Vancouver comics dominate at Just For Laughs

Dec 20 2017, 12:32 am

Vancouver comics swept the Just For Laughs Homegrown Comic Competition on Friday, July 24 in Montreal, with locals Sean Emeny and Chris James finishing first and second in the annual festival showcase.

“Performing at Just For Laughs was a crazy experience and overwhelming a bit,” James told Vancity Buzz. “Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve dreamed of performing on David Letterman or at Just For Laughs. It was a lot of fun.”

It was the first trip to Just For Laughs for James, who got his start in comedy with Emeny in Vancouver in 2009. Emeny now calls Toronto home.

“Sean is a really great friend of mine, so it was cool to hang out with him at Just For Laughs,” James said. “We talked before Homegrown and neither of us cared who won, as long as it was one of us. So when we came first and second, it was really cool.”

Sean Emeny. Photo: Just for Laughs.

Sean Emeny. Photo: Just for Laughs.

Just for Laughs is a comedy festival held each July in Montreal. Founded in 1983, it is the largest international comedy festival in the world. Other Vancouver comics performing at Just For Laughs this year are John Cullen and duo Peter n’ Chris.

As well as winning second place in the Homegrown Comic Competition, the highlight for Chris at the festival was meeting comedy legends like Dave Chappelle, Aziz Ansari and Louis C.K.

“It was really cool meeting Louis at the Midnight Surprise show at Theatre De St Catherine,” James said. “He just hung out, laughed and talked with people in the green room. And then he went onstage and killed so hard. It was ridiculous.”

Chris James headlines the Comedy Mix July 30 to August 1 and hosts The Talk Showcase at Little Mountain Gallery on August 22. For more information visit


Written by Daniel Chai for Vancity Buzz. Connect with Daniel on Twitter @iamdanielchai.

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