This won’t me Moshe Kasher’s first visit to Montreal, or to Just for Laughs. The comedian, writer and actor has been performing regularly here since his first appearance at the fest in 2009.
“I love Montreal,” he stated in a telephone interview, “this will be my fifth or sixth time coming to Montreal, so I feel like I know the city and I like it. The only thing is I’d like to get out to the wilderness surrounding the city. Other than that, I’ve seen it all…You guys already know this, but you’re a special city.”
2017 will, however, be the first time Kasher hosts JFL All Access. This is also the year where he became a TV talk show host with the new Comedy Central show Problematic (airs on MUCH in Canada).
“With my podcast, we were doing a topical show every month taking on a different topic and then the political climate changed and there needed to be more big conversations,” Kasher said, explaining the origins of the show.
“Conversations are important,” he continued, “and conversations, I think now more than ever need to happen. What is happening in our world is that when we disagree with people we stop talking and my philosophy on life is that when we disagree with each other we should begin having conversations.”
Problematic sees Kasher talking to a variety of internet trolls and provocateurs who are unable to hide behind their handles as well as celebrity guests and pundits. Shows are centered on a particularly, um, problematic corner of the web.
The show, which has already completed its seven episode first season has a stated mission to “bring peace and harmony to the internet”, a mission he is trying to accomplish on cable TV. I asked him why not do it on the web directly.
“Maybe we will. I’m still waiting to figure out if we’re doing more, so maybe for the next one, if we’re not, it will be on YouTube or Hulu or something like that,” he said, later adding that the distinction between the web real life is fading and the distinction between the internet and TV is something which will soon disappear.
Something that remains different, for Kasher, is performing live in front of an audience:
“That is one of the great divides between the internet and real life is that you cannot fake a live performance.”
While performing for TV and the web as well as in films offer a similar experience, for Kasher, there’s nothing quite like performing for a live audience.
Montrealers will have a chance to see Kasher in his live element when he hosts All Access, something he promises will be “wild and exciting” while featuring a wide array of comics. He is happy he is getting the chance to host one of the All Access TV tapings at a festival that welcomed him since he was one of the “new faces” of comedy.
Just don’t expect him to weigh in on one of Montreal’s most longstanding controversies. I asked this frequent visitor what he thought about our bagels and he admitted he likes them, but when asked his preference between Fairmount and St-Viateur, he responded:
“I don’t know that I’d want to involve myself in a political controversy.”
All Access Live Hosted by Moshe Kasher is on July 27th. Tickets available through hahaha.com