The team at Just for Laughs has announced its highly anticipated list of New Faces for 2016. Each year, a new class of young up and coming comedic talents are invited up to Montreal where they get the opportunity to see and be seen by important industry executives including agents, networks, developers and more. New Faces are chosen after an extensive nationwide search of young stand up and sketch talents and the honor can open many doors. They are chosen from a gigantic list of outstanding new talent- hundreds are worthy, only 21 were chosen. So many of last year’s 2015 New Faces are already getting big gigs and plenty of recognition- Vlad Camaano has a pilot in development with NBC, Jon Rudnitsky is an SNL featured player, John Early stars in a fantastic new series coming out in the fall, Chris Redd had a small but breakout role in Lonely Island’s Popstar, Emma Willman has a SiriusXM monthly show, Ian Abramson has a series with Comedy Central Digital, and Leonard Outzs feels like he’s already a star. With that in mind, we were excited to see who would be the New Faces class of 2016.
This year’s New Faces are a great group including some friends of ours and some comics we’ve been following and covering like Sarah Tollemache, Tim Dillon, Jacqueline Novak, Jo Firestone, Jordan Rock, Joel Kim Booster, Randy Syphax, David Gborie, Jenny Zigrino and Evan Williams, and some names that are newer to us like Ahamed Weinberg, Casey James Salengo, Chris Garcia, Dave Ross, Dino Archie, Josh Johnson, Jesus Trejo, Matt Donaher, Naomi Ekperigin, Matt Ingebretson and Robert Powell.
To get you up to speed on these great comics, Sarah Tollemache is an outstanding writer and performer with such a unique voice. We saw her perform at the New Faces callback show at The Stand in New York City and she became an instant favorite. We already knew and loved her from SiriusXM’s Benningtonshow, and because she’s engaged to another favorite New York Comic- Joe List. So we’re excited to see her be recognized at Just for Laughs. We caught Tim Dillon doing his JFL callback audition at the Creek in the Cave in NYC and let’s just say he brought the house down. Nobody who saw his set that night had any doubt that he would be one of the New Faces in Montreal this year. Jacqueline Novak has been a New York favorite for years, and just wrote her first book. Jo Firestone has been killing at festivals all over the place this year and is her name is always in the mix of people talking about the next wave of breakout comics. We saw her at Moontower and it was easy to see why everyone is talking about her. Plus Jon Glaser picked Jo as the comedian most likely to break out in 2016 on our end of year list. We just saw Joel Kim Booster perform in Chicago at two festivals this year including the Second City Breakout Festival and the Onion/AV Club fest, and we love him. Randy Syphax had a KILLER set on the Tonight Show this year and everyone’s been talking about it ever since. We saw David Gborie and Evan Williams at Carolines’ ‘New York’s Funniest’ contest last fall and we’re big fans of both, and Jordan Rock is constantly popping up in our Monday morning column and with good reason. The only question we have about his inclusion in New Faces is how it took so long? When we get back from Just for Laughs this year we’ll know a lot more about all of the New Faces, which means you will too.
Congratulations everyone, we can’t wait to see all of you up in Montreal this week at the New Faces Showcase on Wednesday July 27 at 7:00pm and 9:30pm. The shows are being hosted by Matt Braunger and Tone Bell.
Just for laughs is also bringing up 10 young performers in the New Faces: Characters category. These talents have excelled this year in sketch comedy and the lineup includes Alan Starzinski, Lily Sullivan, Ego Nwodim, Christine Bullen, Joanna Bradley, Colin O’Brien, Frank Garcia-Hejl, Natalie Palamides, Richie Moriarty and Nicole Sun. We’ll be checking out their comedy on Thursday at 7pm.
Finally, eleven unrepresented comics (no agent, no manager….yet….) will perform as part of the New Faces: Unrepped show on July 28th at 11pm. George Wallace will host this year’s unrepped new faces including Brendan Lynch, Casey Crawford, Danny Palumbo, Geoffrey Asmus, J.B. Ball, Ismael Loutfi, J.P. McDade, Janelle James, Molly Ruben-Long, Neko White and Raul Sanchez. As everyone knows, they won’t won’t be unrepped for long.
Congratulations to all!!
Tickets on sale at http://hahaha.com.
The Just For Laughs Festival runs from July 13 to August 1, 2016 in Montreal, Canada. Just For Laughs ComedyPRO runs from July 27-30, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Montreal, Canada.