Montreal, September 3, 2003 The 2003 Just For Laughs Comedy Tour hits the road this fall for a cross-Canada tour with some of the funniest acts ever presented at the world's largest and most prestigious comedy festival. The Just For Laughs Comedy Tour returns for its fifth year, to take the country by storm, featuring this country's most respected and renowned comedic star, Rick Mercer, hosting a show that promises to delight audiences in 18 cities from St. John's, NFLD to Victoria, BC beginning on October 21, 2003.

        His time has come, and not a moment too soon. Mitch Fatel's time, that is. After 10 years of impressing critics and slaying audiences, not to mention numerous spots on both the Late Show with David Letterman and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where he has become a regular correspondent filing stories including his latest, a hilarious report from the biggest biker rally in the United States. More and more fans know that beneath his oh-so-innocent and friendly exterior lurks some mischievous and off-colour commentary waiting to pounce. The Hollywood Reporter recently named Mitch as one of their "best bets" for future fame.

Mitch Fatel
Comedian Mitch Fatel

        Who better to host a Canadian tour than Made in Canada's Rick Mercer, winner of no less than 20 Gemini Awards. Mercer made comedy history with his one-hour CBC special Rick Mercer's Talking to Americans, attracting 2.7 million viewers across Canada and making it the highest-rated comedy special in the country's history. Acting as host for a major entertainment event is nothing new for this writer/actor who rose to prominence as one of the stars of the top-rated television show, This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Besides the Gemini Awards, he has also played host for the Juno Awards, the East Coast Music Awards and during Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill. Mercer makes his return to weekly television this fall on the CBC with The Rick Mercer Show, featuring a unique comedic spin on news and current affairs in true Rick Mercer fashion.

        American comic/actor Adam Ferrara, a headliner on Wiseguys, the Italian comedy show that was one of the stand-out hits of the 2003 Just For Laughs Festival, joins the tour this fall to offer his blend of brilliant characterizations and hilarious observations on life. Ferrara is perhaps best known for his recurring television roles on Caroline in the City and later on The Job -- where for two seasons he co-starred opposite another Just For Laughs alumnus, Denis Leary. Ferrara recently joined the likes of Colin Quinn, Gina Gershon and Christopher Walken, among others, in a roast of Denis Leary on Comedy Central. A national headliner in his own right, Ferrara has earned two American Comedy Award nominations.

        He makes the ordinary extraordinary. Canadian everyman Derek Edwards has taken everyday subjects and spun yarns that have left audiences in stitches for over a decade in his acclaimed career. Based on his Timmins, Ontario rural roots, his backwoods humour is delivered with a polished style and impeccable timing, leading to regular appearances on the New Red Green Show, as well as numerous appearances at previous Just For Laughs Festivals. Edwards has also toured across Ontario with the Just For Laughs Road Show. In 1995, Edwards began to show the promise he was about to fulfill, winning the Vail National Comedy Invitational in Colorado. His other television credits include A&E's Comedy on the Road, CBC's Comics! and Open Mike with Mike Bullard.

        Bringing an international scope to this national tour is Squire John Moloney, an unpretentious UK classic with a dry wit to match any of his era. Having performed at two Just For Laughs Gala shows, Moloney is used to the limelight but still rings as deadpan as ever. Nominated for "Best Live Stand-Up" at the 1998 British Comedy Awards, Moloney was voted "Best of the Fest" at the 1999 Sydney International Comedy Festival. In 2001, he received critical acclaim and played to sold-out crowds at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for his show, Moloney Live. Moloney also starred in the 2002 Just For Laughs Asia Tour in Singapore.

        Montrealer Joey Elias lost a bet 11 years ago and was forced onto the comedy stage; this big man with a big talent has never looked back since. He now has no less than seven appearances at the Just For Laughs Festival behind him. The big man made a colossal splash for his outstanding performance during the 2002 Just For Laughs Gala show. Elias has also recently appeared on CTV's Comedy Now and MTV's Road Rules. Besides television, film beckons for our pal Joey and he will be appearing in the upcoming Dennis Quaid movie, appropriately entitled Tomorrow. He has also surfed the local airwaves as radio co-host on the afternoon drive home show for Montreal's Team 990.

        Every year since its inception, the Just For Laughs Comedy Tour has provided audiences from one end of the country to the other the opportunity to enjoy some of the finest acts from the pre-eminent comedy festival on the planet. Bruce Hills, Just For Laughs' Chief Operating Officer and one of the event's principal architects, knows all too well how important the tour is, both for the event itself and for fans across Canada. "Organizing a tour of this magnitude certainly has its challenges, but the response from both the public and the media has been so strong that we can't wait to come back. We are excited to have someone of Rick Mercer's stature on this tour allowing audiences across the country a chance to see him live on stage."

        In 2003, the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, which featured over 1900 shows and approximately 1000 performers, welcomed over 1.7 million visitors and was covered by more than 500 media representatives from around the world.

        The Tour begins on October 21, 2003, in St. John's, Newfoundland, winding up on November 16, 2003, in Victoria, British Columbia.

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Tickets go on sale Monday, September 8 across the country except Kelowna where due to present circumstances, an on-sale date will be announced shortly.

Don't miss the Just For Laughs 20th Anniversary Special on the CBC Tuesday, September 30 at 8 PM. The new season of Just For Laughs begins on the CBC Wednesday, October 29 and Just For Laughs Shows can be seen daily on the Comedy Network.

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Source: Just For Laughs

National Publicist: Sylvie Brunetta - Brunetta Etc ! Communications - 450-628-4014

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Copyright 2003 Mitch Fatel