Additional Talent and Events Announced for TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS
Comedians Jim Breuer, Bob Odenkirk & David Cross, Danny Bhoy, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter And Internet Sensation Jon Lajoie Join Line-Up of Alternative Comedy at Lakeshore Theater
Tribute to Chicago-Born Filmmaker/Actor Harold Ramis And Special Screening of Ramis' Year One to Kick Off Chicago Event
Two of the biggest names in comedy � TBS and Just For Laughs � today announced additional talent and events to be part of the premiere edition of TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS in Chicago, which will run Wednesday, June 17 � Sunday, June 21, with such previously announced top-name comedians as Ellen DeGeneres, George Lopez and Jimmy Fallon. New to the festival lineup are Jim Breuer, Danny Bhoy, David Cross, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter and Internet sensation Jon Lajoie. They join Jim Jefferies, Bob Odenkirk, Patrice O'Neal and Andy Dick in the alternative comedy line-up at the Lakeshore Theater.
Serving as a special kickoff event on Tuesday, June 16, at the Music Box Theatre, Just For Laughs will honor the Chicago-born filmmaker/actor Harold Ramis with a Lifetime Achievement Award, followed by a special screening of Ramis's eagerly anticipated comedy Year One, starring Jack Black (School of Rock) and Michael Cera (Juno). Year One will be released by Columbia Pictures in theaters nationwide June 19, 2009.
As a major component of the Festival, TBS and Just For Laughs will feature local Chicago talent in a grassroots showcase at iO Theater, Lincoln Lodge, Annoyance Theatre and Playground Theater. Highlights include Best of Sketchfest, featuring the six top sketch groups picked from Chicago's January Sketch Festival, and Chicagoland, an all-star show with comedy veterans coming together for a special night of improv.
TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS and the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago are collaborating on four nights of the best independent comedic shorts and feature films scouted by or submitted to Just For Laughs and the Gene Siskel Film Center, plus exclusive screenings of the winning films from the Christopher Wetzel Award for Independent Film Comedy. This event will take place within the Indie Comedy � The Christopher Wetzel Award for Independent Film Comedy showcase, which was created at the Gene Siskel Film Center to support independent filmmakers. Screenings will take place Wednesday, June 17, through Saturday, June 20. Additional details are available at genesiskel.org.
Columbia Pictures' Year One stars Jack Black and Michael Cera as a couple of lazy hunter-gatherers whose banishment from their primitive village sends them on an epic journey through the ancient world. Harold Ramis directed the comedy, which has a screenplay by Ramis, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (The Office) from a story by Ramis. The film is produced by Ramis, Judd Apatow and Clayton Townsend.
As part of the Year One event, Just For Laughs will present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Harold Ramis in recognition and celebration of his more than three decades of producing, writing, acting and directing. The Just For Laughs Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to artists who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of comedy. Ticket information for the Year One screening and Ramis tribute will be announced soon.
Columbia Pictures will also honor Ramis with a one-day retrospective with three of his films to be held Monday, June 15, at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Admission is free, with tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Gene Siskel Film Center box office beginning Monday, June 8.
"I can't think of anyone more appropriate to honor with the first Lifetime Achievement Award at our premiere Chicago festival than Harold Ramis," said Bruce Hills, chief operating officer of Just For Laughs. "A Chicago native and Second City veteran, he has spent more than 30 years involved with some of the funniest films ever made, including Animal House, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Vacation and Analyze This. We are proud to honor Mr. Ramis."
Excitement for the Festival has kicked into high gear, with Ellen's Bigger Longer and Wider Show, presented by Ellen DeGeneres, already sold out; a performance by Jimmy Fallon sold out; and three performances of George Lopez: Tall, Dark and Chicano sold out. Other top-name comedians slated to perform during the Festival are Lisa Lampanelli, Bill Engvall, David Alan Grier, Russell Peters and Louis CK.
Tickets for the Lakeshore Theater performances and the Gene Siskel Film Center presentations will go on sale Friday, April 24, at noon (CT). Tickets for the Lakeshore Theater performances will be available at lakeshoretheater.com or by phone at 773/472-3492. Tickets for the Gene Siskel Film Center presentations will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800/745-3000. Tickets also will be available at respective venue box offices. Tickets for performances at The Chicago Theatre, The Vic Theatre, and the Rosemont Theatre are on sale now and also available through Ticketmaster. Additional Festival information is available at www.justforlaughschicago.com.
This event marks the first Just For Laughs comedy festival in the United States. TBS and Just For Laughs are also collaborating with the largest independent promoter in the United States, Chicago-based Jam Productions, LTD and Outback Concerts.
About Just For Laughs
Just For Laughs is active in many areas of entertainment production including festivals, television, theater and touring. Its inaugural festival 27 years ago is now the world's largest and most prestigious comedy event welcoming over 2 million people each summer. During its 27 years, the Montreal Festival has featured some of the top comics in the world, including Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Dane Cook, John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson and Tim Allen. Each year, more than 1,000 industry executives are drawn to Montreal for what is considered the hottest breeding ground for new talent. In spring 2006, the company's French division launched the Festival Juste pour rire Nantes Atlantique in France and, in 2007, Just For Laughs launched the Just For Laughs Toronto Festival, both to great success. The newest city added to the list is Chicago with TBS Presents a "Very Funny" Festival: Just For Laughs, set to debut this summer. The company also successfully tours across the globe bringing some of the festivals' best talent to Canada, the United States, Bermuda and Asia and has personal management offices in Los Angeles, Paris, London and Montreal. Just For Laughs television shows are seen in over 139 countries and on more than 97 airlines around the world and in the past have been seen on MTV, Showtime, HBO, CMT, BBC America, ABC and Fox. Just For Laughs: Montreal is premiering on Comedy Central this May. Just For Laughs is currently seen in Canada on CBC, as well as The Comedy Network.
TBS, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television's top-rated comedy network. It serves as home to such original comedy series as My Boys, The Bill Engvall Show, 10 Items or Less, Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Meet the Browns; an eagerly anticipated late-night series starring George Lopez; hot contemporary comedies like The Office, My Name is Earl, Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, Family Guy, King of Queens, Seinfeld and Friends; specials like Funniest Commercials of the Year; special events, such as TBS Presents a "Very Funny" Festival: Just For Laughs in Chicago in June; blockbuster movies; and hosted movie showcases.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.