To build the global reach of French-language humour!

Montreux / Montreal, December 2, 2019—Today, in Switzerland, two giants of humor announced an important partnership to ensure the place of French-language comedy creativity amidst the globalization of the content market. According to this historic agreement, the Montreux Comedy Festival and the Festival Juste pour rire will co-create humorous products for francophones on both sides of the Atlantic.

Juste pour rire and Montreux Comedy have long been involved in the production, distribution and promotion of humour in all its forms. Notably, both organizations produce a French-language festival, as well as many products, based on recordings of shows, intended for traditional and digital platforms.

The union of their respective strengths will allow the production of large-scale projects for the stage, as well as the many screens and distribution platforms that currently share original French-language comedy content.

“The Montreux Comedy brand has been expanding for several years across the Francophonie. With our 15 million views per month for our YouTube content, our brand is a leader for millions of francophone humour fans. The alliance with Juste pour rire is a natural fit, as we already have many humour fans inspired by the Montreux Comedy brand in Quebec. Likewise, we are happy to be able to offer our stage and the power of our networks to French-speaking Quebec artists who have the talent and popularity to break into Europe,” said Grégoire Furrer, founder and producer of the Montreux Comedy Festival.

Charles Decarie, President and CEO of Groupe Juste pour rire, added: “We are very pleased to sign this agreement, which aims to create synergies for the creation of French-language content between the two largest humour festivals in the world. This announcement continues our strategy of exporting Quebec and Canadian know-how abroad, and underlines the Group’s positioning as an international player.”

Patrick Rozon, the Group’s vice-president for French-language content, further added: "This agreement will strengthen our two industries, especially in the context of the globalization of content. Francophone artists in Quebec will have a new platform to showcase their talent on the international stage, while Festival Juste pour rire attendees will have access to the best in French-language European comedy.”

At a time when humour, and especially stand-up comedy, are attractive for new broadcast players in search of original and exclusive content, the partnership between Juste pour rire and Montreux Comedy is crucial for the worldwide reach of French-language humour.

Montreux Comedy: international humor

Founded 30 years ago, Montreux Comedy is one of the most prestigious festivals of the Francophonie. The Festival has an international presence in Switzerland, France, Côte d’Ivoire and South Africa where it produces several major events, including the Johannesburg International Comedy Festival—the first pan-African festival. Montreux Comedy currently has thousands of festival-goers each year and more than 20 million viewers on partner channels such as France TV, Comédie+, RTS, and for the first time this year, Amazon Prime Video. It is a leading digital force, with nearly a million subscribers and more than 400 million views on its YouTube channel, the most widely viewed in its category in the French-speaking world.

About Groupe Juste pour rire

Founded in 1983, the Just For Laughs Group’s growth is concentrated on three major focal points: festivals (in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney, Australia); television production and stand-up specials (most notably Gags, seen in 150 countries and on 100 airlines); and live shows (Canadian tour dates for Jerry Seinfeld, Trevor Noah, Kevin Hart, Jim Gaffigan, Bill Burr, Sebastian Maniscalco, John Mulaney, Jimmy Carr, Danny Bhoy, Amy Schumer and North American dates for John Cleese & Eric Idle, to name a few). The Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, which celebrated its 37th edition in 2019, is the world’s largest and most prestigious comedy event, welcoming more than 2 million people each summer.