Top picks for JFL Northwest 2017

The comedy fest runs February 16-25

Comedian Jim Gaffigan | Photo: Miro Vrlik Photography / Shutterstock, Inc.

The second annual JFL NorthWest festival is underway. Here are some of the can’t-miss acts for comedy fans.

Fortune Feimster

An alumna of LA’s famed Groundlings improv/sketch troupe (see also: Will Ferrell, Paul Reubens, the core cast of Bridesmaids), the North Carolina native rose to prominence as a regular Chelesa Lately panelist, reliably spouting outrageous R-rated observations as offhandedly as if she were ordering from a dinner menu.

Feb. 17, Biltmore Cabaret, 6pm

Jim Gaffigan

One of only 10 stand-ups to sell out Madison Square Garden, Gaffigan has, alongside Louis CK, made is acceptable again to joke at length about fatherhood after the myriad crimes – real and alleged; comic and otherwise – of Bill Cosby. Case in point: his bestselling non-fiction book, Dad is Fat.

Feb. 24, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 7pm and 9:30pm

Moshe Kasher

If all comedy is borne of darkness, this Bay Area transplant excels better than most — his memoir is titled Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16, a fitting companion to his debut album, Everyone You Know is Going to Die, and Then You Are! Arguably JFL’s best kept secret.

Feb. 18, Rio Theatre, 7pm

Trevor Noah

Stepping into the role vacated by Jon Stewart simultaneously catapulted this South Africa native to overnight fame and gave him very large shoes to fill. But the latter-day Daily Show host has obviously abetted himself well; the program continues to thrive, while Noah simultaneously draws acclaim for stand-up, the forum in which his career began.

Feb. 25, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 7pm and 9:30pm

Tom Segura

Having graduated in larger cities from clubs to theatres, Segura’s popularity is blossoming thanks to his two Netflix specials (the most recent of which, Mostly Stories, is tremendous) and the podcast Your Mom’s House, which he records with his wife and fellow comedian, Christina Pazsitzky.

Feb. 25, Vogue Theatre, 6pm

Sarah Silverman

Ricky Gervais confessed to being rendered speechless when he saw Silverman’s 2005 concert film, Jesus is Magic – he had never heard a comic go where she did. It was indeed a game-changer for no-holds-barred stand-up, and although Silverman has mellowed slightly since then, she still knows how to push buttons in ways that provoke conversation even among those who don’t follow comedy. This is a compliment.

Feb. 25, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 6pm

Sunday Service

This Vancouver improv five-piece has been holding down a Sunday night residency at the Fox for years, so this performance’s relationship to JFL is a mere formality. But if you haven’t seen them before, consider this your opportunity to be introduced. Few local comedic talents are able to consistently fill a room every week – they’re clearly doing something right.

Feb. 19, Fox Cabaret, 7:30pm

• Times listed are when doors open. Visit for tickets and the full festival line-up.