The annual Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal holds an awards show every year during its sprawling, weeks-long run. They hand out awards like Comedy Person of the Year, Comedy Writer of the Year, Lifetime Achievement and more, with a mix of solid pros, up-and-comers and living legends getting fêted by their colleagues. Paste was invited to the red carpet for this year’s show, which means we got to awkwardly talk for a minute or two with some of the award winners and presenters. Here’s a gallery of the photos we took, along with some choice quotes from the stars who graciously spent a half-hour out of their day walking very slowly through a room full of cameras and microphones. And below you can find a full list of the awards and presenters.
Comedy Person of the Year: Kevin Hart
Presented by Dave Chappelle
Lifetime Achievement Award: Mike Myers
Presented by Dana Gould
Stand-Up Comedian of the Year: Patton Oswalt
Presented by Eddie Pepitone
Comedy Writer of the Year: Armando Iannucci
Presented by TJ Miller
Breakout Comedy Star of the Year: Ellie Kemper
Presented by Thomas Middleditch
Hosted by Jeff Ross
1 of 8
Kevin Hart, on winning Just For Laugh's Comedy Person of the Year Award: "I'm blown away, literally humbled by it. I'm thankful for it. Those who are involved in giving me the votes and getting to this position where I'm accepting an award of this magnitude today, I thank you and I smile. I've got one more to put on my mantle and for my kids to ask me questions about."
2 of 8
Patton Oswalt, on winning Just For Laugh's Stand-Up Comedian of the Year award: "I just assumed it would be Maria Bamford's year, or Amy Schumer's year. That's who I would've given it to. But I'm not complaining!" And on the Internet: "Internet, cheese, guns and drugs: they're not good or bad. It depends on who's using it."
3 of 8
Armando Iannucci, winner of Just For Laugh's Comedy Writer of the Year Award, on the Scottish independence movement: "If I answer that question I'll get into a lot of trouble back home. (laughs) In fact it's quite serious, that's the thing. It's quite serious. I didn't have a vote because I wasn't in Scotland—I live right outside London. And that's the frustrating thing, because you realize how culturally and emotionaly bound up you are with that question, because it's to do with identity, and I was wondering if my identity would change as a result of this vote. So to be locked out of that discussion was very frustrating. But because I didn't have a vote I sort of kept out of it because I kind of felt the last thing you want is people who don't have a vote mouthing off about it. That settles the question!"
4 of 8
Ellie Kemper, winner of Just For Laugh's Breakout Comedy Star of the Year award, on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt moving from NBC to Netflix: "That was fantastic. It was a matter of finding the home where it would be best suited and we had filmed all thirteen episodes knowing that it was going to be on NBC. We were done filming by it went to Netflix and it has been wonderful time there. My grandpa has Netflix, he's the oldest member of our family. He has Netflix and navigates it seamlessly so everyone is set. Surprisingly!"
5 of 8
Dana Gould, Just For Laugh's keynote speaker and the presenter of the Lifetime Achievement Award, on how age can impact a comedian's career: "In any occupation with a camera involved, people are just youth-obsessed. There's nothing you can do about it. I know that Comedy Central's new series is just comedians' ultrasounds, so I think they're getting a little silly."
6 of 8
TJ Miller, on presenting the Comedy Writer of the Year award to Armando Iannucci: "It means having to learn the pronunciation of Iannucci. I am a writer, I'm a brand ambassador for Montblanc, so I feel strongly about fountain pens and the written word in comedy. It's exciting. Also it gives people a little bit of an indication, I wrote two shorts that went to Sundance and I have two screenplays, so I am a writer also, so it's nice that they're recognizing that also instead of just saying 'present the best performer' or to the person with the most similar toddler body, to an overgrown toddler."
7 of 8
Thomas Middleditch, on presenting the Breakout Comedy Star of the Year award to Kemper: "It's great. She's a force of a talent. I know her through UCB comedy and the world of comedy and film and television. She's tried desperately to sleep with me which is really awkward, because she's married and I'm about to be. I plan on talking about this on stage. No, it's great."
8 of 8
Eddie Pepitone, presenter of the Stand-Up Comedian of the Year award, on social media: "It's really a love-hate with social media. I'll give the hate first: I feel like it's a nagging mother always going 'you need to post! You need to post!' And I feel like if I let five minutes go by—this is my OCD thing, I think—if I let five minutes go by on Twitter I think 'oh my God I better get on Twitter'. It's this thing that I feel. On the other hand I really kind of like it as a comedian because I have this captive audience and it's so great—I'll think of something funny and I'm going to get all this love back. It's like having a comedy club in your room!"