Bruce’s Best Bets

Just For Laughs CEO Bruce Hills picks five shows

Just For Laughs CEO Bruce Hills has guided North America’s most important comedy festival’s expansion for twenty-five years. In a recent conversation, Bruce shared some of his Best Bets among the many upcoming performances during the festival that was instrumental in launching the careers of Jimmy Fallon, Kevin James, Dave Chappelle and Kevin Hart. Many years ago, Jerry Seinfeld and Tim Taylor (Home Improvement) captured the interest of television talent hunters at Montreal’s Just For Laughs.

“Gad Elmaleh is a huge star in French comedy, having sold millions of tickets and performing in concert halls and arenas, including a seven week run at the Olympia in Paris. He has successfully been able to cross over to perform in English, having translated his show Oh My Gad.” Elmaleh is often referred to the Jerry Seinfeld of French comedy. “He’ll be performing at the intimate Theatre Gesu on July 25, 26 and 27; and it’s a wonderful chance for Montrealers to catch someone who is already a mega-star in a small theatre.”

“My good friend Jimmy Carr will also be appearing at the Gesu. He was one of the first comedians to sign with Netflix, which released his show worldwide in March. Again, this is another chance to see a big-name act in a small venue.” Jimmy Carr will perform on July 25, 26, 27 and 30 at the Gesu, and July 28 at the nearby Ludger-Duvernay Theatre in Monument-National.

“Julia Louis-Drefus has won four consecutive Emmy Awards for her role as Selina Meyer, Vice President at President of the United States in VEEP on HBO. She will be joining other cast members and the show runner David Mandel for An Evening with the Cast of Veep. They don’t do this very often, and it’s going to be a special night.” The show will take place at Maison Symphonique on July 27.

“With all the political activity that’s going on in the US, Lewis Black has tons of material to work with! Dubbed the King Of Rant, he takes on the political establishment in his no-holds-barred satirical performances.” Lewis Black will bring The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Naked Truth Tour.” to Theatre Maisonneuve on July 27.

“Rashid Badouri is hosting our Ethnic Show series at Club Soda. He’s sold a million tickets to French-speaking audiences, and his cross-over into English is already a huge success; audiences love him.” The son of Moroccan-born parents living in Laval, the fluently bilingual Badouri is a perfectly cast as the host of The Ethnic Show. The Ethnic Show series runs from July 8 – 19.

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