This year’s JFL NorthWest is bringing a plethora of big-name comics from down south. Colin Quinn, Iliza Schlesinger, Jim Gaffigan, Trevor Noah, and Sarah Silverman are among the talented mirth-makers coming to Vancouver for the festival, which begins tonight, Feb. 16, and runs until Feb. 25.
But the festival also gives local comics a chance to shine. For example, in B-Sides with Chris Gordon (Feb. 21 at Biltmore at 9:30 p.m.), Calgary’s Gordon and top local headliners such as Graham Clark, Kyle Bottom and Efthimios Nasiopoulos will discuss a comedian’s creative process by featuring the rare and risky jokes they love to tell, then opening up to an audience Q&A.
The festival is also hosting a Best of the West series that features many of the best locally produced shows. Among them are Alicia Tobin’s Come Draw with Me, The Gentlemen Hecklers, Graham Clark’s Quiz Show, and more.
Meanwhile, one of the best-known names on the local scene, Ivan Decker, has been picked to open for both Iliza and Jim Gaffigan. Decker, whom Splitsider once named the Top Canadian Comedian Under 30 (he’s now 31), will also host the Just For Laughs Showcase at the Biltmore Cabaret on Feb. 21 (7 p.m. start, before the aforementioned B-Sides) and Yuk Yuk’s Vancouver Feb. 22 (8 p.m.). We talked to Decker about comedy festivals, scaring Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, and his online dating profile.