JUST FOR LAUGHS UNVEILS ITS NEW FACES OF 2018
Today, Just For Laughs, in partnership with Amazon’s Prime Video, revealed the 2018 lineup of Just For Laughs New Faces, a series conceived to launch the careers of tomorrow’s top comedic talent. The pinnacle series, fueled by fresh-faced comics set to break the future of comedy’s glass ceiling, has been a Just For Laughs Festival highlight since 1996. With four distinct showcases – New Faces of Comedy, New Faces: Characters, New Faces: Unrepped, and New Faces: Creators, this series promises to introduce the world to the next group of comedic brilliance.
Just For Laughs and Main Event Media recently announced that Amazon has greenlit a six-episode untitled docuseries, exclusively for Prime Video, that will follow up-and-coming comedians in New York and Los Angeles as they go through the annual process of being selected for the New Faces showcase, beginning with the auditions and callbacks, through selection, and into the preparation of their comedy sets. Viewers will receive unprecedented behind-the-scenes access as the cameras will be with the comics every step of the way as they write and hone the jokes that they hope will impress the talent scouts, producers, and managers who attend Just For Laughs in Montreal each July.
The series was developed by Emmy-winning producer Jimmy Fox (United Shades of America) who will executive produce under his Main Event Media banner in conjunction with All3Media America. Neil Berkeley (Gilbert, Harmontown), Star Price (Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, Active Shooter: America Under Fire), Bruce Hills (Funny As Hell, Hilarity for Charity, Craig Ferguson: Tickle Fight), Just For Laughs Media and Main Event Media will also executive produce.
Just For Laughs New Faces is responsible for propelling the careers of many world-renowned artists, including: Jimmy Fallon (1996), Gabriel Iglesias (1999), Kevin Hart (2001), Hannibal Buress (2006), Amy Schumer (2007), Chris D’Elia (2009), Jerrod Carmichael (2011), Ali Wong (2011), The Lucas Brothers (2012), Pete Davidson (2013) and Michelle Wolf (2014).
Congratulations to this year’s New Faces, a group that includes Rosebud Baker, Emmy Blotnick, Joel Boyd, JC Currais, Rocky Dale Davis, Robert Dean, Kenny DeForest, Kellen Erskine, Jourdain Fisher, Simon Gibson, Mekki Leeper, Zach Noe Towers, Erica Rhodes, Paris Sashay, Usama Siddiquee, Daphinique Springs, Nina Tarr, Ron Taylor, Jordan Temple, and Jeremiah Watkins.
Just for Laughs also recognizes a crop of young comics who don’t yet have representation every year with New Faces: Unrepped and this year’s list is terrific. LeClerc Andre, Vincent Bryant, Katie Hannigan, Joe McMahon, Avery Moore, Dan Perlman, David Rodriguez, Amy Silverberg, Dusty Slay, Caitlin Weierhauser, Ashton Womack.
Last year’s New Faces are already some of your favorite comedians around the country. Sam Jay and Taylor Tomlinson were new faces last year and this year they’re back at Just for Laugh’s on Variety’s Top 10 Comics to Watch List, a recognition that shows tremendous accomplishment as a young comic. Preacher Lawson was a new face last year and now he’s a familiar name throughout the country, and Christi Chiello has become a name everyone knows.
This year Montreal managed to surprise us with a bunch of names that are new to us, but we’ve been following and fans of a bunch of these young comics, like Dan Perlman, whose career we have been following for years, and has already been recognized for his skills as a creator, and writer, and his incredible series Flatbush Misdemeanors and now is getting love for his stand up. Ashton Womack we spotted at an open mic at The Stand and soon after heard him on SiriusXM’s Bennington Show and he is a name everyone is going to know. We saw Katie Hannigan at the New York Comedy Festival, and she’s so unique original and fresh, and we’re excited that her skills are going to be seen on a bigger stage this year. Jordan Temple created a comedic play Hidden Fences that got him noticed, and we’ve watched Jourdain Fisher absolutely killing it at The Stand in New York. We first checked out (and loved!) Rosebud Baker when she won New York Comedy Club’s New York Comedy Competition, and Emmy Blotnick is someone who is overdue for the honor, with a powerful writing resume, a killer set on Colbert, and she is a true crowd favorite every night at The Cellar in New York. Kenny DeForest who took over cohosting and producing Comedy at the Knitting Factory, after being selected by and taking over for Hannibal Burress. And Jeremiah Watkins you know from The Goddamn Comedy Jam, and he is one third of Roast Battle’s “Wave”, and we’ve watched him on Big Jay Oakerson’s WYFD at every festival this year, Stand Up on the Spot, and he’s one of the funniest and hardest working comedians in the country today. We’re so excited for all this year’s New Faces and can’t wait to watch them show off for the giant audience at Monument National this year.
