Taste in comedy is very subjective as such what one person likes is not necessarily going to be liked by everyone. Like most festival in this year's Just For Laughs comedy festival there were some highs and there were some lows. What has to be remembered is that there were many more highs than lows. Some people come to this festival and get discovered then blow up or get their own comedy series. Some comedians crash and burn. That is the beauty of stand-up comedy; it is a great risk and it is all done without the safety of a net.
The intelligent wit of Eddie Izzard, the zaniness of Zach Galifianakis, the wherever his brain roamed set of Billy Connolly, and the downright cuteness of Danny Bhoy wowed their audiences. Whereas William Shatner, Joe Matarese, Greg Fitzsimmons, and Glenn Wool all left with darker memories. Ah, comedy crowds they love you one night and hate you the next.
Once again this year some of the smaller shows rather than the galas provided some of the better moments of the festival. Comedians from the other side of the Atlantic showed their strength in numbers. At O'Comics the Irish demonstrated that they could use their gift of the gab to make us laugh and at Britcom the use of dry wit was done in its full glory.
As a item of pride the Canadian comedians really represented themselves well this year. I just would like to mention that William Shatner is not a comedian and Howie Mandel made the most of a mess. Steve Patterson, Sean Cullen, Russell Peters, and those crazy guys from Kids in the Hall made us proud. So much so that I hope next year we have a theme night of Canadian talent and what happened to the Montreal show?
One thing that was missing at this year's festival was estrogen. Where my ladies at? Are we considered no longer funny? I seriously doubt that when people like Tina Fey and Sarah Silverman are hits. C'mon, Just For Laughs people, we want Kathleen Madigan back and how about some Margaret Cho, the above-mentioned Silverman, the hilarious Wanda Sykes, and let's even give Janeane Garafalo another shot at it. Just my two cents worth.
Next year's festival is something to look forward to because each year is so unpredictable that you just never know. It is fun to come out and discover someone you had never heard of before. Each year at Just For Laughs there is that potential.