Howie Mandel’s gala hosting abilities are stronger than most. You can tell he’s a seasoned performer who has been on television for years. Perhaps it’s from having done Deal or No Deal and America’s Got Talent, but for whatever reason, he was able to host one of the best gala’s I’ve seen in years.
I’ve been to a few galas, many of which have been pretty lackluster, whereas Howie’s seemed to rise to the occasion. He made a highly entertaining evening better because he knew how to deliver jokes and properly introduce the next comic. You’d think this would be an easy task for most hosts, yet I’ve seen so many failed attempts before.
It also didn’t help him that it was a good night for the comedians that he was hosting, as most of them were spot-on with their routines. The evenings all-star cast included Cedrick the Entertainer, Ron Funches, Orny Adams, Christela Olonzo, Gina Yashere and John Heffron.
Highlight of the show were Cedrick the Entertainer jokes about getting old, Ron Funches whose dry lisp delivery was just generally funny and Gina Yashere talking about the dirtyness of New York (she’s a great comic and I recommend checking out her solo show if she comes back to the festival in the near future).
Orny Adams received of a standing ovation for his routine which was based on the how much he hates millennial and millennial culture. I have to say; I’ve seen Orny several times and when he’s on he’s on and that night he was great!
By the end of the evening most people who were in the audience were feeling pretty energetic from all that laughter, and segue after segue the host master Howie Mandel gently made us laugh as he brought us to the end of this all star occasion.
35 years ago Just For Laughs brought the world’s great comics to Montreal, and here, 35 years later, who better than Canadian funnyman Howie Mandel to host them.
* Featured image from 2016 by Mike Miller, courtesy Just for Laughs