For the past 27 years, the "Just for Laughs" comedy festival has had the city of Montreal in stitches. Now, it's America's chance as cable network TBS is bringing the fun to Chicago, a city known for its rich history in comedy. The 2009 "Just for Laughs" festival will take place at various venues throughout the city from June 17-21, bringing such comedic stars as Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, George Lopez, David Allen Grier, Bill Engvall, Andy Dick and many more.
"Just for Laughs" is considered the world's preeminent comedy festival, hosting more than two million people every summer. Such superstars as Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Ray Romano, Dane Cook and Dave Chappelle have joined in on the fun over the years, while the festival has also helped launch the careers of new comics. The premiere U.S. "Just for Laughs" festival marks an annual partnership between TBS and the Montreal-based Just for Laughs entertainment production company, which is collaborating with Chicago's Jam Productions and Outback Concerts to bring the event to the Windy City.
The five-day festival will feature more than 100 comedians starring in more than 70 shows. Local comics, sketch and improv performers and troupes will appear in a variety of performances at such venues as the iO Theater, The Lincoln Lodge, The Playground Theater and Annoyance Theatre. You'll also get to see the best comedic shorts and feature films from around the world at the Gene Siskel Film Center and the School of the Art Institute. TBS plans to tape three comedy specials from the Chicago appearances, including "Ellen's Bigger Longer and Wider Show," a variety showcase hosted by DeGeneres, "Comedy You Can Believe In With David Allen Grier," an all-star standup special, and another show to be announced soon.
Tickets for the "Just for Laughs" festival performances at the Chicago Theatre, the Vic Theatre and the Rosemont Theatre go on sale through www.ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000 (as well as the venue box offices) this Monday, April 6 at 12PM. Shows at the Lakeshore Theater and Gene Siskel Film Center will be announced on Monday, April 20, and tickets will go on sale Friday, April 24.