Really! Just for Laughs prize goes to Amy Poehler
Mitch Hurwitz, Nick Kroll and Edgar Wright also will be honoured at awards show July 26
MONTREAL — Seth Meyers should be feeling a little less lonely when he comes to Montreal to host a Just for Laughs gala on July 24. Amy Poehler, his former Weekend Update co-anchor on Saturday Night Live, will also be in town around the same time to pick up this year’s Just for Laughs Comedy Person of the Year Award.
Poehler’s prize will be officially announced Thursday, along with those for Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz as the fest’s Comedy Writer of the Year and Kroll Show creator/star Nick Kroll as Breakout Comedy Star of the Year. Edgar Wright, the award-winning United Kingdom director of Shaun of the Dead, will also be presented with the Comedy Director of the Year honour at the awards show.
All will be roasted … er … toasted in the flesh by Roastmaster General Jeff Ross, July 26 at 5 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. As added incentive, the Just for Laughs Awards Show will be open for the first time to the – paying – public.
It is tempting to hope that Poehler just might be induced to hook up one last time on the Weekend Update anchor-desk with Meyers, but nothing of that nature has yet been established. Regardless, Poehler, star of the fab Parks and Recreation sitcom, is a most worthy choice. All the more so since this year’s Just for Laughs lineup is loaded with the some of the other funniest women in the business: Sarah Silverman, Joan Rivers, Amy Schumer, Kristen Schaal, Maria Bamford and Tig Notaro.
Poehler is in solid company with the Comedy Person of the Year Award. Past winners include Louis C.K. and Chelsea Handler.
The versatile Poehler, a multiple Emmy nominee, is a blast as the mid-level, Pawnee, Ind., Parks and Recreation Department bureaucrat, valiantly trying to keep her group of wing nut associates together. Poehler first leaped to fame on SNL, both for her sketch work — particularly her impressions of Hillary Clinton, Sharon Osbourne, Sharon Stone and, uh-huh, Michael Jackson — and her acerbic co-anchoring with Meyers on Weekend Update.
Poehler and her SNL buddy Tina Fey, who starred together in the film Baby Mama, also did a splendid job of hosting the Golden Globe Awards this year. Poehler, a former trouper with the famed Upright Citizens Brigade, has also lent her pipes to a slew of animated pictures.
Hurwitz, an Emmy-winning writer and producer, is being honoured for resurrecting the new season of Arrested Development on Netflix. In addition to the award, he will shmooze with Netflix’s Ted Sarandos for In Conversation with Mitch Hurwitz, July 25 at 3:15 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency as part of the Just for Laughs ComedyPro Conference.
Kroll, also the star of FX’s The League, will be headlining at the fest, July 26 at 11:30 p.m. at L’Astral. He, too, is in excellent company as well for Breakout Star honours; past winners include Aziz Ansari and Key & Peele.
Wright is also renowned for his U.K. cult TV series Spaced and the comic-book movie adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. His sci-fi comedy flick The World’s End is slated for release shortly.
In other festival developments, SNL trouper John Mulaney, who has been hailed both as “one of the best standups alive” and yet “criminally overlooked,” will do a show at L’Astral, July 25 at 11:30 p.m. Mulaney, also the star of two Comedy Central specials, is a Weekend Update correspondent — another possibility for a Seth Meyers hook-up? — and is the co-creator of Bill Hader’s flamboyantly hysterical Stefon character.
Plus, Chris Hardwick, the standup/founder of Nerdist Industries, will be at the helm of two Talk of the Fest shows at Club Soda, July 23 at 7 and 10 p.m.
And you didn’t really think that they’d bring Jeff Ross all this way just to emcee the awards show? Nope, the serial fest visitor and host of the Comedy Central hit The Burn With Jeff Ross has also been signed to host two Talk of the Fest shows at Club Soda, July 26 at 7 and 10 p.m.
Ross has been on a role of late. Since last at the fest to helm the Nasty Show series two years ago, he has been on a tear not only roasting the likes of Charlie Sheen and Roseanne Barr, but he has now taken on the entire continent, including Canada, in his Comedy Central show Jeff Ross Roasts America. He has been elevated to Cordon Bleu status on the comedy-cooking front.
“Roasting has now become a movement,” declares Ross, also the author of I Only Roast the Ones I Love: How to Bust Balls Without Burning Bridges. “People are roasting their friends, families and co-workers. They’re even doing it in India and South Africa. It’s bigger than me now. It’s become like a religion. But I feel privileged to have been able to contribute to popular culture.”
Ross plans to spend the next month soaking up Canadiana to better prime himself for the festival. But he has got plenty of material already. “Crack-smoking mayors and crooked senators? Congratulations, Canada, you’ve finally caught up to the U.S.,” Ross notes.
“I promise that I will really be prepared for battle here. Justin Bieber alone gives me an hour: the monkey in Germany, Anne Frank in Holland. He is the gift that keeps on giving.”
But Ross does have one concern about coming up here next month: “There are going to be so many comedians on my plane that I fear we will have to go through an insecurity checkpoint when we land.”
For tickets and information about the Just for Laughs Awards Show and all other festival events, go to www.hahaha.com.
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