MEET A MONTREALER: ANDY NULMAN

Posted on June 6th, 2010 by .

Meet Andy Nulman. He’s the brains, and clearly the good looks (see below), behind the massively successful Montréal comedy festival “Just For Laughs.”

“In 1985, Andy Nulman joined the festival’s staff and introduced Anglophone events as well; under Nulman’s stewardship, the festival increased to a full month, with French-speaking performers during the first half, and English speakers in the second half. International and non-verbal acts (acrobats, pantomimes, etc.) are scattered throughout the program.” (Wikipedia)

The Just For Laughs is the largest festival of its kind in the world. It has brought many comedians to Montréal, such as Jeff FoxworthyTim AllenJerry SeinfeldJon Stewart, Whoopi GoldbergRussell Peters, Dame Edna Everidge, and Bill Cosby.

But enough about those jokers! Let’s meet Mr. Nulman!

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BACKGROUND

Who are you?

An overachiever who is returning to his comedic roots in an effort to finally be taken seriously.  I usually let others, or Google, describe me.

What do you do?

Way, way, way, way too much.  One day, this will stop.  Hopefully, while I’m still alive.  I always say my one regret is that I have just one life to live…but I’m working on a solution.

Why do you choose Montreal?

Originally, by default; I was born here.  I had no say in the matter.  Currrently, in spite of its faults.  Montreal’s like a three-legged puppy; a little broken but incredibly lovable.

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MONTRÉAL FAVOURITES

Restaurant: Zante, Moishe’s, Milos, Kitchenette, Portus Calle and anything by David McMillan (Joe Beef, Liverpool House).  I dig food with attitude.

Boutique/Store: Simon’s upstairs, U&I, Duo, Soho…any place with clothes that mere mortals are somewhat afraid to wear.

Neighborhood: Griffintown. The dark side of it.

Park: Victoria Park, my gym of choice

Festival: Well, there’s a loaded question!  Is there any other than Just For Laughs?

Museum: I’m an Art Gallery guy—DeBellefeuille, Yves Laroche and Parisien Laundry are my faves

Place to spot an attractive local: My mirror.

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QUICKIES

Your twitter bio describes you as a “Reluctantly-extroverted, creatively- daring businessperson.” Can you tell us a bit more about your business approach?

Hmmm…well, I try to do things that shock and confound the status quo but make money in the process.  The two are usually mutually exclusive, but they’ve served me quite well over the past 35 years.

Your work has you traveling frequently. How do you maintain your humor when you’re stranded in an airport with only stale Starbucks sandwiches and Kenny G songs to sustain you?

First of all, I’ll never eat the sandwiches; I go for the smoked almonds.  Secondly, where there’s a bookstore, there’s an escape.  Thirdly, to hell with Kenny G; I sing to myself.  Loudly.  And finally, I hit the car rental counter.  When I was stuck in San Diego right after 9/11, I drove straight to Calgary.

If you could rocket one comedian into outer space to act as an ambassador from earth, who would you choose and why? (Please choose whether he/she would have the ability to return to earth or not.)

I’d choose Gilbert Gottfried.  He’d be enough to ensure no alien would ever dare even contemplate coming here in any manner other than total subservient fear for their lives.  And of course I’d let him return.  Without him, the global strip club business would go bankrupt.

What’s the funniest thing about Montréal?

The bridges.  They kill me!

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