Here comes the funny: some highlights of this year’s upcoming JFL NorthWest comedy festival

Nikki Glaser performs at this year’s JFL NorthWest.

The JFL NorthWest Comedy Festival is right around the corner. Some shows are sold-out, but there are still tickets left for some of the biggest names in comedy appearing in Vancouver March 1-10.

This is the comedy festival’s third year in Vancouver. Last year saw over 30,000 comedy fans coming out to see 100 professional laugh-getters at 25 venues in the Lower Mainland.

This year, some of the bigger shows include Bill Burr (tickets still left for the famously acerbic comic’s March 7 show at the Orpheum Theatre, 601 Smithe St.), Jo Koy (two shows March 7 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 630 Hamilton St.), Maria Bamford (March 3 at the Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville St.), Brian Regan (March 5 at the Vogue), Mike Birbiglia (two shows, March 9 at the Vogue), and former SNL cast member/impressionist Jay Pharoah (March 10 at the Vogue).

Along with the theatre shows, the festival is hosting several showcases and comedy sets at smaller clubs and venues. Here’s a brief run-down of some of the comics, podcast hosts and special events coming to JFL NorthWest 2018.

Beth Stelling (March 1, Biltmore Cabaret, 2755 Prince Edward St.)—Stelling has appeared on Conan, Chelsea Lately, The Pete Holmes Show, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. She is also featured in Netflix’ Standups. included her Comedy Central stand-up special as one of the ten best of 2015. She is currently writing for Pete Holmes’ HBO series Crashing. Watch Beth on Jimmy Kimmel here.

Nikki Glaser (March 8-10, Yuk Yuk’s, 2837 Cambie St.)—Glaser has hosted the Comedy Central showcase Not Safe as well as the MTV late-night talk show Nikki and Sara LIVE. She co-hosted the podcast You Had To Be There and has appeared on Comedy Central’s @midnight with Chris Hardwick, Inside Amy Schumer, and The Roast of Rob Lowe. Her first one-hour stand-up special, Perfect, premiered on Comedy Central in 2016. Watch Glaser on The Tonight Show here.

Rachel Feinstein (March 9, Biltmore Cabaret)—The New York-based comedian and actress has appeared in the HBO series Crashing as well as the Amy Schumer movie Trainwreck and Schumer’s series Inside Amy Schumer. She has also co-hosted The View. Watch Feinstein on The Tonight Show here.

This is That (March 4, Vogue Theatre)—Hosts Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring bring a live version of their Canadian satirical current-affairs radio program to JFL NorthWest. The show is in two acts: in the first half, the duo performs new and fan-favourite material. In the second, they improvise brand new stories on the spot.

The Lucas Brothers (March 9, Biltmore Cabaret and March 10, Rio Theatre, 1660 E. Broadway)—Comedians, actors, and writers The Lucas Bros (Keith and Kenny Lucas) continue their rise as two of the freshest, most dynamic new faces on the comedy scene. Their first hour-long standup special The Lucas Bros: On Drugs premiered on Netflix last April. They also played recurring characters on Season 1 of the Netflix series Lady Dynamite starring Maria Bamford, and are the creators of the animation series Lucas Bros. Moving Co. Watch The Lucas Bros. on The Tonight Show here.

The Lucas Brothers perform two shows at the festival.

Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher: Back to Back (March 9, Rio Theatre)—Both have successful stand-up careers in their own right, with extensive comedy credits. But married couple Esposito and Butcher are also the creators of Take My Wife. The GLAAD Award- nominated series is a critics’ pick with publications such as the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Esquire and Vulture. The two also co-host the long-running live show and podcast, Put Your Hands Together.

Retail Nightmares (March 2 at the Fox Cabaret, 2321 Main St.)—Speaking of podcasts, here’s a local one: musician Jessica Delisle and comedian Alicia Tobin talk about the horrors of working in customer service, among other topics. Sometimes with guests.

The Alternative Show (March 8-10, Yuk Yuk’s)—Comic’s comic Andy Kindler hosts this  comedy showcase. Guests are TBD but the show is known for featuring favourites from the alt-comedy scene. Kindler is a recurring voice on Fox’s hit animation, Bob’s Burgers and Comedy Central’s Tosh. O, and also the host of Season 4 and 5 of Hulu’s stand-up series, Coming to the Stage. He is also (in)famous for his State of the Industry Address each year at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal.

JFL Comedy Film Festival—Along with all the stand-up sets and live podcasts, this year’s JFL NorthWest also features a film festival component. Read more about the festival film picks here.

For more info and a full schedule, visit

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