Spotlight: “The Ethnic Show” at Just For Laughs

Billed to near-perfection with names from around the world, The Ethnic Show hopes to bring diversity to the mainstage at this year’s Just for Laughs Festival. The show will take place at Club Soda Theatre from July 12 to 25, and feature an exciting group of comedians. Here are two of The McGill Tribune’s highlights from the upcoming show. 

Robby Hoffman

On stage, one thing is for sure: Robby Hoffman will be herself.

“I just am. I just am whatever I am. If they want to bill me as whatever they want to bill me as, that’s fine,” Hoffman said in an interview with the Tribune. “[There are] no expectations. I go off the rails often. If something hits me, I go with it. [….] I just am the most me that I can be at these shows and that might surprise people.”

In addition to her appearance on The Ethnic Show, Hoffman will also host the Early Evening Show, her spin on the late-night show format—its 7:30 p.m. start time being just one of several twists.

“I like to be in bed,” Hoffman said. “I like to take a bath, I like to slap on a pad at the end of the day and get the flow going. The late-night space, I mean, who wants to be up at 11:35? I’d rather go home, have dinner, watch a show, take a bath, and go to sleep. It’s like I’m a 97-year-old stuck in my young body.”

Hoffman’s impulsive, and in-the-moment, creativity has been a guiding force throughout her career. For example, the first time she hosted her Early Evening Show, she entered singing “Shalom Aleichem,” a traditional Jewish song as a nod to her heritage. Hoffman claims her performance has revitalized the song’s success.

“Turns out that everybody likes ‘Shalom Aleichem,’ and I think it’s on Billboard now,” Hoffman said. “We resurfaced it and brought it back to the number one hit that it deserves.”

Anthony DeVito

Anthony DeVito knows Train, the rock band. He knows them personally and he knows their music, too; he was quick to pick a favourite song. 

“I’m a ‘Meet Virginia guy’,” DeVito said. “I like the original hits that got them there […] ‘Calling All the Angels’ was enormous. I didn’t even know they sang that really until, I guess, I became friends with them.”

DeVito met Train lead singer Pat Monahan when he asked DeVito to perform on the band’s cruise ship; Monahan had seen one of DeVito’s performances on television, and decided then and there that DeVito was one of his favourite comedians. The offer came as a bit of a surprise to DeVito, and as a result, he spent the entire cruise with a surreal, uncomfortable feeling.

“I hadn’t been on TV except for that one thing,” DeVito said. “Maybe I had done Adam Devine’s House Party [by then], but there was really no reason for anyone to be like, ‘Is that Anthony DeVito?’”

Maybe this year, someone will recognize the New York-based comedian as he returns to the Just for Laughs Festival for the third time. Devito promises to dig into his wealth of personal material each night and to give audiences a great—and unique—show.

“I’m super excited to come back this year and spend even more time in Montreal and at the festival,” DeVito said. “I couldn’t be happier.”

The Ethnic Show will take place from July 12 to 25 at Club Soda Theatre. Visit hahaha.com for more information on showtimes.

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