Monday, October 01, 2018

JFL42 2018

JFL42 is over again for another year and it was amazing. Taking the time off work, and with the goal of seeing 30 shows, in the end I saw 40 shows - 99 separate performers/presenters - in 10 days.

I am absolutely exhausted and ended up with a cold by the last day (and I haven't had one in a long time so I'm acting like a baby with it). I think next year I may have to scale back to 30.

Favourites going in: Greg Proops of course, Margaret Cho, Wanda Sykes
New favourites: Matteo Lane and Marina Franklin
Need to see more: Graham Chittenden and Sterling Scott
Happy surprise: the awesome Sean Cullen at the Andy Kindler show Friday night
Don't need to see again: Donnell Rawlings and Tony Hinchcliffe (I'm just not their target audience)
WTF moment: Vino Diesel (the entire show)
I'm officially old moment: Judge Tyco (I still loved it but I'm so far above their age bracket)

Comments and suggestions:

  • Toronto really is a great city for this festival, getting around between the gigs is super easy - living here I'm already familiar with the ways to get around, but perhaps some direction (beyond simply showing the venue on the map) would be helpful for out-of-towners? For example, Rivoli/TIFF/Second City/Winter Garden/Sony Centre are all handy walking distance or quick trips on the Queen or King streetcar, whereas Comedy Bar/Royal/Garrison are all handy to the Ossington bus line - maybe a map showing the transit routes? I created one for my friend who was attending with me
  • The dedicated app is great, but didn't always reflect the current situation with the gigs
  • I managed to see six different shows that initially showed as sold out, so the lesson is to keep checking!
  • Moving from the Queen Elizabeth to the Winter Garden was the best idea ever, I hope they stay there - I mean, the QE is a great venue but it's a bitch to get to and from, and the Winter Garden is simply the most beautiful theatre in the city
  • Some shows were showcases but not billed as such, would have been helpful to know beforehand
  • Approximate length of each show also would have been helpful - as a rule they run an hour, but some ran 90-120 minutes and knowing that beforehand would have been helpful for scheduling
  • Last year I received emails during the run of the show announcing pop-up shows, never got those this year, not sure if that's because there were no pop-up shows or I just wasn't receiving emails
  • Staff and tech support were, once again, super helpful and friendly, but communication between them seemed a little disorganized this year
  • Master Pass level - preferred the lanyards last year to just showing it on the phone this year, really awkward and caused resentment from people lining up with us going in first without something to show why (also, some staff didn't even know about it so I couldn't take advantage of it)
  • How have I never been to the Rivoli before?!? Their herbed fries are to die for
  • Everyone is sick of the pre-show announcements, they need to be re-recorded - and also, even though they say non-flash photography is permitted, the Winter Garden staff at the Dax Shepard show made me put my camera away, is that a miscommunication between the show and the staff, or was that a directive from Dax's reps? - in which case the announcement should have been that no photography of any kind was allowed
  • The lineup this year was amazing, there were only two acts I wouldn't see again and I discovered two others I'd not previously known that I would definitely see

Who I saw:
  • Greg Proops
  • Rapp Battlez
  • Kyle Brownrigg opening for Chanty Marostica
  • Richard Crouse interviewing Neal Brennan
  • Jo Koy interviewed by Nicole Stamp
  • Janelle James opening for Donnell Rawlings
  • Matteo Lane opening for Fortune Feimster
  • Robby Hoffman opening for Dulce Sloan
  • Greg Proops Smartest Man in the World Podcast
  • Baroness von Sketch Show interviewed by Monica Heisey
  • Margaret Cho
  • Mike Coroza (?) opening for Moses Storm and Jo Firestone
  • Pat Burtscher opening for Ismo
  • Wanda Sykes interviewed by Richard Crouse
  • Stop Podcasting Yourself with guest Paul F Tompkins
  • Wanda Sykes with opener Keith Robinson
  • Paul F Tompkins and Marc Evan Jackson
  • Matteo Lane and Henry Koperski (cabaret show)
  • Hoody Hersi opening for Matteo Lane
  • Alt Dot Comedy with Nigel Grinstead, Alex Pavone, Chris Robinson, Amy Bugg, Martha Chaves, Ana-Maria Stojic, Sam Burns, Tom Henry, and K Trevor Wilson
  • Graham Chittenden with Kyle Brownrigg, James Davis, Cara Connors, and Jarrett Campbell
  • Chris Robinson opening for Gavin Matts and Sterling Scott
  • Guy Montgomery
  • Marina Franklin opening for Joe Mande
  • Tony Hinchcliffe
  • Vino Diesel - Adam Pally, cousin Ben Stricof, sommelier Keegan, guest Joe Mande and singer Misa (?)
  • Mark Forward live taping for a TV special
  • Jackie Kashian opening for Maria Bamford
  • Chris Gethard
  • Dork Forest podcast with Jackie Kashian, Courtney Gilmour and Ryan Hamilton
  • Ken Jeong interviewed by Tom Power
  • Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People podcast with Chris Gethard
  • Olivia Stadler opening for Marina Franklin
  • Tom Thakkar opening for Matt Braunger
  • Andy Kindler with Anthony Jesselnik, Chris Gethard, Sean Cullen, Mo Welch, and Pat Thornton
  • Mike on Much podcast with Reggie Watts and Jacob Tremblay impersonator
  • Lil Rel Howery interviewed by Nicole Stamp
  • 4ye Media Judge Tyco
  • Reggie Watts with opener Sophie Buddle
  • Dax Shepard, Monica Padman and Bob Mervak with Lil Rey Howery (Armchair Expert podcast)
  • Sandra Battaglini opened the TIFF ComedyCons
  • Some other guy who never introduced himself opened most of the Second City ComedyCons

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