Canadian Comedy Takes Centre Stage with Three New Crave Original Stand-Up Specials, Streaming February 22

Toronto — February 6, 2019

– MARK FORWARD WINS ALL THE AWARDS, D.J. DEMERS: INTERPRETED, and ROBBY HOFFMAN: I’M NERVOUS join Crave’s growing collection of Canadian original programming –
– Produced in partnership with Just for Laughs, all three specials begin streaming February 22 –

TORONTO (February 6, 2019) – Crave continues to stack its original comedy stand-up collection featuring Canada’s brightest comedic stars with all-new specials from  Mark Forward, D.J. Demers, and Robby Hoffman. Produced in partnership with Just For Laughs and Counterfeit Pictures, the three specials serve up diverse styles of comedy and join the Crave Originals Collection beginning Friday, Feb. 22. Their premiere follows on the success of Crave’s first original stand-up specials that debuted last year. Filmed at Toronto’s Longboat Hall in front of a live audience during 2018’s JFL42 Festival, the specials are part of Bell Media’s ongoing partnership with Just For Laughs, which includes six seasons of JUST FOR LAUGHS: ALL ACCESS and the recent specials HOMEGROWN COMICS HOSTED BY K. TREVOR WILSON (streaming now on Crave), TREVOR NOAH @ JFL (streaming February 8), and THE STAND-UP SHOW WITH KATHERINE RYAN.This latest installation of JFL42 specials makes Crave the only Canadian streaming service actively commissioning long-form stand-up. Get a sneak peek at the latest Crave stand-up specials here. The loglines for Crave’s newest stand-up specials are outlined below. Program assets including episode synopses and images are available at BellMedia.ca/PR. MARK FORWARD WINS ALL THE AWARDS: Setting his sights on self-serious comedy, Forward rants about everything from death and bears to nursery rhymes in this physical, absurdist, and wildly unpredictable one-hour comedy special. A veteran of the Montréal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, Forward is a staple in the Canadian stand-up scene and recognized worldwide, performing at international festivals including the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As an accomplished actor, Forward is well-known for his supporting role as Coach on Crave’s original comedy series, LETTERKENNY. Forward has also made several appearances on CBS’ THE LATE LATE SHOW and Comedy Central’s JOHN OLIVER’S NEW YORK STAND-UP SHOW. D.J. DEMERS: INTERPRETED: Comedian D.J. Demers shines a light on life in L.A., big words, disability porn, and getting haircuts while deaf. Available in two versions, one complete with closed-captioning subtitles and an onstage American Sign Language interpreter, Demers raises the standard of accessible comedy in his new, one-hour stand-up special. Demers is an award-winning stand-up comedian who’s made notable appearances on CONAN and AMERICA’S GOT TALENT. In 2018, his album Indistinct Chatter was nominated for a JUNO Award for Best Comedy Album and in 2015 Demers received Best Breakout Artist at the Canadian Comedy Awards. Demers has been recognized at the 2014 Montréal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, 2013 Toronto Comedy Brawl, and as a 2011 finalist on NBC’s Stand-Up. ROBBY HOFFMAN: I’M NERVOUS: Self-described “small-ex-Chasidic-lesbian-Jewish-stand-up-comedian” Robby Hoffman spares no one in this brazen, one-hour comedy special, as she covers topics from her religious upbringing, to the U.S. and Canadian border, and the holocaust. Hoffman has quickly become known for her skills as a witty writer and hilarious performer. Recently named one of Comedy Central’s “Up Next” comedians, she’s written for truTV’s THE CHRIS GETHARD SHOW, CBC’s WORKIN’ MOMS, and in 2016 received an Emmy® for Outstanding Writing on PBS’ ODD SQUAD. Hoffman has been featured in several renowned festivals including the 2017 Montréal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and New York Bridgetown Comedy Festival. MARK FORWARD WINS ALL THE AWARDS, D.J. DEMERS: INTERPRETED, and ROBBY HOFFMAN: I’M NERVOUS are co-produced by Just For Laughs Television and Counterfeit Pictures, in association with Crave. Executive producers are Bruce Hills from Just For Laughs, as well as Dan Bennett, Shane Corkery, and Anton Leo from Counterfeit Pictures. The specials are directed by Shelagh O’Brien. For Bell Media, production executive is Chris Kelley. Sarah Fowlie is Director, Original Production, Comedy, Bell Media. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Original Programming, Bell Media. Justin Stockman is Vice-President Pay and OTT Services, Bell Media. Tracey Pearce is President, Distribution and Pay, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media.  

About Crave:
Delivering more Emmy® Award-winning programming than any other service, Crave is Canada’s prestige entertainment offering, with HBO, SHOWTIME®, Starz, Hollywood-hit movies, a superior collection of kid’s movies and programs, and thousands of hours of acclaimed television series, specials, factual programming, and originals that can’t be found anywhere else. Crave is the exclusive home of HBO in Canada, delivering HBO’s current slate of signature dramatic and comedic programs, documentaries, films, and live specials, as well as titles from HBO’s extensive off-air library. Crave is also home to current SHOWTIME series and specials, and past SHOWTIME hits. Crave is available directly to all Canadians with access to the Internet at Crave.ca, via iOS and Android, and other platforms. It’s also available through participating television providers across six 24-hour High Definition linear and on demand channels. Crave is from Bell Media, Canada’s leading content company, providing Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed television programming on network, specialty, pay and digital platforms. Visit our website at Crave.ca.?

About Just For Laughs Television:
Just for Laughs Television is one of the leading producers of stand-up and variety programming and has produced television programs that have been seen around the world on ABC, HBO, Netflix, Amazon, MTV, TBS, CBC, BBC1, Showtime, TEN Australia and the Comedy Network. The company has also expanded into scripted and non-variety programming. Just for Laughs Television is part of the Just for Laughs Group. Founded in 1983, the Just for Laughs’ growth is concentrated on three major focal points: festivals (in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney), television production and stand-up specials (most notably “Gags,” seen in 135 countries and on 100 airlines) and live shows (Canadian tour dates for Jerry Seinfeld, Carol Burnett, Bill Burr, Jimmy Carr, Kathy Griffin, Trevor Noah and Steve Martin & Martin Short). The Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, which will celebrate its 37th edition in July, is the world’s largest and most prestigious comedy event, welcoming more than 2 million people each summer.

About Counterfeit Pictures:
Counterfeit Pictures was established by partners Dan Bennett, Shane Corkery, and Anton Leo; three industry veterans with extensive experience in television production, broadcast and digital media. Counterfeit’s first project was the wildly funny and quirky Sunnyside, a sketch comedy series that airs in Canada on City and FX Canada. Huffington Post called it “Canada’s latest sketch comedy gem.” Counterfeit is currently producing Dark Cargo – a fast-paced neo-noir thriller for Youtube, produced in association with eOne, Seven24 Films and Red Hour.

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