In the tradition of Christian Charles's 2002 Comedian, Murray Battle's marathon three hour documentary The Next Big Thing - which originally aired episodically on Canadian television - follows six up-and-coming comics over a year-and-a-half stint, as they struggle to build their careers in one club after another, and gradually ascend the comic ladder - from the late-night college circuit to Montreal's much-ballyhooed Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, and all of the rungs in-between. In the process, the series unveils all of the forces that contribute to making a comedian a star. . . or a failure, from overanxious parents to aggressive, take-no-b.s. casting agents. Over the course of their experiences, the comics frequently ponder what makes a joke sail one night and bomb mercilessly the next. They also occasionally look to their French Canadian idols and role models who carved a like path and became Hollywood megastars, such as Martin Short, Mike Myers and Jim Carrey. The participants include: Laurie Elliott, Shaun Majumder, Dave Martin, Nikki Payne, Jason Rouse and Kristeen von Hagen.
~ Nathan Southern, Rovi