It’s a bittersweet, comedic tragedy that will take place at this year’s JFL42, and so we must begin our coverage of the 2013 edition of the festival by making the following statement:
While Toronto should assuredly be excited about the big headliners coming to town this year (Family Guy, Sarah Silverman, Aziz Ansari) – and comedy nerds should of course rejoice at Bill Burr’s first visit to town, and Marc Maron and Hannibal Burress, Colin Quinn, Maria Bamfod, Janeane Garofalo… the list goes on. While these are all fabulous shows, the most important thing you can do at this year’s festival… is go see 1, 2, 3 (but preferably all 4) of the Jo-Anna Downey Presents Fundraiser Shows. Recently diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) – Jo-anna has suffered a fate unimaginable by any comedian, she’s lost her voice. Literally. After 16 years of not just performing, but producing two of the most beloved comedy rooms in Toronto (that being Spirits Open Mic and Standing on the Danforth – both still running strong) our city, our country and stand-up comedy in general, has lost a legend. And she needs our help. All proceeds from these 4 amazing shows, from literally four of the greatest Canadian comedians (AKA greatest comedians) of all time, will go directly to the Jo-Anna Downey Fund to support this wonderful woman. May I present… the comedians. (As you can tell, Jo has excellent taste in comedy.)
“If you enjoy Canadian stand up comedy then you have Joanna Downey to thank because a very large portion of us have at one time or another worked out our act on her stage. She’s given so much to Toronto’s comedy scene and now is our chance to show her how much she’s appreciated.” – Nikki Payne
This lady needs no introduction, but here’s one anyways… she’s one of the funniest comedians on the planet. Period. Not just one of the funniest Canadians, or one of the best female comics, or one of the best dirty comics… she’s a living legend, and they don’t get much more consistently hilarious, fearless, and adorably loveable than Nikki Payne. Make your reservations here, this one’s gonna sell out quick.
Here’s another man that better not need an introduction in Toronto, but just for the record… Mike Wilmot is a comedic god, to be worshipped and revered as such by all mere mortals. He’s only been destroying crowds across the world for a few decades now, not to mention on the silver screen, perhaps most memorably as the profanity spewing manager in the cult comedy hit It’s All Gone Pete Tong. Why are you reading this still? Go reserve tickets before it’s sold out.
Well if you’re a fan of TooFar.TV then you know all about Rob Pue. I’ve called him the funniest comic in Canada on multiple occasions (with no disrespect to the other legends in this post.) I just can’t remember a time Rob Pue has said something into a microphone that didn’t cause me to have violent outbursts of uncontrollable, table slapping laughter (especially hard when you’re trying to film him hand-held.) He’s won the San Francisco Comedy Festival, which is about the hardest thing you can do in comedy, and he’s constantly writing new material that’s so good it makes you wonder why you even bother trying. Have you realized these are all linking to the same place yet?
Toronto favourite, and Jo-Anna’s own Cal Post will be opening for Rob.
“There are only a handful of people that have truly helped me over the years becoming the comic I am. One of the only reasons I am able to produce as much material as I have is due to Joanna working tirelessly on her open mikes to create a venue where comics can work new material for a crowd that appreciates comedy. When JFL asked me if i could do something for Joanna I said yes before I read what they wanted from me. On my show the great comic, and good friend of Joanna’s, Mark Walker will be opening for me.” – Darren Frost
*Please be advised that Darren Frost’s show contains strong language and explicit content*
But you already knew that if you’re here. Darren Frost has been our guy from day 1… literally. When I decided to start a website devoted to uncensored, brutally honest and socially critical stand-up comedy, there was only one question: When’s Darren Frost in town next? Perhaps the most prolific comedian in Canada, “Frosty” as he’s affectionately known in the stand up world, is ready to release yet another brand new DVD called Emotional Terrorism, being launched from the JFL42 Date of Sept. 25th. (Translation, get your ass down to the show and buy a DVD… or pick one up through his website, or one of his live tours.) He doesn’t bite, we promise. (Unless you heckle, then your head is fair game.) There’s a reason he’s TooFar co-founder Ricky Letovksy’s favourite comedian. You can catch Darren, along with his co-host Dave Martin, on Sirius XM Radio’s Anything Goes With Darren Frost and watch hours of his stand-up comedy here on TooFar.TV, our YouTube channel, or his own (which includes full, uncensored DVDs)