusing free with funny, and the great outdoors, here are 15 stand-up shows you probably shouldn’t miss at this summer’s Just For Laughs festival.

*Cue iconic Just For Laughs theme song*

Soul Decision

Just For Laughs Free

Just For Laughs

The award-winning, high energy duo of Christian Smith and Kevin Vidal form “Soul Decision,” a comedy show that weaves a narrative while smoothly transitioning from scene to scene.

As the JFL website states, “they’ll make you want to dance, cry, and hopefully cry. Oh and they’ll make you laugh! Haha. Imagine if we didn’t?”

When: Wednesday, July 17
Time: 10 pm
Where: Loto-Quebec Stage

House of Laureen: Comedy Queens

Free Just For Laughs

Just For Laughs

The House of Laureen are coming out to bring audiences a taste of fabulous and a lot of funny. “Get ready to groove, as each queen (and king!) brings you something silly, stunning, or sensational,” according to the comedy festival’s website.

When: Thursday, July 18
Time: 10 pm
Where: Loto-Quebec Stage

Crystal Palace

Free Just For Laughs

Just For Laughs

Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race might be excited to check out drag queen Crystal Slippers in her new live comedy show.

Slippers is a “queen among queens” who uses her vast talents as an actress to bring characters and stories to life in ways that will blow your mind.

Crystal will be joined on stage by her incredible friends as they unite the greatest talents from the worlds of comedy, burlesque, drag, and music in the name of love, glamour, and entertainment.

When: Friday, July 19
Time: 10 pm
Where: Loto-Quebec Stage

Choir! Choir! Choir!

Free Just For Laughs

Just For Laughs

A community choir established in 2011, Toronto’s Choir! Choir! Choir! brings together an eclectic mix of baristas and suburban moms and dads for stirring, frequently viral performances.

Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman, the founders, take a non-traditional approach; there are no auditions, and the audience is the choir.

It’s interactive theatre like you’ve never seen before.

When: Saturday, July 20
Time: 10 pm
Where: Loto-Quebec Stage

Rachelle Elie: Lady Rash

Free Just For Laughs

Just For Laughs

Award-winning comedian, Rachelle Elie performs an hour of stand-up comedy. Her act fuses sex, drugs, and teenage boys while “she tackles it all with comedy magic and glitter.”

The Show Score from New York City claims, “Elie could easily have been the love child of Carol Burnett and Lenny Bruce.”

High praise.

When: Saturday, July 20
Time: 9 pm
Where: Scene Bell Zoofest Outdoor Stage

Figure It Out with Mike Carrozza

Free Just For Laughs

Mike Carrozza/Facebook

Figure It Out is part stand-up show, part late night chat as Montreal comedian Mike Carrozza injects his trademark silliness into his show, as he riffs with a variety of different guests.

When: Sunday, July 21
Time: 9 pm
Where: Scene Bell Zoofest Outdoor Stage

Rapp Battlez

Free Just For Laughs

Just For Laughs

Making their second consecutive appearance at Just For Laughs, Rapp Battlez is a high-energy, strobe-lighting, confetti-tossing comedy party show.

The party is MC’d by “the funniest brothers this side of Marx” as Miguel Rivas and Dex Vocab square off against each other, throwing down their best rhymes in the hopes of having the crowd crown them champions.

As per the Just For Laughs website, “Rapp Battlez is part WWE, part 8 Mile, and unlike any comedy event you’ve ever experienced.”

When: Tuesday, July 23
Time: 10 pm
Where: Loto-Quebec Stage

Weird Al Karaoke

Just For Laughs

Born out of Toronto, Weird Al Karaoke is a comedy show where comedians write and perform their own parodies of popular songs, over karaoke backing tracks, as a tribute to the great Weird Al Yankovich.

When: Monday, July 22
Time: 10 pm
Where: Loto-Quebec Stage

Jon Blair and Friends and Maybe One Enemy

Fresh from being named Best of the Fest at this year’s Montreal Sketchfest, solo sketch mastermind Jon Blair (The Sketchersons, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Rapp Battlez) hits the outdoor stage for an hour of absurd, irreverent sketch comedy.

When: Monday, July 22
Time: 10 pm
Where: Loto-Quebec Stage

Zach and Viggo: Thunderflop

Free Just For Laughs

Just For Laughs

Through a series of surreal and free-flowing vignettes, award-winning comics Zach Zucker and Viggo Venn, take stage on “an absurd trip through the deepest, darkest depths of stupidity.”

The show has been described as “a raunchy, chaotic, and full-on trainwreck” and almost always contains zero jokes.

Anti-comedy – very hot these days.

When: July 24 and 25
Time: 10 pm
Where: Loto-Quebec Stage

Healthy Living in Comedy

Free Just For Laughs

Just For Laughs

Montreal comics Lawrence Corber and Chris Venditto tackle “Healthy Living in Comedy” as it makes its return to the comedy fest for the second year in a row.

Labeled as “part food, part lifestyle, all hilarity,” the show is a realistic (and hilarious) take on what it’s like to be a stand-up comedy, especially on the diet and the liver.

When: Thursday, July 25
Time: 9 pm
Where: Scene Bell Zoofest Outdoor Stage

Ladies & Gentlemen

Free Just For Laughs

Just For Laughs

The Ladies & Gentlemen Comedy Show returns to OFF-JFL this summer with local comics Chris Sandiford (CBC’s Cavendish) and Daniel Carin (JFL’s Homegrown Competition) who team up for their award-winning comedy show that features their very best friends as special guests and maybe even a song or two.

“It’s stand-up. It’s sketch. It’s improv. It’s a beach party wrapped in a picnic basket and thrown onstage.”

When: Friday, July 26
Time: 9 pm
Where: Scene Bell Zoofest Outdoor Stage

Gayme Show

Free Just For Laughs

Just For Laughs

Gayme Show is, you guessed it, a game show and crash course in all things LGBTQ and fabulous.

Hosts Dave Mizzoni and Matt Rogers put two straight male comedians to the test in head to head challenges to uncover which of them will be named “Honorarily Gay as Fuck” and will reign as “Queen of the Straights.”

During the show, the straights are coached and critiqued by very special guests, a “Woman Who Gets It” and a “Wise Queer.” Gayme Show is spirited, competitive, and pop-culturally educational while also “being fun and frivolous as all hell.”

When: July 26 and 27
Time: 10 pm
Where: Loto-Quebec Stage

Craig Robinson & The Nasty Delicious

Just For Laughs

The Nasty Delicious formed in 2007, and has been rocking stages around North America with Craig Robinson of The Office and This Is The End fame.

Robinson fuses the musical genres of electric funk, Latin jazz, hard rock, soul, and obviously tosses in a few laughs.

When: Saturday, July 27
Time: 9:15 pm
Where: Scene La Capitale

Never Surrender: Still Kicking

Free Just For Laughs

Just For Laughs

Never Surrender, dubbed “The World’s Greatest Lip-Sync Band,” has been rocking audiences across Canada and the US for nearly 15 years and they’ll keep it going as they return to JFL for the fifth time.

Featuring comedians Tim Rabnett, Ryan Wilner, and Mike Paterson, your favourite pop/rock hits from the 80s and 90s are back with a jump-kicking vengeance.

Never Surrender urges guests to “come sync-along and try to figure out which of them is the stud, the patsy, and the golden retriever.”

When: Saturday, July 27
Time: 9 pm
Where: Scene Bell Zoofest Outdoor Stage