Vancouver’s Comedy Festival “JFL NorthWest” Returns March 1-10, 2018

Debuts New Initiative – “Vancouver Just For Laughs Film Festival”

Tickets on Sale Friday, December 8 at 10:00am at

(Vancouver, BC) – Vancouver’s comedy festival, JFL NorthWest, presented in association with SiriusXM, returns for a third year of hilarity from Thursday, March 1st to Saturday, March 10th, 2018 at multiple venues across Vancouver, including the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vogue Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse, Rio Theatre, Biltmore Cabaret, ANNEX Theatre, Fox Cabaret, The Comedy Mix, and Yuk Yuk’s. Single tickets and the new 3-Show Pass will go on sale Friday, December 8 at 10:00am PST at

In addition, this year’s JFL NorthWest introduces Vancouver to a new comedy film festival. The first edition of the “Vancouver Just For Laughs Film Festival” will also take place March 1-10. Programming for this new initiative will include exciting short and feature film screenings, premieres, riveting industry speakers, panels, and more. The search is on for the best and funniest short and feature films from around the globe to showcase at the inaugural edition. Filmmakers can submit their films to one or more of the following categories: Comedy Short Shorts, World-Wide Shorts, and Feature This! Submissions are now open and details can be found at

Announced today, the 2018 JFL NorthWest lineup includes:








JFL NorthWest, presented in association with SiriusXM, is also thrilled to highlight the best in local talent with the “Best of the West Series” featuring:





Bill Burr – Thursday, March 8 | Queen Elizabeth Theatre | 7:00pm & 9:30pm

An American comedian, writer and actor, Bill Burr first gained notoriety for his recurring role on the second season of Chappelle’s Show. He developed a comedic styling of uniformed logic that made him a regular with Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon. In 2017, Bill premiered the second season of his hit animated Netflix series, F Is For Family and his fifth hour-long stand-up comedy special, Walk Your Way Out, also on Netflix. He recently completed his fourth European theatre tour, which featured stops in Ireland, the U.K., Amsterdam, Germany, Belgium, and his first appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Trevor Noah – Friday, March 9 | Queen Elizabeth Theatre | 7:00pm & 9:30pm

Returning to Vancouver’s JFL NorthWest for a third consecutive year, Trevor Noah is the most successful comedian in Africa and the host of the Emmy® and Peabody® Award-winning The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Noah debuted his 9th new comedy special, Afraid of the Dark, in February of 2017 on Netflix. The special was shot before a packed house in New York City at the Beacon Theatre. Last year, Noah debuted his one-hour stand-up special, Trevor Noah: Lost in Translation, on Comedy Central. Noah was the subject of David Paul Meyer’s award-winning documentary, You Laugh But It’s True, which tells the story of Trevor’s remarkable career in post-apartheid South Africa. Trevor’s success has also spanned to sold out shows over five continents.

Jo Koy – Wednesday, March 7 | Queen Elizabeth Theatre | 7:00pm

Jo Koy has come a long way from his modest beginnings at a Las Vegas coffee house. He sells out theatres across the continent, is a weekly guest on The Adam Carolla Show podcast, and recently started his own podcast – The Koy Pond with Jo Koy. His infectious, explosive energy on stage, insightful jokes, and family-inspired humour cross all boundaries. Jo, who was raised in Tacoma, WA, credits his mother for his comedic and acting talents. He has had two Comedy Central specials, Don’t Make Him Angry and Lights Out; a Netflix special, Jo Koy: Live from Seattle, which was released in 2017; and has appeared on Chelsea Lately, VH1, World’s Funniest Fails, The Joy Behar Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Last Call with Carson Daly, and Jamie Foxx: Laffapalooza.

Maria Bamford – Saturday, March 3 | Vogue Theatre | 7:00pm

Maria Bamford stars in the semi-autobiographical Netflix comedy series Lady Dynamite, which has been lauded as “revelatory” by Entertainment Weekly and one of 2016’s must-see shows by Variety and Rolling Stone. She created and starred in Maria Bamford: The Special Special Special and the cult hit web series The Maria Bamford Show, which screened at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Bamford was the first female comic to have two half-hour Comedy Central Presents specials and starred alongside Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, and Brian Posehn in The Comedians of Comedy.

