Michael Che (and friends) Challenge Montreal: Announce a New Festival to Rival Just for Laughs

If you were planning to head North this July to attend the worlds biggest stand up comedy festival in Montreal, you might want to wait just a bit before committing to the trip, because Michael Che made an announcement today on Instagram Stories that could shake things up.

On Tuesday Che announced that he will be part of a committee that creates a brand new festival this summer, one that will compete with and take on the “industry-centric” Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal.

Che’s announcement and planned fest seems to be aimed directly against Just For Laughs, intentionally going up against the mammoth festival during the same week. “I’m planning a festival the same week of JFL right in new york city,” Che wrote, “to give truly funny comics a shot without the politics of “industry” favors. Later in the announce Che promises that nobody will have to audition or submit links or tapes, jump through hoops or worry about “auditioning 5 times so we can feel all mighty”, obviously referring to the auditions young comics go through hoping to be selected for the Just for Laughs New Faces series- a process which can include multiple auditions that ends in heartbreak for many.

The festival will be run by a committee (no word yet who is on the committee other than the news that Colin (Jost?) isn’t part of the plan.  Che calls himself the minister of information.

He’s not the first to try to shake things up in the festival world- New York is already home to another festival by comedians for comedians aimed at being “un-industry”.  Skankfest takes place in the Summer, but doesn’t take place during JFL, so nobody has to make a choice between attending one or the other. Skankfest is run by Luis J. Gomez, Christine Marie Evans, Rebecca Trent, Big Jay Oakerson and Dave Smith.

Che refers to the festival as “BFL” which he says is best, and will pay tribute to bird lugers swag, referring to Kevin Barnett who passed away while vacationing in Mexico last week. “If the past year has taught me anything, its that this shit can be taken away in a blink, for good reason, or no reason, so why not have some fun while we’re here.”

Che also paid homage to Barnett this past Saturday while signing off Weekend Update. “For Weekend Update, I’m Bird Luger,” he said.

Those interested in doing the BFL fest, should start killing now, because they’re looking for “in the streets heat.”

More to come.


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