The JFL42 Festival, presented in association with Air Canada, has announced that headliner Louis CK will be joined by Patton Oswalt, David Suzuki, Chris Hardwick & Nerdist Industries, Reggie Watts, Amy Schumer, Pete Holmes, Sam Simmons, Neal Brennan, Todd Barry, Ari Shaffir, Moshe Kasher, Kelly Carlin, Mark Little, DeAnne Smith, Kate Beaton, The Second City, Yuk Yuk’s, Comedy Bar, Skinjackin’, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and Toronto Poetry Slam at its inaugural event in Toronto from September 21-28, 2012.
An interactive, user-driven celebration of comedy, music, art, design, activism, technology and more, JFL42 is a uniquely malleable Festival featuring a smart phone-based pass system that allows users to decide the venue and frequency of shows based on their level of interest. The mandate of JFL42 is to share 42 of the most awesome, hilarious, innovative, riveting and relevant things in the world with Pass Holders — but when, where and how often they experience those things is entirely up to them and artist availability.
Buy a JFL42 Pass and it will be immediately accessible to the purchaser’s smart phone. The Pass basically works like an App, allowing users to view show schedules and reserve seats. There are two kinds of JFL42 passes: the $99 All-In Pass and the $149 All-In Pass. The only difference between the two is priority and flexibility.
- Priority: The $99 Pass gives users a guaranteed seat to see Louis CK. The $149 Pass gives users a guaranteed premium seat to see Louis CK.
- Access: JFL42 uses a “credits” system to make reservations. 1 credit = 1 show reservation. The second you attend a show, you get the credit you used to reserve your spot back, which you can then use to reserve your spot at the next show you want to see.
The $99 Pass gives users 4 credits. That means holders of this pass can reserve spots for themselves in up to 4 shows at the same time. The $149 Pass gives users 8 credits, meaning holders of that pass can reserve spots for themselves in up to 8 shows at the same time so they get a little more flexibility.
The following performers will join previously announced headlining performer Louis CK, who will perform on September 27 and 28:
A festival devoted to comedy and culture simply couldn’t be done without Patton Oswalt, who returns to Toronto this Fall to join JFL42’s inaugural lineup. His revelatory, heart-wrenching performance in Young Adult confirmed what was suspected after his breakout performance in Big Fan a few years ago: the dude can act. His latest album, Finest Hour, meanwhile, reinforced what was known: nobody blends the absurdities of pop culture with cutting, insightful social commentary into a funnier hour.
You must have a sense of humour when you’re trying to save the planet from the ravages of reckless, wilfully-ignorant industrialization. David Suzuki‘s tireless efforts to educate the world about the environments we share with millions of other species, how to care for them responsibly, and how to reverse the effects of climate change, are nothing short of heroic in the truest sense of the word. At JFL42, David will share his invaluable insights with a levity aimed at instilling a sense of joy, creativity and optimism to the notion of environmental responsibility.
Even though comedy’s just the beginning at JFL42, it’s also what the Festival knows best. With the comedic landscape changing, Toronto will be introduced to the voices leading the charge. The next Golden Age of Comedy is here — and it’s weirder, wilder and more wonderfully idiosyncratic than anything ever imagined:
If anyone understands nerdery, it’s Chris Hardwick. His Nerdist podcast, in which Hardwick and coconspirators Jonah Ray and Matt Mira take a loose, conversational approach to the movies, shows, music, comedy and games lovingly fetishized by a culture increasingly at ease with its nerdiness, have begotten the Nerdist Industries empire of podcasts, web series, and original online content, in addition to making Hardwick one of the USA’s top touring comedians.
Reggie Watts blurs the line between stand-up and performance art with his ethereal mix of the irreverent musicality, free-associative silliness and multiple comedic personae distilled into improvised, stream-of-consciousness jams. Currently the house band on IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, Watts is perhaps best described as a comedy alchemist, in the sense that he inspires uproarious fits of laughter in people, even if they’re not quite sure why.
Amy Schumer eviscerates the gender expectations of comedy with the fearless, intelligent, and confrontational style that made her the breakout star of last year’s Charlie Sheen roast, and established her one of stand-up’s most dynamic voices.
Pete Holmes riffs, rips, and gets ripped by his pals — comedy’s New Establishment — on his You Made It Weird podcast with a wit, warmth and unbridled joy that has us constantly looking over our shoulder for a bouncer, because we feel like interlopers in the best green room ever.