Brian Regan – Monday, March 5 | Vogue Theatre | 7:00pm

Setting a comedic standard of excellence that others continually try to follow, Brian Regan recently signed a two-special deal with Netflix, joining the likes of Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and Jerry Seinfeld in multi-special deals with the leader in worldwide streaming. Regan recently made his Carnegie Hall debut, and can be seen on Peter Farrelly’s new TV series, Loudermilk, which premiered to great reviews on The Audience Network. Brian Regan at the Vogue Theatre is presented in partnership with Live Nation.

Jay Pharoah – Saturday, March 10 | Vogue Theatre | 9:30pm

Jay Pharoah is an actor and stand-up comedian. With six seasons as a cast member on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, Pharoah is best known for his wide array of uncanny celebrity impressions, including President Barack Obama, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Kanye West, and more. In 2015, Pharoah teamed up with First Lady Michelle Obama to create a viral rap video, Go to College, promoting the value of higher education, and later that year he debuted his first stand-up comedy special – Jay Pharoah: Can I Be Me? – on Showtime. Jay Pharoah currently stars in the new half-hour comedy series, White Famous, which is produced by Jamie Foxx and Tom Kapinos.

Anthony Jeselnik – Thursday, March 8 | Vogue Theatre | 9:30pm

Anthony Jeselnik is a stand-up comedian from Pittsburgh. He starred in and created The Jeselnik Offensive, which ran for two seasons on Comedy Central. Jeselnik has written for and appeared on several roasts for Comedy Central, most notably The Roast of Donald Trump and The Roast of Charlie Sheen. He was the first-ever stand-up comic to appear on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and went on to release two comedy albums – Shakespeare (2010) and Caligula (2013). Anthony Jeselnik hosted season nine of NBC’s Last Comic Standing alongside judges Norm Macdonald, Roseanne Barr and Keenen Ivory Wayans, and received praise for his hour-long special, Thoughts and Prayers, which was released on Netflix in 2015.

Mike Birbiglia’s “The New One” – Friday, March 9 | Vogue Theatre | 7:00pm

The New York Times called Mike Birbiglia’s Thank God For Jokes “the best night I’ve spent in a theater in a very long time.” In The New One, the award-winning comedian approaches an entirely new subject in a new way with the same heart and humour we’ve come to expect from him.

Nikki Glaser – Thursday, March 8 to Saturday, March 10 | Yuk Yuk’s (various times)

Nikki Glaser is one of the most sought-after young comedians and actors in the comedy world today. She is the creator, executive producer and star of the hit Comedy Central series, Not Safe with Nikki Glaser, which premiered in 2016. Her first one-hour stand-up special, Perfect, also premiered on Comedy Central in 2016, and her half-hour Netflix special premiered in July of 2017 to rave reviews.

Jim Norton – Friday, March 2 | Vogue Theatre | 7:00pm

American stand-up comedian, radio personality, author, and actor Jim Norton is the co-host of The Jim Norton & Sam Roberts Show, which can be heard every morning on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. His latest stand-up special, Mouthful of Shame, is streaming now on Netflix. Norton has been a contributor to Time Magazine since 2014, and has four, one-hour comedy specials that can be seen on Hulu, Amazon, and HBO Go.

The Fighter and The Kid Live – Friday, March 2 | Vogue Theatre | 9:30pm

“The Fighter and The Kid Live” is the stand-up version of former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub’s and actor/comedian Bryan Callen’s weekly podcast, which is currently available on iTunes, SoundCloud and YouTube, and commands over three million downloads per month, cementing it as one of the most downloaded podcasts in the world.

Sasheer Zamata – Friday, March 2 | Biltmore Cabaret | 7:00pm

Sasheer Zamata is a comedian, actress, writer, and four-season cast member on Saturday Night Live. She recently released her first one-hour special, Pizza Mind, to rave reviews and has performed stand-up at Just For Laughs Montreal, Bonnaroo, SXSW, Moontower Comedy Festival, New York Comedy Festival, Women in Comedy Festival, and more. Sasheer has been listed in Cosmopolitan’s “13 Funny Women to Watch”, Time Out New York’s “Top 10 Funniest Women in NYC”, and Brooklyn Magazine’s “50 Funniest People in Brooklyn”. She also serves as ACLU’s Celebrity Ambassador for Women’s Rights.

