The World’s Biggest Comedy Festival Comes To Africa
Just For Laughs, the brand behind the 35 year global success story that is the Montreal International Comedy Festival, is coming to Africa. A joint venture between the iconic comedy brand and a South African-based conglomerate, Just For Laughs Africa will deliver a continent-wide mix of local comedy development, international comedy superstars and unprecedented opportunities for continental comedians to gain international exposure.
The long-term continental partnership was announced during the 35th Montreal Comedy Festival, with the news that the first Just For Laughs Africa will take place in Durban, South Africa in 2018. The event will offer comedy fans the best of local, continental and international artists, which will grow year-on-year in its Durban home, thanks to a partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government.
“We have already established successful Just For Laughs festivals beyond Montreal including Toronto (JFL42), Vancouver (JFL Northwest) and Sydney (JFL Sydney) and couldn’t be more excited by this new venture in South Africa”, says Gilbert Rozon, President and Founder of the Just For Laughs Group.
Just For Laughs has gained notoriety in South Africa with its programming broadcast on M-NET and Comedy Central Africa. In addition, JFL has a proud history of bringing to its festivals some of the best comedians from South Africa and beyond, including John Vlismas, David Kau, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Riaad Moosa, Basketmouth and of course, Trevor Noah.
The South African stand-up comedy scene has grown exponentially over the past few years, with audiences developing an appreciation of the art and a host of dedicated comedy venues being custom-built in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Of course, the poster boy for SA comedy is The Daily Show host Noah, who has become a global household name since he stepped in to take over the immensely-popular show from Jon Stewart. Comedy continues to thrive across the rest of the continent as well, with comics from countries including Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Botswana enjoying loyal – and growing – followings at home and abroad.
“The opportunity to bring the experience of the Just For Laughs team to developing African comedy was one we just couldn’t turn down,” says Just For Laughs Africa Director Moyikwa Sisulu. “Their experience in developing local comics, showcasing global superstars and generating amazing content for distribution across multiple channels is second-to-none and we can’t wait to grow the continental comedy scene with them”.
About Just For Laughs
Founded in 1983, the Just For Laughs Group’s growth is concentrated on three major focal points: festivals (in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney); television production and stand-up specials (most notably Gags, seen in 135 countries and on 95 airlines); and live shows (Canadian tour dates for Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan, Bill Burr, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Louis C.K., Jimmy Carr, Danny Bhoy, North American dates for John Cleese & Eric Idle and Family Guy Live!, to name a few). Its inaugural Montreal Festival, which will celebrate its 35th edition in 2017, is the world’s largest and most prestigious comedy event, welcoming more than 2 million people each summer. The Group has offices in Montreal, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, and a small apartment on the Internet.
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