As the well-known saying goes, ‘comedy is tragedy plus time’. Perhaps now more than ever, our society needs a huge, collective belly laugh—the kind that makes you forget your inhibitions and connects you to your community in a magical way. Enter Festival Laval Laughs, back for its third edition this Fall!

Presented by title partner Jaguar Land Rover Laval, the 2020 edition is not only full of surprises, but will feature a brand-new visual identity. The festival’s slick and modern new logo speaks to its evolution and growing ambition to stand out as a major part of Laval’s cultural DNA. The new visuals and logo were created by none other than L’agence Carbure, who work closely with other major name brands.

Sporting its new and more colourful look, the festival is a breath of fresh air for the Laval cultural scene, bringing forth top comedic talent to grace the stage in both French and English shows. Despite the festival’s new look, the mission has remained steadfast. Festival Laval Laughs continues to offer the public an opportunity to discover both emerging and popular comedic talent while remaining a source of economic, social and cultural wealth for the city of Laval.

With two previous successful years, it’s no wonder the festival has attracted high calibre collaborators such as Pâtisserie St-Martin, Outfront, Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Laval and L’agence Carbure.

“The festival represents the city’s identity—it’s community,” says Luigi Morabito, the festival’s Founder. “It’s a way to attract tourists and visitors to the city and stimulate local economy. Rooted in community and entrepreneurial spirit, the festival shines a well-deserved light on Laval.”

Perhaps even more significant is the fact that the festival originated from the idea of creating an event based on inclusivity, diversity and multiculturalism while being accessible to the greater Laval population across all demographic groups. With comedic talent that celebrates local, North American and global stars, the festival’s audience members are given fair warning: body-shaking belly laughs and sore cheeks are simply par for the course. One thing is for certain, Festival Laval Laughs has now become a staple of Laval’s cultural and touristic landscape.

Choose Your Experience
Whether you prefer to crack up in French or English, Festival Laval Laughs has got you covered. All shows will take place at Laval’s Cabaret C – a unique and urban environment that has been home to the festival for the past three years. While innovative and chic, the venue still feels reminiscent of your favourite downtown comedy club.

Montreal-based Derek Seguin will perform his one-man-show in English on October 2nd. One of Canada’s top comedians, Seguin has performed at the Just for Laughs festival 11 times over the years, in addition to numerous radio and television appearances. This one-man-show will not disappoint, and ticketholders will be treated to Derek’s own choice for his opening act. For now, the mystery around his opening act remains guarded!

A staple of Festival Laval Laughs has always been the Ethnically Correct show. Taking place on October 3rd, this must-see event features big names in comedy from across Canada and the US, including emcee Franco Taddeo, Serag Meletian, Kevin Gasior, Lawrence Corber, LA-based Andrew Searles and New York-based Santi Espinosa.

Last year, the Ethnically Correct show sold out so quickly that organizers had to add on a second show date. It’s no surprise to fans of Festival Laval Laughs though, as bringing together comedic talent of that calibre on the same roster is bound to draw crowds. Despite each having their own unique brand of comedy, this lineup certainly has a few things in common.

Like Seguin, Gasior has also performed at Just for Laughs and is regularly featured on satellite radio and CBC. Meletian has been featured at festivals such as OFF-JFL/Zoofest, Edinburgh Fringe and is returning as a fan favourite to Festival Laval Laughs. Corber has been featured at Zoofest and is also returning to Festival Laval Laughs this year – beard included! This group of comics is sure to bring the house down with their blend of observational, everyday life humour.

Espinosa’s boyish looks are just part of the charm he brings to stages across North America or to sold-out clubs in London, England. As the host of comedy showcase ItMatters Comedy and his own podcast, Espinosa’s approach to stand-up is anecdotal and personal.

Hailing from the West Coast, Montreal-born Searles brings his comedy flavour to the festival, likely bringing with him hilarious anecdotes of what it’s like being a Canadian living in LA. Having been voted “Top 10 Best Stand-up Comedians in Montreal” four years in row by the Montreal Mirror, Searles is no stranger to festivals thanks to his cross-Canadian performances.

Emcee of the Ethnically Correct show is Taddeo, a staple on the Montreal comedy scene for more than 20 years, during which he has performed nation-wide and appeared on CTV and CBC. Taddeo, who has been with the festival since its inception, is proud of the evolution it has taken over the past three years. “We’re expanding, and growing geographically and culturally from year to year,” he says.

If you prefer to rire, you will no doubt want to snag your ticket to the festival’s French shows, such as the one-man-show starring Mathieu Cyr on October 9th. Having gained an enormous following on social media recently, one of his YouTube song parody videos has had more than half a million views in just a few short weeks after its release. On the performance scene, Cyr has cracked up thousands of ComediHa! and Juste pour rire patrons.

Be sure to get your ticket to the Gala Laval en Rires scheduled for October 8th, featuring Rachid Badouri, François Massicotte and Arnaud Soly, each having the comedic chops and unique blend of storytelling to keep ticketholders in stitches throughout their performances.

Don’t Miss Out
Tickets will be going on sale online later this summer, so to be the first to know when they’re available or to take advantage of presale specials, be sure to sign up for the festival’s newsletter via the website at festivallavallaughs.ca. Follow the Facebook page @festivallavalenrires.

In light of the global pandemic experienced worldwide, comedy can act as a symbolic antidote to the ‘new normal’ we are all adjusting to. What better way to reunite with our community than through a celebration of life’s oddities and collective hilarious experiences?

If comedy truly is tragedy plus time, then it’s high time for comedy fans to be treated to the anecdotes, expert storytelling and quirks from Festival Laval Laughs 2020’s coveted performers.