Highlights from the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and Variety’s Comedy Honors

Montreal in July certainly proves to be the epicenter of all things comedy as the major players in the industry flock to the city for the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. Bringing together more than 1,600 artists from across the globe, the festival—which just wrapped its 37th iteration—showcases the latest and greatest in comedy, holding panels, hosting shows, honoring comedians new and old, and so much more.

This year, ICM Partners client Amanda Seales was named 2019’s Just for Laughs Rising Comedy Star of the Year. While Seales is relatively new to stand-up, she has graced the small screen acting in HBO’s “Insecure” and hosting truTV’s “Greatest Ever.” For Seales, however, stand-up is a creative outlet unlike any other.

“I got a joy onstage that I didn’t get in any other creative space I was in,” Seales told Variety. “Even though I enjoy creating across genres, there was just this unique connection that I found onstage.”

In conjunction with the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, Variety releases an annual list of 10 Comics to Watch as well as a Comedy Impact Report, and ICM clients were well represented across the board.

Linda Cardellini and ICM comedy agent and partner Adam Ginivisian both graced Variety’s Comedy Impact Report. Linda stars in Netflix’s “Dead to Me” alongside Christina Applegate, bringing her fierce acting power to the hit series that blends humor and drama to confront the realities of grief, loss, forgiveness, and friendship.

A key player in building ICM’s comedy division, Adam Ginivisian currently represents the likes of Jay Pharoah, Desus & Mero, Fortune Feimster, Scott Rogowsky, Claudia Oshry, Nemr, Hannibal Buress and Orny Adams. Eager to bring artists and audiences together one show and platform at a time, he was instrumental in turning the “Drumpf vs. Bernie” sketch into a world tour, two specials and an album, brokering the “Desus & Mero Do NYC” tour, and so much more.

Patti Harrison was named to the 10 Comics to Watch list—a selected group of stand-up comedians, content creators, and creatives chosen by Variety editors, critics, and the larger comedy community. Patti was most recently seen on Hulu’s “Shrill,” served as a writer on the Netflix comedy “Big Mouth,” and is set to appear in Jason Segel’s upcoming anthology series “Dispatches from Elsewhere.”

Congratulations to everyone!