Why did Just For Laughs cross Canada?

By Jeff Kubik

What have the Quebecois ever done for us? Poutine? Too greasy. Celine Dion? Not greasy enough. The Just for Laughs Comedy Festival: just right.

On Oct. 20, a piece of Montreal will come to Calgary when the cross-country Just for Laughs Comedy Tour arrives at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Stop your immature giggling, you’ll need it later.

Hosted by Harland Williams–perhaps best known as the serial killer hitchhiker in There’s Something About Mary or the urine-swilling cop in Dumb and Dumber–this five-comic tour promises to bring the energy of the world famous comedy festival to 18 major cities in Canada and the United States.

“The festival is a kind of Mecca to most comedians and being part of the first touring show going across the country with stops in America; I think it’s something not to be missed. I’m proud to be on the show,” says Mike Wilmot, a Canadian comic whose “filthy” set closes each performance. Vive le filth!

The bill also includes Emo Phillips, a man voted responsible for three of the top 75 jokes of all time; Supergirly, an Australian musical parody duo; Brett Butt, winner of the “Best Male Stand-up” title at the 2001 Canadian comedy awards; and Ron White, a veteran of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour alongside Jeff Foxworthy. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of international comedic talent making with the funny.

Though this isn’t the first year that Just for Laughs has toured the country, this year will certainly be the largest.

“It’s the first of its kind,” says Wilmot. “They’ve done smaller tours, but this one’s going to be a monster.”

Like a boggling number of Canadian performers, Wilmot has chosen to live outside of Canada. He has enjoyed a great deal of success in Britain including the 2002 Time Out Award for “Best Stand-up” performer.

“My first Just for Laughs in 1994 made way for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and I fell in love with Britain. I’ve been going there ever since.”

The notoriously seductive British are obviously at work again.

Tickets are on sale at the Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts box office and at all Ticketmaster outlets.

“Come on out kids, spend your money,” offers Mike Wilmot.

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