Whether you're a hardcore comedy fan or just want to decompress after seeing some bands, there's something for everyone at the comedy component of NXNE.
1. Simon Amstell
A famous TV presenter and sitcom star in his native England, the quirky, Jewish, gay and vegan Amstell is gradually breaking through in North America. So don't miss his headlining NXNE shows at the Great Hall Saturday and Sunday (June 21-22).
2. Kurt Braunohler
You'll never look at a dildo the same way again after hearing Braunohler's classic joke about running through the streets with a double-pronged sex toy. Expect that and a lot more off-centre observations when he performs a weekend of shows at the Comedy Bar, with two shows Friday and Saturday (June 20 and 21) and a hosting gig for resident sketch troupe the Sketchersons on Sunday Night Live (June 22).
3. Late-night shows
Yeah, you can see comedy in this town seven days a week, but most shows wrap up around midnight. Not at NXNE Comedy, where you can schedule your own marathon of mirth by checking stuff out late - even after 3 am. Expect no-holds-barred sets from the likes of Nick Beaton, Alex Pavone, Jean Paul, Matt Folliott, Dom Pare and Steph Tolev, who are all performing into the wee hours.
4. DeAnne Smith
Before you get all Prided out, take in a show by the suavest queer comic around, the ultra-smart, likeable and focused Smith, who can make you laugh about abortion, getting waxed and neanderthal male comics. Thursday (June 19) at the Comedy Bar.
5. The new venue
The festival lost the LOT Comedy Room this year, but it's added a new space just up the street. Can't wait to check out the Studio Bar (824 Dundas West) for first-rate acts like Julia Hladkowicz, Matt O'Brien, Chris Locke, Graham Kay and Christina Walkinshaw.