Todd Barry: 30th Anniversary Crowd Work Tour – Saturday, March 10 | Biltmore Cabaret | 7:00pm & 9:00pm

New York City-based comedian and actor Todd Barry is widely recognized for his roles as the bongo-playing “Third Conchord” on HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Mickey Rourke’s deli boss in 2009 Oscar winner The Wrestler, and is renowned throughout the entertainment industry for his nuanced, measured, and thoroughly original approach to stand-up. Drawing audience members in with his deadpan self-deprecation and ability to pile punchline upon punchline, his decidedly low-key stage persona belies a deeply intelligent, often biting, occasionally absurdist worldview – one lauded by discerning fans who seek a fresh yet honest update to traditional observation and social commentary.

Todd Barry Podcast Live – Thursday, March 8 | Fox Cabaret | 7:00pm

Highly regarded and amazing comedian Todd Barry talks to friends – and maybe people he doesn’t know – about their careers, travel, food, and various other topics.

Ari Shaffir – Saturday, March 3 | Vogue Theatre | 9:30pm

Stand-up comedian, podcaster, and actor Ari Shaffir describes his comedy as a puppet show – but way filthier and without puppets. The New York native grew up Orthodox Jewish, spent two years in a Yeshiva in Israel and came back to America to lose his religion and become a comic. This past July, Shaffir released Double Negative – a two-part Netflix special presented in 45 minute episodes called Children and Adulthood. Self-described as his version of a “Smashing Pumpkins double album”, this type of doubleheader release hasn’t been seen since George Carlin’s FM & AM in 1972. called Shaffir’s Netflix debut “positively audacious.”


Ari Shaffir’s Renamed Storyteller Show – Sunday, March 4 at Biltmore Cabaret | 7:00pm

Ari Shaffir and other funny people tell true and scintillating stories. Long-form American storytelling as seen on Comedy Central performed by stand-up comedians.

Jake & Amir: “If I Were You” Live Podcast – Thursday, March 8 | Vogue Theatre | 7:00pm

Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld bring their advice podcast “If I Were You” to the stage. Join our hosts as they dispense wisdom on areas of life they are qualified to talk about – also in areas they are not qualified to talk about.

Rachel Feinstein – Friday, March 9 | Biltmore Cabaret | 7:00pm

Rachel Feinstein is a New York-based comedian and actress. She recently taped her half-hour special for Netflix and can be seen on Pete Holmes’ HBO comedy, Crashing.

This Is That – Sunday, March 4 | Vogue Theatre | 7:00pm

Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring offer audiences an intimate look behind the studio door of CBC’s award-winning satirical radio show, This Is That. With a healthy mix of character interviews and mockumentary stories, this live send-up of public radio doesn’t just report the news, it makes it up! Nothing is off limits – politics, business, culture, justice, science – if it’s relevant to Canadians, This Is That finds a way to fabricate a story.

Ryan Hamilton – Friday, March 2 & Saturday, March 3 | Rio Theatre | 7:00pm

Named one of Rolling Stone’s “Five Comics to Watch”, Ryan Hamilton is endearing comedy lovers – and his future is bright. With standout appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Conan, The Late Late Show, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, and Showtime, Ryan Hamilton is establishing himself as one of America’s favourite stand-up comedians. His most recent high-profile appearance was opening for Gad Elmaleh and Jerry Seinfeld at Carnegie Hall. His first comedy special, Happy Face, is currently streaming on Netflix.

Beth Stelling – Thursday, March 1 | Biltmore Cabaret | 7:00pm

Beth Stelling is a Los Angeles-based stand-up comedian, writer, and actress. Time Out Magazine named her a “Comic to Watch” in 2016. She made her late-night television debut on Conan and is featured in The Standups on Netflix. Her half-hour comedy special debuted on Comedy Central and made Vulture’s “Ten Best Stand-up Specials of 2015” list. Stelling’s second album, Simply Beth, debuted at #3 on the iTunes Comedy Chart. She is currently working on the HBO series, Crashing.

