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Just For Laughs Vancouver: Our Picks of the Fest

With a diverse and wide-reaching lineup, here are some of your new favourite comedians performing this year.

by Ben Boddez

With a variety of shows spanning stand-up, improv, live podcasts and more from acts hailing from all over the world, the 8th edition of Just for Laughs Vancouver is returning to the city from February 15 to 24, 2024. While some of the bigger stars – like headliners Bill Burr, Ronny Chieng and Wanda Sykes – are taking venues like Rogers Arena and the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, part of the festival’s spirit has always been catching emerging stars before they become household names. When it comes to those most likely to make your sides hurt by the end of the night, here are our picks of the fest. 

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN (February 15 at the Vogue Theatre)

Ever since ascending to claim the RuPaul’s Drag Race throne back in 2016, Bob The Drag Queen has been an inescapable multihyphenate – she released her first musical EP last year, starred on HBO’s We’re Here and taken film roles, and co-hosts the ongoing podcast Sibling Rivalry with fellow queen Monet X Change. Often recognized as one of the funniest drag performers, Bob has also released two stand-up comedy specials – the latest being 2023’s Woke Man In A Dress – and is taking her talents in that area out on the road. | TICKETS & INFO


JOEL KIM BOOSTER (February 16-17 at the Biltmore Cabaret

Born in Korea and based in Los Angeles, Joel Kim Booster’s impressive resume in recent years has proven he’s a lot more than a stand-up comedian – but catching him in his primary element at JFL in an intimate venue will still be a treat. Booster recently wrote and starred in the award-winning rom-com Fire Island, praised for its LGBTQIA+ themes, and has also lent his writing and acting talents to shows like Big Mouth, BoJack Horseman and Shrill. | TICKETS & INFO


LEWBERGER (February 18 at the Rio Theatre)

For those who like their comedy to be delivered through song, Lewberger is a trio that have already brought songs about Disney princesses and the panic of forgetting to lock your car to shows like America’s Got Talent and Bring The Funny. Consisting of Alex Lewis, Hughie Stone Fish and The Try Guys’ Keith Habersberger – who plays the trombone, and applies his instrumental talent to the tracks along with his fellow bandmates – they’re a direct descendant of acts like Flight of the Conchords and The Lonely Island. | TICKETS & INFO


RAMY YOUSSEF (February 18 at the Vogue Theatre)

After a massive year – the Golden Globe winner appeared in both Yorgos Lanthimos’ stellar Poor Things and Disney’s centennial film Wish, and directed an episode of runaway TV smash The Bear in 2023 Ramy Youssef’s return to standup comedy finds him touring the follow-up to his debut special, Feelings, which aired on HBO in 2019. Often discussing his Muslim upbringing and delving into sociopolitical topics, Youssef has teased that his latest material is more personal than ever before. | TICKETS & INFO


ANDREA JIN (February 18-19 at the Biltmore Cabaret)

The recipient of the 2022 Juno Award for Best Comedy Album (for her special Grandma’s Girl), Andrea Jin will be playing a hometown show of sorts after moving to Canada from Shanghai at age 10 (she credits Russell Peters’ stand-up for teaching her English). With TV writing credits on shows anchored by Andy Samberg and James Corden and selected to perform at Patton Oswalt’s Montreal gala in 2022, Jin has been racking up a sizable following on TikTok and been recognized as a Comedian to Watch by the New York Times. | TICKETS & INFO


THE RYAN & AMY SHOW (February 20 at the Improv Centre)

A standout in the festival’s Best of the West showcase, full of homegrown talent, The Ryan and Amy Show represents the sketch comedy stylings of Ryan Steele and Amy Goodmurphy. Racking up some viral videos on Funny or Die – the most notable being a parody song about Kelowna – you may have caught one of the duo’s short films at a festival around the city or a set at SketchFest. The duo have been working together for over a decade, first starring together on TV’s The Funny Pit in 2012. | TICKETS & INFO