The Just For Laughs Festival officially wraps its 36th edition, with even more Sold-out Performances, Special Tapings, Surprise Guests, Industry Events
…and that’s no joke!
Featuring Dave Chappelle & John Mayer, Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer, Tiffany Haddish, Trevor Noah, Wanda Sykes, Howie Mandel, William H. Macy, Ken Jeong, Hannah Gadsby, Jo Koy, Chris D’Elia, Jimmy Carr, Russell Peters, Katherine Ryan, Maria Bamford, Kenya Barris, and many more!
This year marked a record amount of content with over 70+ tapings and recordings, collimating in 185 episodes for partners such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, The Comedy Network, CBC, The CW, LOL Network, plus digital content!
Montreal, QC (July 30, 2018) – The Just For Laughs Festival, presented by Bell in collaboration with Loto-Québec, closed off its 36th year with an unparalleled amount of laughter. With more sold out shows than ever before, an abundance of special tapings, and unrivaled comedic talent from every corner of the globe, JFL continues to hold its position as the biggest comedy festival in the world.
- Dave Chappelle and John Mayer rocked the Bell Centre, merging their skills in standup comedy and music for their Controlled Danger concert. Just For Laughs was the perfect city to host this show’s very first-ever Canadian performance.
- The festival continued to deliver larger-than-life surprises in an intimate club setting when Chappelle and Mayer stopped by Midnight Surprise unannounced, and performed a three-hour set! The excitement continued when Tiffany Haddish jumped on stage to join them for a few songs, shocking all of the lucky fans in attendance.
- Kevin Hart took the Bell Centre stage by storm with his tour, Kevin Hart: The Irresponsible Tour to a packed Bell Centre. He brought his notorious, high energy proving why he is one of comedy’s most sought-after performers. The unexpected didn’t end there!
- Hart carried on the night with surprise appearances on Open Mike Eagle and Baron Vaughn’s New Negroes and Big Jay Oakerson’s What’s Your F@#king Deal.
- Stunning Montreal comedy fans, the one and only Amy Schumer hopped on a plane to perform two sold-out solo shows in some of the city’s most intimate spaces. Without any warning, Schumer left audiences in stiches night after night, gifting the lucky few with premium comedy content.
- Notorious for his political comedy, Trevor Noah packed Place-des-Arts for two Gala shows, while the hilariously brilliant comedian and actress, Tiffany Haddish, filled Place-des-Arts with a late-night Gala. Many more star-studded JFL Galas included The Ken Jeong Gala, The Will Forte Gala, The Jeff Dunham Galas, The William H. Macy Gala, and The Howie Mandel All-Star Comedy Gala, all filmed for our broadcast partners, The CW, The Comedy Network, and CBC.
- JFL’s famous melting pot of comedy, The Ethnic Show, continued to wow-audiences throughout its 18-show run at Club Soda, featuring host Maz Jobrani and crowd-favourites, Gina Brillion, Francisco Ramos, Matteo Lane, Loyiso Gola, with Special Guest, Orny Adams. Fans were treated to an unannounced guest performance by The Hangover’s Ken Jeong.
- The Nasty Show filled MTelus with unforgiving laughter for 11 nights, provided by host Robert Kelly, and downright dirty comics Brad Williams, Nikki Glaser, Mike Britt, and Ms. Pat.
This year’s solo shows at JFL were not to be missed!
- Hannah Gadsby performed for the last time in front of a live audience her critically-acclaimed Nanette, one of today’s most-discussed comedy specials to a sold-out Olympia.
- Jimmy Carr stole the show with 9 performances of Jimmy Carr: The Best Of, Ultimate, Gold, Greatest Hits World Tour.
- Russell Peters brought his new tour, Russell Peters – Deported World Tour to the Just For Laughs stage at Maison Symphonique for two back-to-back nights. Comedian extraordinaire.
- Chris D’Elia, delivered hearty laughs with his show, Chris D’Elia: Follow The Leader.
- Jo Koy returned to JFL for one-night-only with his Jo Koy: Break the Mold Tour, filling Maison Symphonique with booming laughs.
Other standout solo shows were performed by today’s top comedic voices in the best comedy city in the world, including, David Cross, Iliza Shlesinger, Maria Bamford, Dylan Moran, Roy Wood Jr., Tom Green, Deon Cole, Gina Yashere, Brent Butt, and Moshe Kasher.
