Girls star and creator Lena Dunham and Late Night host Seth Meyers are among the headliners at Toronto's third JFL42 comedy festival.

The event is billed as a "pass-based interactive comedy festival" created by Just for Laughs. The demand created by pass holders determines how many shows will be performed and in what venues. More than 100 shows are expected to take place at venues across the city.

Also on the bill is Parks and Rec star Nick Offerman, as well as comedians Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, Tig Notaro and Joe Rogan.

The fact that there are so many strong, female comics on the bill — from Dunham, Sykes, Schumer and Notaro to Dunham to Broad City and Chelsea Peretti — is "an example of how the industry has changed," according to Just for Laughs programming director Robbie Praw.

"There was an era where it was a boys club, the stand up world, and I think what women are doing nothing! They are just being themselves," he told CBC News on Tuesday.

"Not trying to adapt in any way, they don't need to do that... They are talking about their experiences from their points of view and why shouldn't they be as great as men are?"

Comedians are also gaining more influence as general commentators, thanks to high-profile gigs like hosting the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner and because of social media, he added.

For comics on Twitter, especially, "it is hard to ignore the issues going on [in the world]," Praw said.

"They are commenting on what's out there. They are at the forefront. They have a lot of influence... a lot of people following them aren't watching the news and they are getting it from stand up comedians [who are] getting more relevant as time goes on."

JFL42 runs from Sept. 18 to 27. Passes go on sale June 6.

The festival has brought some of comedy's top names to the city, including Louis C.K., who headlined the inaugural edition.

With files from CBC News