In the dead of winter, it’s important to keep your sense of humour and have a little fun. JFL NorthWest (a partnership between Just for Laughs and the NorthWest Comedy Fest) comes along at the perfect time; from February 16–25, the festival is back for a second year with a variety of performances at multiple venues in Vancouver. With so many comics and variety shows, there is a show for everyone’s sense of humour.
Best show for political humour: Trevor Noah | February 23 | Queen Elizabeth Theatre
If you missed his show at last year’s festival, you don’t want to miss out again. Since Trump’s election to the White House, Noah is sure to have more political material to add to his cultural comparisons from a South African perspective. The Daily Show host knows how to tell it like it is and make his audience think globally.
Best show for dad humour: Jim Gaffigan | February 24 | Queen Elizabeth Theatre
This father of five shares his observations on being a dad, the meaning of life, and food. With four comedy specials on Netflix, he’s easily accessible from the comfort of your couch, but nothing beats laughing simultaneously with hundreds of other people. Gaffigan can also be seen in TV shows such as Portlandia, Flight of the Conchords, and Law & Order.
Best show for sarcastic humour: Sarah Silverman | February 25 | Queen Elizabeth Theatre
You may have heard Sarah Silverman’s voice on Bob’s Burgers, and now you can hear her live as she shares personal stories and tackles subjects such as racism, sexism, and religion. The Saturday Night Live alumna has racked up a number of awards over the years including two Emmys, a Grammy, and a Webby. Silverman’s humour is always thought provoking and challenging.
Best show for bro humour: Chris D’Elia | February 24 | Vogue Theatre
Chris D’Elia’s comedy is like watching a guy try to impress his friends. If you’re into that style of boastful, self-important humour, then you’ll love D’Elia. He doesn’t pull any punches, and he isn’t afraid to play into stereotypes — especially of females or minorities. D’Elia enjoys impersonations and topics such as drunk girls, Cubans, and Drake.
Best show for a girls’ night out: Iliza | February 17 | Vogue Theatre
Grab your girlfriends and go have some laughs with Iliza (who, somewhere along the way, dropped her last name, Shlesinger). She got her start on the reality show Last Comic Standing, her stand-up can be seen on multiple Netflix specials, she has many television credits, and her first book, Girl Logic, is set to be released in April 2017. Iliza is a girl’s girl who touches on subjects such as girls at bars, girl GPS, girls’ night, and girls eating — you get the picture.
Best shows for local humour: Best of the West series
Sure, we’ve got international superstar comedians coming to Vancouver for this festival, but we also have some great homegrown comic talent. Support your local comedians in this series of shows that includes legendary troupe The Sunday Service; The Gentlemen Hecklers providing humorous commentary to the best bad movies; Vancouverite commenting on what it’s like to live here; All You Can Eat Laundry, a variety show hosted by Maddy Kelly; Cords Comedy; and Eight and a Half Inches of Comedy.
Best show for film lovers: Comedy Short Shorts | February 18 | Rio Theatre
This third annual showcase of local short films is judged live by a panel of industry experts, and the winner will go on to be screened at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. You never know what you’re gonna get in this grab bag of short films and sketches, but it’s sure to fill the Rio with laughter.