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The Lorne Supremacy: how Lorne Michaels reshaped the world of comedy

The Saturday Night Live honcho is the ultimate Hollywood kingmaker. Here, a who’s who of his star system

The Lorne Supremacy

Lorne Michaels, the Toronto-raised creator of Saturday Night Live, has plucked dozens of unknowns from obscurity and turned them into stars. He’s created box office heavyweights like Will Ferrell and Mike Myers, whose films can net $200 million worldwide. He transforms people like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler into prime-time icons. And last month, he took over The Tonight Show—a comedic brass ring—and placed his protégé Jimmy Fallon in the host’s chair. Here, the people who owe their careers to the prescient producer.

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People

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Patton Oswalt, Todd Barry and David Suzuki join Louis CK for JFL42

Last month, we announced that Louis CK is headlining JFL42, a Just For Laughs festival with 42 offerings (duh), including standup, music, poetry and lectures (it’s sort of like the NXNE of the comedy world). And the confirmed participants keep rolling in: Patton Oswalt and Todd Barry have signed on to make people laugh, while David Suzuki has been asked to lecture because, well, he’s awesome. Not interested in laughing or listening to awesome people talk about important subjects? There’s also a poetry slam and some sort of event where people get their naked bodies painted (art!), so there’s something for every kind of person. (For everyone’s sake, we hope the paint isn’t too cold.)

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Culture

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Hilarious funnyman Louis CK to headline Toronto comedy festival

Louis CK (Image: David Shankbone)

Fans of Louis CK’s incredibly colourful (and hilarious) standup comedy will be excited to note that he’ll be headlining four shows in Toronto as part of the launch of JFL42, a festival put together by Just For Laughs and LiveNation. The festival runs for eight days from September 21 to 28, and will include, um, 42 acts from various disciplines, ranging from art to comedy, to choose from (a pass entitles the buyers to a reserved seat for a Louis CK show, and the choice of attending several other events). This isn’t your average comedy festival either, because JFL and LiveNation want the user to be involved in creating the schedule—festival passes can be purchased via smart phone, and the acts with the most interest will get the best time slots (the festival also recognizes that some acts may be too popular, and they have committed to setting up at bigger venues or adding extra performance dates and times where possible). Passes go on sale May 25 at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster, and a full list of the performers will be revealed in June. Please, please, please, let Rob Delaney be on that final list.

TIFF

TIFF 2009

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Celeb-spotting warm-up: let the speculation begin

TIFF bound? She has a film in the festival, so we hope to see Tina Fey sipping lattes in Yorkville

TIFF bound? Tina Fey stars in The Invention of Lying (Photo by George Arriola)

No celebrity’s attendance at TIFF has been officially confirmed, but yesterday’s announcement of opening galas and special presentations gives us a good idea of who’s expected to venture to Toronto in September. Here’s a quick breakdown of which movies are being screened and which stars we expect to see milling about Yorkville 50 days hence.

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