Two of the biggest names in comedy - TBS and Just For Laughs - have lined up a roster of extraordinary comedians for the premiere edition of TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS in Chicago, which will run Wednesday, June 17 - Sunday, June 21. Among the many top-name talents scheduled to appear are Ellen DeGeneres, Martin Short, George Lopez, Bill Engvall, David Alan Grier, Tim Meadows, Lisa Lampanelli, Jimmy Fallon, Russell Peters, Louis CK, Jim Jefferies, Bob Odenkirk and Mike Epps, to name a few.
In addition to live performances by comedy headliners, the five-day Festival will feature a showcase of alternative comedy at the Lakeshore Theater, a series of performances by local Chicago talent and a film festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A special kickoff event on Tuesday, June 16, at the Music Box Theatre, will honor the Chicago-born filmmaker/actor Harold Ramis with a Lifetime Achievement Award, followed by a special screening of Ramis' eagerly anticipated comedy Year One, starring Jack Black (School of Rock) and Michael Cera (Juno).
Several of the shows presented during the Festival will be taped for presentation on TBS. Ellen DeGeneres is on hand to present her third variety special for the network, Ellen's Bigger Longer & Wider Show, featuring an exciting slate of performers that includes Grammy(R) winner Kanye West and famed illusionist/endurance artist David Blaine. Let Freedom Hum - An Evening of Comedy Hosted by Martin Short will feature an outstanding slate of comedians, including Martin Short, John Pinette, Kathleen Madigan, Greg Giraldo, Tom Papa and Jeremy Hotz. And Comedy You Can Believe In with David Alan Grier will feature Grier performing and introducing an all-star roster that includes Bruce Bruce, Jo Koy, Mark Curry, Aries Spears, Ralph Harris and Marina Franklin. TBS will present the three specials June 24-26.
In addition, TBS has ordered 10 episodes of a new series entitled THE VERY FUNNY SHOW, hosted by Tim Meadows. The show, which is slated to premiere in November, will feature stand-up performances taped at Zanies comedy club during the Festival.
TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS 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.
Tickets for performances at The Chicago Theatre, The Vic Theatre and the Rosemont Theatre, as well as for the film showcase at the Gene Siskel Film Center, are available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800/745-3000. Tickets are also available at respective venue box offices. Tickets for the Lakeshore Theater performances are available at lakeshoretheater.com or by phone at 773/472-3492. Tickets for THE VERY FUNNY SHOW at Zanies are available through the Zanies box office at 1548 N. Wells St., by phone at 312-337-4027 or online at zanies.com. Additional Festival information is available at www.justforlaughschicago.com.
TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS
Wednesday, June 17 - Sunday, June 21
Talent and Show Lineup
SPECIAL KICKOFF EVENT @ THE MUSIC BOX THEATRE
Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation to Harold Ramis & Screening Year One - Tuesday, June 16
Serving as a special kickoff event, Just For Laughs will honor the Chicago-born filmmaker/actor Harold Ramis with a Lifetime Achievement Award, followed by a special screening of Ramis' 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.
THE CHICAGO THEATRE
TBS Special: Ellen's Bigger Longer & Wider Show - Wednesday, June 17; Premieres on TBS Saturday, June 27
With a spectacular collection of hand-picked performers lined up, Emmy(R)-winning host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres is ready to blow into Chicago with her third variety special for TBS. The extraordinary showcase will feature comedy, music, magic, dancing and unique specialty acts. The special is being produced by Telepictures Productions, with Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin and Andy Lassner, whose credits include Ellen's Emmy-winning talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, serving as executive producers. Below are highlights of the segments and performers slated for the special. Additional performers will be announced later.