Review: Just For Laughs' "The Ethnic Show" Brings Cultural Chuckles to the Festival

Just For Laughs kicked off the 34th edition of its iconic Montreal comedy festival earlier this week and one show you could always count on as a safe bet for big laughs is The Ethnic Show. Taking place at Club Soda, the series is hosted by Montreal's own Rachid Badouri, a star in the French comedy scene who took the festival by storm when featured on the bill of last year's Ethnic Show. Badouri hit home runs whenever talking about typical issues that Montrealers face, along with his fearlessness towards bashing any culture's stereotypes (Badouri himself his Moroccan, and doesn't shy away from any Arab-related jokes). His humour and performance style is much more energetic than 2015 host Alonzo Bodden (who typically thrives off of observational-based humour), an element that really seemed to appeal to the crowd.

Rachid Badouri telling a story of his upbringings, photo via The Gazette.

Aside from Rachid's well-received host position, it is safe to say that there aren't really any comedians on this year's bill who performed poorly. From Greek New Yorker's Yanni Papas' bit on dirty talk in different languages to Jessica Kirson's impersonating old Jewish ladies complaining, almost every comedian brought forth hilarious dialogue from their own cultures that the audience could still easily enjoy if the jokes were not about their own upbringings.

For whatever reason, there was a couple who decided it would be a good idea to bring their eleven year-old daughter to the show. This did not end well for them, with nearly every comedian on the lineup bagging on them (from Nemir's "I thought the family would definitely be Lebanese, we're too cheap to hire babysitters", to Godfrey simply pretending to jerk off in front of the girl's face).

 

Godfrey roasting a family who brought their 11 year-old daughter to the show. Photo via The Gazette.

Even in the couple of cases in which comedians didn't particularly touch upon race or heritage-related commentary (Dom Irrera and Godfrey), the performers still brought their own unique energies that were able to do them justice on The Ethnic Show's stellar bill.

All this to say, The Ethnic Show has proved itself worth once again. This show is perfect for a date night, and even fun for the family...if your kids are older than eleven, that is!