The best part of New Faces is that so many of the performers are new even to us, and we can’t wait to see them take the stage especially the LA comedians who we don’t get a chance to see as much as we’d like to. Like Joel Boyd, out of Milwaukee’s growing scen who is one of the original members of the Chicago comedy collective the Martin Luther Kings of Comedy. JC Currais, a comedian actor, and writer from Miami and was selected as one of the Comics to Watch at the NY Comedy Festival. Rocky Dale Davis, a stand-up comedian from Brookwood, Alabama now based in Las Vegas most recently selected by Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco as a Comic To Watch at the New York Comedy Festival. Robert Dean who you’ve seen on AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live and was named one of Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch at the 2014 New York Comedy Festival. Kellen Erskine is a Los Angeles-based comedian who just made his late-night debut on TBS’ Conan, and was on the seventh season of NBC’s America’s Got Talent as well as being selected as one of TBS’ Top Ten Comics to Watch in 2017. Simon Gibson is a stand-up comedian and performer originally from Portland, currently residing in Los Angeles, and he was one of Riot L.A. 2017’s Comics to Watch. Philly comedian Mekki Leeper was recently named one of the 2018 Comedy Central Up Next Comics to Watch, and he has written for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner hosted by Hasan Minhaj. Zach Noe Towers was just named one of Time Out Magazine’s 2018 Comedians to Watch. And we’ve been hearing about Erica Rhodes for a long time- the comedian and actor from Massachusetts now based in L.A. has seen all over television, and stand-up TV including SeeSo’s The Guest List, Hulu’s Coming to the Stage, and AXS’ Live at Gotham. She’s also been a semi-regular performer and writer on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion. Paris Sashay is a comedian, actor and producer from Washington, D.C. and we’re hearing that audiences across the country fall in love with her storytelling, her infectious laugh, wit, and style. New York comedian Usama Siddiquee recently made his stand-up television debut on BET’s 50 Central and he has won many comedy competitions across the country, including the 2016 Laughing Devil Cup Comedy Festival in New York. Daphnique Springs is a multi-talented actress, writer and comedian from Florida, currently based in Los Angeles known for her wide range of intriguing characters on stage and screen. And Nina Tarr has written many video shorts for Buzzfeed, and has starred in videos for Super Deluxe, Buzzfeed, IHEARTCOMIX and more. And finally Ron Taylor, who was featured in Kevin Hart’s LOL last year at JFL, and we’re hearing his videos are getting hundreds of thousands of views on the All Def Digital Network.
The New Faces of Comedy showcases will take place at Salle Ludger-Duvernay at the Monument National on July 25, 2018 at 7:00 and 9:30 pm.
New Faces: Unrepped will take place at Salle Ludger-Duvernay at the Monument National on July 26, 2018 at 9:30 pm.
New Faces expanded in recent years to also represent those proficient in sketch, with New Faces Characters, as well as a group of New Faces: Creators who are developing shows, films, shorts, television and video.
The 2018 names chosen as the JFL New Faces: Characters include Sheila Carrasco, Chloe Fineman, Katie Hartman, Michael Hartney, Andrew Leeds, Matt Richards, Becky Robinson, Sarah Shook, Sarah Smallwood Parsons, and James III.
This year’s New Faces: Creators are Abby Feldman, Anwar Jibawi, Sydney Marquez and Alan Wagner, Manon Mathews, Frankie Quiñones, Josh Ruben, Molly Schreiber.
New Faces: Characters will take place at Salle Ludger-Duvernay at the Monument National on July 26, 2018 at 7:00 pm, and New Faces: Creators will take place in the Grand Salon Opera at the Hyatt Regency Montreal on July 26, 2018 at 12:30 pm.
Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival runs from July 11-29, 2018 in Montréal, Canada.
More to come!