Whether joking about her Pakistani/Swiss roots or the excesses of some tabloid celeb, Sabrina Jalees has always been fearless. That chutzpah came in handy last year when she poignantly revealed how her extended Muslim family "broke up" with her after she came out. Expect lots of honest hilarity on her Brownlisted tour, which kicks off June 14, at Innis Town Hall. sabrinajalees.com.
Before he became Mr. Katy Perry, and even before Jonah Hill got him to the Greek, Russell Brand was known for his brutally funny stand-up comedy. Now, post-relationship and with a slew of fine films behind him, Brand's on the road again. He hits the Sony Centre August 22. 416-368-6161.
The comedy component of NXNE gets a huge boost this year, with Chapelle's Show regular Donnell Rawlings headlining a special night (June 16) at the Danforth Music Hall featuring three acts who are all headliners in their own right: Nick Reynoldson, Trixx and Dave Merheje. Other big names during the fest include Big Jay Oakerson, Dylan Moran and the Best Of The Fest showcase from the Toronto Sketch Comedy Fest on June 14. nxne.com/comedylineup.
Jen Kirkman's one of the funniest people, period, whether it's in her bestselling comedy albums, her writing (or round-table contributions) at Chelsea Lately, her hilarious Funny Or Die Drunk History episodes or her podcast appearances with Paul F. Tompkins. Now, on the heels of her first book, I Can Barely Take Care Of Myself: Tales From A Happy Life Without Kids, Kirkman hits the Comedy Bar June 7 and 8. comedybar.ca.
Crawford cracks it
For the past year, Gavin Crawford's been trying out new material at comedy nights and cabarets. From what I've seen, it's some of his best work ever. His special Pride show, Gavin Crawford: Sh**ting Rainbows, will skewer every queer icon and stereotype in the book. June 21 and 22 at Buddies in Bad Times. 416-975-8555.