The New Faces shows are one of the cornerstones of the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. After an intensive year long search hearing from the best and the brightest young comedians all over the country, the Just for Laughs team presents their picks of the most promising young talent, and industry from all corners of comedy come out to see them perform. It’s an exciting night because it’s a chance to be seen by career makers. All of the comics are incredibly talented and the Theater at Monument National packs out with comedy’s most hardcore fans, and hopeful managers and agents, and scouts looking to find the next great comedy star.
There are two shows, and two different groups of comedians who will take the stage. Canadian favorite Sugar Sammy hosted the first show. His French is flawless and works it into his set without alienating people who don’t speak French. He addressed all the industry “leeches” and key differences between Europe and America, which seemed to mainly come down to food. But enough about Sammy- on to the kids…
New York comedy favorite Jared Fried started off the night- the toughest spot of the night- with a bit of an old school vibe to him and some great material. He recently lost 15 pounds and credits his gay trainer for it. Apparently, they make the best trainers. Taylor Tomlinson who you might remember from Last Comic Standing, undoubtedly had the set of the night. She brought the god damn heat talking about her difficult childhood with a rock n roll attitude as well as a sly darkness. Another high point of the show went to Preacher Lawson– who we saw kill in New York at his audition call back at The Stand. Another New York favorite Blair Socci stood out as well- she’s bizarre, unique and quirky, but in the best way possible. Yedoye Travis‘ bit on reverse racism was hilarious, and we just loved Rae Sonni‘s energy talking as she described herself as a Negress. Martin Urbano has a bit of a Ray Romano joke and destroyed with a hilarious pedophile bit. The first show was excellent, with no bad sets. Charles Gould‘s neurotic nature and social media break up skills won over the crowd. Danny Jolles had a great bro bit, and J Arthur Guzman turns out to have a great singing voice and reminded us a bit of Demitri Martin.
Dan Soder hosted show two which absolutely delivered some incredible talent. Christi Ciello, an IBang favorite, brought the heat with her unique voice and delivery. Calvin Evans delivered a great set, and maybe was the only comedian to take on Trump that night. But the standout set of the second show goes to Boston’s own Sam Jay who will be the comic everyone will be talking about throughout the festival and beyond this year. She is a lesbian who has been married for 2 years and hopes to get divorced some day. She had the crowd in stitches. James Austin Johnson is a redhead with a killer Louis C.K impression, he also had great musical bits. Sal Giorgio who is a proud gay man, so proud in fact he’s sure he got AIDS from scratch, he was great. Also great material from Dave Thomason whose Uber bit killed, and Jake Norwin looked like a Jewish Harry Potter and hilariously addressed that fact. Ronny Yousef addressed the elephant in the room, his religion and cousin fucking, Jonathan Morvey was witty and effeminate but straight and poked fun about it. Michael Lenoci was highly logical about his sexual frustrations and had great observational material in general, and Norm Nixon Sr. had a bit about pop locking and the evolution of dance that killed.
Congratulations to all of the New Faces, but especially the unforgettable Sam Jay and Taylor Tomlinson. There were some grumblings on social media this year about the light representation of women on the New Faces list, but the ladies were the standouts this year. We’re excited to see all of these young comics continue to develop and hope to see them back next year.
If you missed the chance to see the New Faces comics perform last night and want to catch them in action, you can still catch the New Faces OFF-JFL shows at the Catacombs on Friday night, and tonight the Unrepped New Faces get the chance to show off what they can do at Monument National. Go to hahaha.com for details