Kyle Kinane – Thursday, March 1 at 7:00pm & Friday, March 2 at 9:30pm | Rio Theatre

Kyle Kinane is a comedian from Illinois who has toured internationally and has appeared on @Midnight, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Conan, Workaholics, This Is Not Happening, Not Safe with Nikki Glaser, and Comedy Bang! Bang! His recent one-hour special, Kyle Kinane: Loose Lips in Chicago, premiered on Comedy Central in 2016. He is featured as a recurring character on Netflix’s Love and Those Who Can’t on truTV, and recently filmed a half-hour special for season two of Netflix’s The Standups.

Tom Papa – Thursday, March 1 to Saturday, March 3 | Yuk Yuk’s (various times)

With more than 20 years as a stand-up comedian, Tom Papa is one of the top comedic voices in the country finding success in film, TV, radio, and podcasts as well as on the live on stage. Tom just signed on as Head Writer and regular performer for the legendary radio show, A Prairie Home Companion. A regular on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Conan, Tom’s third hour-long stand-up special, Human Mule, premiered on Amazon and Hulu in March 2017. His first two critically acclaimed, hour-long specials were directed by Rob Zombie – Tom Papa: Freaked Out (2013) and Tom Papa: Live in New York City (2011). Tom is host of the hit podcast and SiriusXM program, Come to Papa, a weekly hour-long show featuring Tom exploring the funny side of life.

Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher – Friday, March 9 | Rio Theatre | 7:00pm

Recently named one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch”, comedian Cameron Esposito has been called “the future of comedy” by Jay Leno, and has appeared on Conan, Last Call with Carson Daly, @Midnight, Maron, and Chelsea Lately. Cameron has hosted the GLAAD Media Awards, and co-created, co-produces, and co-stars in the GLAAD Award-nominated comedy series Take My Wife with partner Rhea Butcher. Rhea Butcher is a Los Angeles-based stand-up comic, actor, and writer whose blue-collar brand of cool has endeared her to audiences nationwide. Rhea co-created, co-produces, and co-stars in Take My Wife, and recently released her first stand-up comedy album, Butcher, which debuted at #1. Rhea also co-hosts the long-running live show and podcast, Put Your Hands Together.

Ronny Chieng – Saturday, March 3 at 9:30pm & Sunday, March 4 at 9:30pm | Rio Theatre

Ronny Chieng is a stand-up comedian and actor born in Malaysia, raised in New Hampshire and Singapore, and a graduate from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce. Ronny started performing comedy in Melbourne in 2009. Since then, he has had four sold out global stand-up comedy theater tours in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and London. In 2015, he made his U.S. television debut on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and moved to New York City after being hired as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Comedy Central. Ronny was recently invited to open for Dave Chappelle and Bill Burr on their national stand-up comedy tours of Australia.

Vir Das – Thursday, March 8 | Rio Theatre | 7:00pm

Vir Das is the biggest English-speaking comedian in India, and while he cemented himself as one of the country’s top stand-up comedians, actors, writers, musicians and festival producers, he has recently made an impact globally with his Netflix original special, Abroad Understanding, which intercuts between a stadium in India and a club in New York, and was recently honoured by Variety as one of their annual “10 Comics to Watch”.


SiriusXM’s Top Comic Showcase – Wednesday, March 7 & Thursday, March 8 | The Comedy Mix (various times)

SiriusXM’s Top Comic scours the country each year, searching for the funniest comedians in Canada so you don’t have to (you should though, it’s actually pretty fun). Check out your favourite winners, runner-ups, and Vancouver alumni! We’re also throwing in Canada Laughs’ (SiriusXM ch. 168) host and veteran comedian Ben Miner, and he’s no slouch.

