TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS
Ellen DeGeneres to be Joined by Kanye West and David Blaine, With Entertainer Nick Cannon Serving as DJ, for ELLEN'S BIGGER LONGER & WIDER SHOW,
An All-New TBS Variety Special Being Taped During Chicago Festival
Ellen Set to Lead Seventh-Inning Stretch at Wrigley Field
During Tuesday, June 16, Cross-Town Matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox
ELLEN'S BIGGER LONGER & WIDER SHOW to Premiere Saturday, June 27, on TBS
With a spectacular collection of hand-picked performers lined up, Emmy�-winning host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres is ready to blow into Chicago this June for the premiere edition of TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS, where she will present her third variety special for TBS. Grammy�-winning performer, songwriter and producer Kanye West, magician and endurance artist David Blaine and multi-talented entertainer/producer and comedian Nick Cannon are among the outstanding performers lined up for ELLEN'S BIGGER LONGER & WIDER SHOW, which is set to tape Wednesday, June 17, at the Chicago Theatre. The extraordinary showcase will feature comedy, music, magic, dancing and unique specialty acts.
"I'm so excited to be going to Chicago for my variety show," said DeGeneres. "We've got amazing acts, plus I've never seen the Liberty Bell up close."
ELLEN'S BIGGER LONGER & WIDER SHOW will premiere on TBS Saturday, June 27, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT). The special is being produced by Telepictures Productions, with Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin and Andy Lassner, whose credits include Ellen's Emmy-winning talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, serving as executive producers. Below are highlights of the segments and performers slated for the special. Additional performers will be announced later.
� Kanye West � As a centerpiece of this year's show, Ellen will welcome her friend, Atlanta-born, Chicago-raised, Grammy-winning performer, songwriter and producer Kanye West. West's critically acclaimed 808s & Heartbreak topped the charts as his third consecutive #1 album.
� Ellen at the Ballgame � Ellen will head to Wrigley Field, where Chicago's cross-town rivals, the Cubs and the White Sox, will face off against each other Tuesday, June 16. She is scheduled to lead fans in singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch.
� Street Magic with David Blaine � Ellen will take to the streets of Chicago with David Blaine as he shows off his trademark street magic skills. Blaine, who holds several Guinness World Records, has been featured on numerous television shows and specials performing his unique brand of illusion and endurance.
� Nick Cannon � Cannon, who will provide the DJ entertainment for Ellen, has been cited by People as one of the Top 10 Most Successful Young People in Hollywood and was featured on the cover of Black Enterprises' 40 Under 40 issue. At 28, Cannon is a successful, multi-faceted entertainer, known as a film star, comedian, musician, writer and executive producer of his very own TV shows.
ELLEN'S BIGGER LONGER & WIDER SHOW is one of several showcases being taped for premiere on TBS. The shows are designed to give comedy fans around the country the opportunity to enjoy some of the extraordinary performances lined up for TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS, which takes place Wednesday, June 17 � Sunday, June 21, in Chicago. Other specials from the Festival being taped for telecast on TBS include Let Freedom Hum � An Evening of Comedy Hosted by Martin Short, featuring an outstanding slate of comedians, including Short, John Pinette, Kathleen Madigan, Greg Giraldo, Tom Papa and Jeremy Hotz, and Comedy You Can Believe In with David Alan Grier, with Grier performing and introducing an all-star roster that includes Bruce Bruce, Jo Koy, Mark Curry, Aries Spears, Ralph Harris and Marina Franklin.
In addition, TBS has given the green light to The Very Funny Show, a new half-hour, late-night standup series hosted by Tim Meadows (TBS's The Bill Engvall Show, Saturday Night Live) and slated to premiere later this year. The series will feature performances by 30 fresh comedic talents, all filmed at the Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago during the Festival.
TBS PRESENTS A "VERY FUNNY" FESTIVAL: JUST FOR LAUGHS will bring together the biggest names in comedy, including George Lopez, Bill Engvall, Lisa Lampanelli, Jimmy Fallon, Russell Peters, Louis CK, Jim Jefferies, Bob Odenkirk and Mike Epps, to name a few. Among the many events slated for the Festival are live performances by comedy headliners, a showcase of alternative comedy at the Lakeshore Theater, a series of performances by local Chicago talent and a film festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A special kickoff event on Tuesday, June 16, at the Music Box Theatre, will honor the Chicago-born filmmaker/actor Harold Ramis with a Lifetime Achievement Award, followed by a special screening of Ramis' eagerly anticipated comedy Year One, starring Jack Black (School of Rock) and Michael Cera (Juno).
Excitement for the Festival has kicked into high gear, with Ellen's Bigger LONGER & WIDER Show already sold out; a performance by Jimmy Fallon sold out; and three performances of George Lopez: Tall, Dark and Chicano sold out, with a fourth show added.
Tickets for performances at The Chicago Theatre, The Vic Theatre and the Rosemont Theatre, as well as for the film showcase at the Gene Siskel Film Center, are available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800/745-3000. Tickets are also available at respective venue box offices. Tickets for The Very Funny Show at Zanies are available through the Zanies box office at 1548 N. Wells St., by phone at 312-337-4027 or online at zanies.com. Tickets for the Lakeshore Theater performances are available at lakeshoretheater.com or by phone at 773/472-3492. Additional Festival information is available at www.justforlaughschicago.com.
This event marks the first Just For Laughs comedy festival in the United States. TBS and Just For Laughs are also collaborating with the largest independent promoter in the United States, Chicago-based Jam Productions, LTD and Outback Concerts.
About Just For Laughs
Just For Laughs is active in many areas of entertainment production including festivals, television, theater and touring. Its inaugural festival 27 years ago is now the world's largest and most prestigious comedy event welcoming over 2 million people each summer. During its 27 years, the Montreal Festival has featured some of the top comics in the world, including Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Dane Cook, John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson and Tim Allen. Each year, more than 1,000 industry executives are drawn to Montreal for what is considered the hottest breeding ground for new talent. In spring 2006, the company's French division launched the Festival Juste pour rire Nantes Atlantique in France and, in 2007, Just For Laughs launched the Just For Laughs Toronto Festival, both to great success. The newest city added to the list is Chicago with TBS Presents a "Very Funny" Festival: Just For Laughs, set to debut this summer. The company also successfully tours across the globe bringing some of the festivals' best talent to Canada, the United States, Bermuda and Asia and has personal management offices in Los Angeles, Paris, London and Montreal. Just For Laughs television shows are seen in over 139 countries and on more than 97 airlines around the world and in the past have been seen on MTV, Showtime, HBO, CMT, BBC America, ABC and Fox. Just For Laughs: Montreal is premiering on Comedy Central this May. Just For Laughs is currently seen in Canada on CBC, as well as The Comedy Network.
TBS, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television's top-rated comedy network. It serves as home to such original comedy series as My Boys, The Bill Engvall Show, Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Meet the Browns; Lopez Tonight, an eagerly anticipated late-night series starring George Lopez; hot contemporary comedies like The Office, My Name is Earl, Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, Family Guy, King of Queens, Seinfeld and Friends; specials like Funniest Commercials of the Year; special events, such as TBS Presents a "Very Funny" Festival: Just For Laughs in Chicago in June; blockbuster movies; and hosted movie showcases.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.