Comics head for Montreal

Al Murray, Ed Byrne and more...

Pub Landlord Al Murray is to make his transatlantic debut at the Montreal comedy festival.

Organisers have announced the programme for the Just For Laughs event, which also includes Joan Rivers, Denis Leary and the cast of The Simpsons.

And for the north American premiere of his resolutely British character, Murray has chosen a town that speaks the French he so despises.

As well as four solo shows, Murray is also appearing as part of the Britcom strand, highlighting the best of UK comedy including Omid Djalili, Jimmy Carr and Karl Minns.

There is also an Irish showcase featuring the talents of Ed Byrne, Colin Murphy and Dara O'Briain.

The cast of The Simpsons will be performing a live read-through of an episode, and take questions from fans, in an 'in the flesh' show that they previously performed in Edinburgh and London.

Creator Matt Groening said: "Seeing The Simpsons actors perform on stage is a magical experience. All you have to do is imagine them wearing Simpsons costumes, and it's like you're watching an actual cartoon."

The festival will also pay tribute to Bill Hicks, with comics remembering his stand-up genius.

A Just For Laughs spokesman said: " Having premiered Hicks' one-man show, Relentless, at the 1991 Just For Laughs Festival, it is only fitting that we salute this comic legend."

The festival - now in its 20th year - takes place from July 11 to 21 and is a favourite hunting ground for Hollywood talent scouts.

Others appearing include comic writer Spalding Gray, Larry Sanders Show star Janeane Garofalo and stand-ups Dom Irrera and Sean Cullen.


Published: 22 May 2002

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