A guide to the big, and unexpected, laughs at JFL NorthWest

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      With so much to see and so little time (and some shows competing against each other) at this year’s JFL NorthWest, the comedy consumer will have to make some hard choices in the next two weeks. Here are some strong contenders to consider as the fest rolls out the laughs from Thursday (February 16) to February 25.

      The Comedy MIX

      Down on Burrard Street you can catch the laid-back comedy stylings of Brian Posehn from Thursday to Saturday (February 16 to 18), the Sirius Top Comic competition on February 23, and the always cheeky Jon Dore on February 24 and 25.

      Yuk Yuk’s

      The Cambie Street comedy club hosts Toronto’s scorching-hot K. Trevor Wilson, self-proclaimed Mountain Man of Comedy, from Thursday to Saturday (February 16 to 18), a JFL showcase on February 22, and the manic Todd Glass from February 23 to 25.

      The Vogue Theatre

      The now apparently one-named Iliza (Schlesinger) takes the stage on Friday (February 17), TV’s Chris D’Elia has two shows next Friday (February 24), and club favourite Tom Segura wraps up the fest’s last day on February 25.


      These days, comedy and podcasts go hand in hand. Okay, Game Grumps Live! isn’t a podcast (it’s a YouTube channel) but close enough. It's big one, playing the Queen E. on Wednesday (February 22). Fans of true crime and comedy can watch a live taping of My Favorite Murder at the Vogue on Saturday (February 18). And Canada’s podcast kings Graham Clark and Dave Shumka bring Stop Podcasting Yourself, with guest Jon Dore, to the Biltmore next Thursday (February 23).

      Piff the Magic Dragon

      It’s rare for a magician to cross over to the judge-y world of comedy, but Britain’s John van der Put found a way. Dressed in a bad dragon outfit and armed with his trusty sidekick Chihuahua named Mr. Piffles, Piff has taken the comedy/magic world by storm. He plays the Vogue Theatre on Saturday (February 18).

      Barry Crimmins

      The Boston legend has been speaking comedy truth to power since the Reagan era. He’s the subject of the riveting Bobcat Goldthwait documentary Call Me Lucky, available on Netflix. The political satirist is at the Biltmore next Thursday (February 23).

      The Alternative Show

      A mainstay at JFL Montreal, the self-referential and opinionated Andy Kindler brings his Alternative Show, with a lineup of guests you might have missed elsewhere, to the Rio on February 24 and 25.