Just for Laughs

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This article is about the comedy festival in Montreal. For other uses, see Just for Laughs (disambiguation).
Just for Laughs
Victor JustForLaughs trademark.jpg
"Victor", the Just for Laughs trademark mascot
Genre Comedy festival
Location(s) Montreal, Canada
Founded July 14, 1983
Website
http://www.hahaha.com/

Just for Laughs (French: Juste pour rire) is a comedy festival held each July in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1983, it is the largest international comedy festival in the world.[1]

History[edit]

Just for Laughs was founded in 1983 by Gilbert Rozon as a two-day French language event. In 1985, Andy Nulman joined the festival's staff and introduced English language 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. In 1999, Nulman left the festival's full-time employ; however, he directed its major Gala Shows at the St. Denis Theatre every July, and remained on the board of directors of the festival's parent company After an 11-year absence, Nulman returned to Just for Laughs in July 2010 as president of Festivals and Television.[2]

Each day, street performers, "New Vaudevillians" and other acts both vocal and visual perform throughout the city, particularly in the "Latin Quarter"—an area known for its theatres, cafés and boutique shopping. In the evenings, the nightclubs and live venue theatres offer special programs supporting the performers. Although Just for Laughs attracts spectators from around the world, many of those in the audience are talent scouts, booking agents, producers and managers from the entertainment industry. Performing at the festival is one of the biggest opportunities for undiscovered talent to showcase their act in front of industry professionals.

Saint-Denis Theatre in Montreal with Victor

The Just for Laughs festival also has the Comedia comedy film festival component, which started in 1996. It gives awards for feature and short films. 2005, Comedia screened 125 short films from around the world as well as several feature length films.

In February 1994, the festival sponsored a splinter project in Hollywood, Florida. That coastal area is a favourite winter destination for Quebecers who head south to vacation in the warmer weather. The event, Juste Pour Rire—En Vacances (Just For Laughs—On Vacation), was held in the Young Circle Park, an outdoor venue with an urban park setting.

Improv All Stars stage from the Just For Laughs festival in 2003

In July 2007, Just For Laughs celebrated its 25th edition, launching a festival in Toronto, Ontario. In 2009, the Chicago festival was launched and aired on TBS.

TV shows[edit]

Just for Laughs has also been a launchpad for many US network television and sitcom careers, and is frequently featured as a foreign on-location highlight of late-night US network talk shows.

Just For Laughs films many performances at the annual festival in Montreal and the TV productions from these tapings air regularly on CBC Television, The Comedy Network and TVA. The shows feature stand-up performances from the festival and sometimes include "canned bits" shot on location around Montreal, Canada.

During the summer of 2007, ABC aired episodes of Just for Laughs Gags.[3] It consisted of two half-hour episodes, and aired mostly on Tuesdays from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. The content and format was exactly the same as the Canadian counterpart, but was hosted by Rick Miller, who introduced each segment with a quirky pun. The show returned to the ABC lineup as a mid-season replacement on January 1, 2008.[4] The series was initially not renewed after the half-season, but ABC reversed their decision. The third season of the show, titled simply Just for Laughs, began airing on June 21, 2009 at 7:00 pm ET.[5][6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]