The 2018 Just For Laughs Awards Show, presented by Bell, rolled out the red carpet and shined the spotlight on this year’s recipients including Tiffany Haddish (“Comedy Person of the Year”), presented by Kevin Hart; Hannah Gadsby (“Comedy Special of the Year”), presented by Maria Bamford; Jo Koy (“Stand-Up Comedian of the Year”), presented by Howie Mandel; Lil Rel Howery (“Breakout Comedy Star of the Year”), presented by Deon Cole; and Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch of Netflix’s Glow (“Comedy Writers of the Year”) presented by Marc Maron. Unable to resist the biggest celebration of the 2018 Festival, Dave Chappelle and John Mayer stopped by red carpet and Awards ceremony, surprising media and their comedic friends who were being honoured. The Just For Laughs Awards Show was hosted by veteran and overall funnyman, Alonzo Bodden, bolstering big laughs and comradery between some of today’s comedy elite, with poignant and heartfelt speeches celebrating the works of some of comedy’s finest.
Just For Laughs was honoured to host Netflix, filming Netflix Specials Live. A massive success spanning over 6 nights, with 24 packed shows featuring 32 different comedians from across the globe, including Chris D’Elia, Nick Swardson, Ivan Decker, DeAnne Smith, K. Trevor Wilson, Joel Creasey, Nicole Byer, Neal Brennan, and many more, the specials are set to be released in 2019.
Just For Laughs excitedly launched a brand-new comedy series, The Stand Up Show with Katherine Ryan, filmed exclusively for The Comedy Network. Hosted by the Canadian-born and fiercely funny comedian Katherine Ryan, each of the six performances at L’Astral featured a wide range of cutting-edge talent, including Andy Kindler, Liza Treyger, Colin Quinn, Rebecca Kohler, Nish Kumar Todd Glass, Big Jay Oakerson, Chris Gethard, Tony Hinchcliffe, Ivan Decker, Zainadine Johnson, and many more.
Other pop-up sets throughout the incredible 2018 Festival included Godfrey at The Nasty Show, Jonathan Van Ness and Chris D’Elia on Midnight Surprise and MANY more!
This year’s JFL ComedyPRO conference continued to impress, inviting industry tastemakers, business influencers, and comedy aficionados to a 4-day conference, pulling back the curtain on all things comedy.
- Esteemed writer, producer, and showrunner Kenya Barris (Black-ish; co-writer of Girls Trip), delivered this year’s Keynote Address at JFL ComedyPRO.
- Live recordings of some of today’s most popular podcasts; Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, Doug Loves Movies, Watch What Crappens, Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, Homophilia, Throwing Shade, Off Book: The Improvised Musical Podcast, You Know What Dude!, Good One: A Podcast About Jokes, The Jackie and Laurie Show, and more.
- Comedian, author, and activist Cameron Esposito participated in a live, In Conversation, following her release of her free special, Rape Jokes. Esposito delved into her own exploration of the #MeToo movement, as well as what life has been like for her since her special went viral.
- Other JFL ComedyPRO events included Andy Kindler’s renowned State of the Industry Address, Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch Showcase, Anthony Atamanuik as Donald Trump in Anthony Atamanuik’s Make Canada America Again! The Trump Rally, Political Comedy in the Pre-Apocalyptic World, Oh! Comedy, Mark Forward and Rebecca Kohler’s “Oh Comedy!” A Canadian Perspective, and Homegrown Comics; a festival-favourite showcase that highlights Canada’s own rising stars of comedy, hosted by K. Trevor Wilson, and taped for The Comedy Network.
- Just For Laughs and Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud! Network were excited to team up for the fourth consecutive year, also bringing back the Laugh Out Loud! Presents: Just For Laughs Eat My Shorts, short film competition for the second year, celebrating todays up-and-coming comedy filmmakers.
For the first time ever, Amazon has collaborated with the Just For Laughs Festival to film and produce a six-episode docuseries following the New Faces class of 2018. The six-episode series follows the individual journeys of each of the comedian, which culminated at this summer’s showcase. The series will be available exclusively for Prime Video later this year.
This year’s OFF-JFL lineup brought their A-game! Unbeatable lineups featured the likes of Tom Papa, Neal Brennan, Chris Gethard, Fortune Feimster, Andy Kindler, Melissa Villasenor, Maz Jobrani, Ari Shaffir, Scott Rogowsky, Colin Quinn and many more.
