Mark Forward breaks down his upcoming series of Just for Laughs shows named A Very Mark Forward rather succinctly: “They’re just really stupid, fun, idiotic hours of comedy.”
Each show has a different theme: A Very Mark Forward Safari, A Very Mark Forward Space and A Very Mark Forward Into the Future. They will also each feature two special guest comics, whose names Forward is keeping a secret.
“I have a game plan for each night,” Forward said in a phone interview when asked about his process, “I’ve done a couple of these shows in Toronto to dry run them for Montreal. So, yeah, it’s all written material and then some improv, because I just want to put on shows that are fun, because I think that’s what people need right now.”
While some comics spent the past couple of years when everything was shut down working on material or doing Zoom shows, Forward had a different outlook:
“I enjoyed the time off, to be honest with you. I just enjoyed being at home. And it’s kind of hard getting back out because I just loved the downtime. It was great.”
When that downtime ended, Forward went on a 37-state tour of Letterkenny Live (Forward plays Coach on the Crave comedy which has developed quite the following south of the border).
“So it was like going from nothing to right back into it. And it was comedy overload. It was a lot of fun.”
I asked Forward about his next career steps are now that things are back to normal.
“Oh, man,” he answered, “here’s the thing. I get asked this all the time. I have never thought beyond tomorrow, so I have no idea. I did not expect to still be doing stand up. I did not expect to be on television shows. I’ve been very fortunate and very lucky to constantly find wonderful work, but I really we don’t have a plan.”
One thing he is planning to do, sort term, is take in as much of the rest of the festival as possible. Forward is no stranger to JFL (winning New Faces in 2006, back when it was still called Homegrown) and the Oakville, Ontario native always enjoys his time in Montreal for the fest.
“I love to see the other shows, for sure. I love to see The Alternative Show every night. That sort of really speaks to me. The Alternative Show at midnight, just walking around that city. That city knows fun.”
And if it’s fun you’re looking for, that’s exactly what Forward plans to bring to the stage.
A Very Mark Forward runs July 26th, 28th and 30th, with a fresh show each night. Tickets available through hahaha.com