Ali Siddiq – Saturday, March 3 | Biltmore Cabaret | 7:00pm

Ali Siddiq is a stand-up comedian, public speaker, and writer based out of Houston. His unique style of stand-up began behind the walls of incarceration – an incubator for interesting experiences and good stories. People received their first taste of Siddiq when he appeared on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Live from Gotham. His first half-hour special premiered on Comedy Central in 2016, and immediately following that premiere, Comedy Central offered Siddiq a one-hour special, which is currently in post-production and was shot behind prison walls, sending him back to where it all started.

Brent Morin – Friday, March 9 & Saturday, March 10 | The Comedy Mix (various times)

Brent Morin is a Los Angeles-based comedian, actor, and writer. He is best known for his role as ‘Justin Kearney’ on the NBC sitcom Undateable. His one-hour stand-up special, I’m Brent Morin, is currently streaming on Netflix, and he recently filmed a half-hour special for season two of Netflix’s The Standups. Morin has appeared on Chelsea Lately, Conan, Comedy Central, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The McCarthys, and Ground Floor.

Debra DiGiovanni – Thursday, March 1 to Saturday, March 3 | The Comedy Mix (various times)

Debra is a 4-time Canadian Comedy Award winner and has been called ‘Best Comedian to See After a Messy Breakup’. She was a finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and a guest star on The Comedy Network’s “Match Game”, and her comedy special – “Single Awkward Female” – can be seen on Netflix in the U.S. Debra is a regular at all the comedy festivals and clubs across the country. Her comedy has a sharp edge while maintaining a playful, happy air, and her charm lies in her unflinching honesty and rapid-fire delivery. Debra’s second comedy special will premiere on CraveTV in 2018.

Brendan Schaub – Thursday, March 1 | Biltmore Cabaret | 9:00pm

Brendan is a multi-platform entertainer best known for his career in professional sports – UFC and NFL – and as a personality in podcasting and comedy. In addition to hosting two hit podcasts – The Fighter & The Kid, tallying over nine million downloads per month; and Big Brown Breakdown, averaging four million downloads per month – he performs sold out live shows across North America, Australia, London, and Dublin.

The Alternative Show Hosted by Andy Kindler – Thursday, March 8 to Saturday, March 10 | Yuk Yuk’s (various times)

The quintessential comic’s comic, Andy Kindler (Bob’s Burgers, Tosh. O) hosts the popular “Alternative Show” for three nights of alternative comedy anarchy. Off-the-wall and totally unpredictable, audiences won’t know what to expect. The only guarantee is that Andy will bring the house down with an all-star lineup of alt-comedy favourites.

JFL NorthWest is proud to welcome its partners SiriusXM, Tourism Vancouver, The Government of British Columbia through the Tourism Events Program, StayVancouverHotels, Sleeman Breweries, Tim Hortons, Hopping Mad Cider, Creative BC, DVBIA, and The Georgia Straight to its 2018 event.

“The ten-day Festival features an impressive lineup of comedic artists who will bring laughter and entertainment to the city of Vancouver,” says Honourable Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Festivals like these boost tourism to the province and are key drivers of creativity, making our communities great places to visit and live.”

For full performance and ticketing details, please visit

For interview requests, additional images, and media accreditation, please contact Teresa Trovato at


JFL NorthWest can be found on the following platforms:


Twitter:       (#JFLNW18)




JFL NorthWest Comedy Festival Contact:

Teresa Trovato | 604.897.1939 |


Vancouver Just For Laughs Film Festival Contact:

Charlene Coy | 416.451.1471 |


In 2016, NorthWest Comedy Fest and Just For Laughs joined forces to present JFL NorthWest, Vancouver’s comedy festival, a blend of the best in stand-up, sketch, and improv. The 2018 Festival will be a late winter highlight, taking place March 1-10 at multiple venues throughout Vancouver. Founded in 1983, the Just For Laughs Group has had but one goal in its 30-plus years of operation: Make People Happy. To achieve this goal, the Just For Laughs Group has focused on four major products: Festivals in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney; television production including “Gags” seen in over 130 countries and on over 75 airlines and stand-up specials; live shows, such as Canadian tour dates for Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan, and the Just For Laughs Comedy Tour; and talent management.