Aussie storyteller Sam Simmons channels Willy Wonka with his madcap comedic journeys fuelled by sardonic whimsy, confident vulnerability and an uncanny resemblance to the Super Mario Brothers.
Neal Brennan is changing the career trajectory of comedians by re-inventing himself as a stand-up after creating a TV series. The fact that the TV series in question was Chappelle’s Show, one of the bravest, most-groundbreaking sketch comedy shows ever made, only makes it that much more impressive.
Todd Barry is, 20 years later, still the comedian who makes other comedians laugh the hardest — not to mention the only guy in the world who can get away with telling Louis CK he’s not funny.
Ari Shaffir, whose Amazing Racist web series brilliantly confronts the illusions and delusions of ‘postracism’ America, is a gritty, crass, acerbic comedian performing at JFL42 in conjunction with the Dark Comedy Festival.
Moshe Kasher, whose comedy evokes the spirit of Bill Hicks and Woody Allen in skinny jeans and hornrimmed glasses, couches scathing, insightful social criticism into his deeply personal, neurotically existential musings. His book, Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16 makes Holden Caulfield look like a trust-fund baby with a case of the Mondays.
Kelly Carlin is continuing her father George’s legacy in a voice that’s distinctly and undeniably her own, while proving that forthrightness really does run in the family.
Closer to home, the innovative, cutting-edge Canadian sketch comedy pioneered by SCTV and advanced by Kids In The Hall has evolved yet again thanks to Mark Little, whose troupe Picnicface, and new web series Dad Drives are among the most inventive and original creations this country’s ever produced.
The lovely and talented DeAnne Smith is legitimizing Canadian alt-comedy on a global scale with her hyper-intelligent, absurdist flights of imagination. Because really, how do you not fall instantly in love with adorable nerd-girls who play the ukulele?
A trio of seminal Toronto comedy clubs will take centre stage at JFL42, serving as “performers” unto themselves by presenting shows independent of the ones being announced today, that reflect the distinct personality of each venue. Pass holders will be able to reserve seats at these shows as they would to any other at the Festival.
The Second City is responsible for producing some of the most beloved and influential comedic talent of the past half-century, including Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, John Candy, Martin Short, and Mike Myers, to name but a very select few. But rather than rest on its laurels, Second City continues to push improvisational and sketch comedy to new, interesting places, and by extension continuing the tradition set forth by its trailblazing alumni.
Yuk Yuk’s comedy club has produced some of Canada’s greatest contributions to the stand-up comedy, including Jim Carrey, Howie Mandel, Norm MacDonald, and Russell Peters. After 35 years, Yuk Yuk’s still provides emerging comedians with the national exposure and steady paycheque they need to further hone their craft.
Comedy Bar, a unique venue created by comedians for comedians, builds upon the traditions of its forbearers by providing a place where Canada’s most talented, influential, and cutting-edge comedic talent can incubate and collaborate on new shows, formats, and genres that will shape the very the future of comedy, both in our country and around the world.
In addition to comedy, the lifeblood of the Festival, JFL42 will introduce audiences to inspiring, creative, authentic, and whimsical offerings aimed at connecting them to their most visceral, childlike feelings of wonder and amazement:
Kate Beaton‘s Hark! A Vagrant web comic reminds us of everything we loved about coloring and doodling in notebooks when we were kids. The fact that she manages to infuse her work with a literary sensibility that’s never pretentious and always intellectually stimulating only makes anyone want to go back in time, enrol at whatever elementary school Kate went to, and invite her over after class to “do art.”
Skinjackin’ is a body art collective that replaces the harsh permanence of ink with the vibrant fluidity of paint to turn the human body into capricious works of ever-changeable art. Skinjackin’s events serve as collective expressions of the Id, inspiring its newly-painted human canvases to break out in spontaneous outbursts of dance, song, naked eating and whatever other passing whim they might pluck out of the ether.
The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art also manages to embody the childlike spirit of making art feel vivid, accessible and fun while simultaneously presenting works that engage and address challenging issues and relevant social themes. To that end, MOCCA’s featured artist during JFL42, Jamelie Hassan, will present works that focus on issues of cultural and personal identity, exclusion, displacement, language and communication influenced by her activist politics, cultural heritage as a Canadian born to Arabic parents, and her extensive travels, as expressed through the pulsating colour schemes of her lush paintings and imaginative installations.
And finally, the Toronto Poetry Slam eschews the trite affectedness of traditional poetry readings to deliver passionate expressions of honest ideas and genuine feelings with a rock ‘n roll sensibility, in what TPS describes as “the democratization of art and truth.”