Toronto’s JFL42 comedy festival saw some big action last night (September 28), when a new champion was crowned as SiriusXM’s Top Comic.
The competition, which started with 60 contenders from across the country last spring, saw the crowd trimmed down to just six finalists—plus two judges’ picks—to compete for the big prize. They included three finalists from Vancouver, Kathleen McGee, Kyle Bottom, and Gavin Matts. Other finalists included Graham Chittenden, Sterling Scott, Michelle Shaughnessy, Ana-Marija Stojic, and Kelly Taylor.
Each finalist did their set in front of a full crowd and a panel of esteemed judges at Toronto’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre. After the sets, judges made deliberations and Canada wide text-voting opened up. As the votes were being counted, comedy veteran Todd Barry finished his headlining set and then the winners were announced by host Ben Miner.
The title of Top Comic went to Vancouverite Gavin Matts, who also collected a cash prize of $25,000 and guaranteed spots at Canada’s biggest comedy festivals next year: JFL42 (Toronto), JFL NorthWest (Vancouver), and the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, as well as the TV special JFL: All Access, to air on The Comedy Network.
Matts has been doing comedy for just four years, which is a very short time to win such a competition and a testament to his hard work and talent—Vancouver should be very proud. And just to put a cherry on top of an incredibly successful evening, Matts this morning released his first comedy album Premature through 604 Records. (It can be picked up on various streaming services.)
Runners-up were Sterling Scott of Edmonton and Graham Chittenden of Brantford who will receive TV spots at the 2018 Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, as well as a co-headlining show at JFL42 2018.