Just For Laughs took over the streets of Montreal for 19 days straight, with copious amounts of unbeatable programming. Major highlights also included The Beach Boys and The Dan Band performing on the festival’s outdoor Bell stage.
On the French side, Festival Juste pour rire’s 36th edition was also a great success. The Festival is hailed by critics, artists and the public for its many novelties. The spectacular musical FAME directed by Serge Postigo seduced some 50,000 spectators with its mind-blowing choreographies. The new Carte Blanche Galas led by Laurent Paquin, Pier-Luc Funk, Denis Drolet and Jérémy Demay were hilarious, diverse and refreshing.
The French Galas are now available on demand on Bell Fibe and à la carte for Bell Satellite TV. They will be broadcast on ICI RADIO-CANADA TÉLÉ, on ICI TOU.TV EXTRA and on Canal D. The gala highlights and backstage moments will also be available on Bell TV1 as of October. The gala highlights and backstage moments will also be available on Bell TV1 as of October. A hit of the Festival this summer, Netflix chose to tape, in Montreal, during the Festival, no less than 32 Specials that will be broadcast on the platform in 2019. Comedians Louis-José Houde, François Bellefeuille, Katherine Levac and Adib Alkhalidey are among those who will see their jokes travel to the homes of some 125 million Netflix subscribers worldwide! Mike Ward, Korine Côté, Philippe-Audrey Larrue-St-Jacques, Billy Tellier, Laurent Paquin and Paul Taylor all performed sold-out shows at Place des Arts. The jazz-and-circus hybrid show, Scotch & Soda, cumulated standing ovations at Théâtre St-Denis II from July 10-21. During the sixteen days of festivities, the streets of downtown welcomed a ton of shows including, The Beach Boys, Alexandre Barrette, Vincent C, Mado's Got Talent, The Super Quiz Show with Anaïs Favron, Juste pour Ados, The Denis Drolet and the beloved Twins Parade. For its 5th edition, Mondial des Jeux presented some 55 special events that brought together comedians, professional gamers and festival-goers. Bouffons!MTL , the largest foodie village in North America, has been incredibly successful this fourth edition with some 40 delicious food offerings. To close the Festival, Edmond, a play directed by Serge Denoncourt, will be at Théâtre du Nouveau Monde from July 26 to August 28. Next summer, Festival Juste pour rire invites you to travel under the hot sun of Greece: it will be presenting the international musical success Mamma Mia! Tickets are available at hahaha.com.
To mark its 10th anniversary, Zoofest presented by Bell in collaboration with Pabst Blue Ribbon, had more than 250 artists and over 125 comedy, music and theatre shows from July 5-28. Festival-goers enjoyed 24 days of laughs and discoveries while several surprise appearances punctuated this edition, like those of Louis-José Houde and François Bellefeuille. The 10th anniversary Gala hosted by Sam Breton, featuring Zoofest & OFF-JFL's most successful artists of the past 10 years, Anne-Marie Losique’s revelation show, The France-Québec Gala, and memorable interviews with Montreal mayor Valérie Plante and Quebec’s Premier Philippe Couillard were among Zoofest’s most brilliant highlights.
Business was booming throughout the festival, with a record-breaking industry passes sold, and multiple digital business venture announcements. This year’s Just For Laughs Festival has unfortunately come to a close – but the JFL team is looking forward to what’s up next: JFL42 from September 21-30 in Toronto and JFL Sydney from November 20-25 in Australia.
The Just For Laughs Festival ran from July 11 - 29, 2018 in Montréal, Canada.
Find us on social #JFLMTL
The Just For Laughs Festival would like to thank its public partners: Government of Canada, Destination Canada, Gouvernement du Québec, City of Montréal and Tourisme Montréal for their support.
Tangerine, Sleeman and Tim Hortons are proud supporters of the festival
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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 100 airlines); and live shows (Canadian tour dates for Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan, Bill Burr, Kevin Hart, Jimmy Carr, Danny Bhoy, North American dates for John Cleese & Eric Idle and Family Guy Live! to name a few). The Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, which will celebrate its 36th edition in 2018, is the world’s largest and most prestigious comedy event, welcoming more than 2 million people each summer.
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