Many years ago I wrote an April Fool’s Day column in The Suburban where I announced that the King of all Media, shock jock radio personality Howard Stern, would broadcast his show live from the Just For Laughs Festival. It set off quite the reaction.
At that time Stern’s then syndicated show was being carried by CHOM FM. It did not last and for a significant time it was nearly impossible for Montrealers to listen to him until he surfaced on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. You can now hear his extraordinary and controversial program 24/7 on channels 100 and 101.
The Just For Laughs Festival will hold its 39th edition July 26 to 31 with a mix of live and virtual shows. Speaking to me via Zoom from the new temporary world headquarters of JFL, his home in Town of Mount Royal, President Bruce Hills said he and his team are already looking ahead to the milestone 40th anniversary in 2022. “I have my fingers crossed that we’ll be able to present one heck of a blowout event,” he told me.
Last summer JFL had to postpone its huge festival and follow-up with an online version in the fall. This summer there will be upwards of 12 plus in person live stand up shows in Montreal alone, plus a variety of virtual programs. The latter will include the highly anticipated JFL Awards Show, which will broadcast free of charge online for the very first time.
Hills travelled to Ohio recently to personally present superstar standup Dave Chappelle with one of the awards. On the way back he decided to get his money’s worth out of the 14 day quarantine and made a few stops. One was to a New York Islanders game where he met Gary Dell’Abate, also known by the nickname Baba Booey. He has been the executive producer of The Howard Stern Show since 1984..Dell’Abate is on Hills’ list to come here next summer. I also suggested Montrealer Chris Wilding, a talented writer for the Stern Show, be included. What about Stern? “We have tried forever,” says Hills.
Besides the Stern Show, I listen to the Just For Laughs Canada channel 168 on Sirius XM Canada. So you figure with the Sirius connection to JFL and the fact Stern’s former America’s Got Talent co-judge Howie Mandel is an owner of the Festival, perhaps this is not impossible after all. Please see my video clip with Hills in my column section of our website.
MOURNING MARTIN: Belated condolences to the family and friends of Martin Stone, a former editor of The Suburban, who passed away after battles with leukemia and congestive heart failure. Marty was 77 and a few years ago became the subject of a documentary called Stone Story. It chronicled his most interesting life and I reviewed it on my blog. We reconnected after that. When I posted the photo of a kitten I was having a hard time getting adopted, Marty answered the call and gave little Georgie a warm home. I am glad to hear his roommates are taking care of the feline. Rest in peace Marty.
COHEN CHATTER: Montreal actress Amber Goldfarb has a pretty prominent role in the new Netflix series Sex/Life… Jesse Stone Creatchman is an independent songwriter from Montreal. He writes great catchy songs and has one heck of a backstory. You can learn more about him on my latest Suburban On Air segment…Barry Christensen, a Montreal paramedic of 40 years and founder of the Stepping Up charity, is running for municipal council in Pointe-Claire for District 3, Valois. The beautification of Valois and the city as well as improving local services is a primary concern for him.