Six Years Of The Just For Laughs Comedy Conference; Six Years of Fun
May 30, 2013
This year marks six years of the Just For Laughs comedy conference — renamed ComedyPro. We asked ComedyPro Director, Paul Ronca, to take us back through those six years and to give us a glimpse forward of what fun we can expect.
Q: What are some of the stand out moments from the last six years?
Paul Ronca: Wow! Too many! Judd Apatow, Louis CK and Chelsea Handler each received our Comedy Person of the Year Award. Jason Reitman did an ‘In Conversation’ with his dad Ivan Reitman, and an “unplugged” session with director Edgar Wright. Louis CK did an ‘In Conversation’ for the first time ever at the conference, and talked frankly about his career. Todd Phillips also did an ‘In Conversation’ two months after the first Hangover film came out. Great keynote addresses from the last three years include Lewis Black, Marc Maron and Patton Oswalt. Many other big names have participated including Jay Roach, Etan Cohen, Steven Levitan, Bill Prady, Lee Aronsohn and so many more!
Q: What’s changed over the years, both for Just For Laughs and for the industry?
Paul Ronca: The Internet has changed both the conference and the industry dramatically. Just For Laughs used to be a platform for stand-up comics but now it’s a platform for everything and everyone funny (including the people popping up all over the Web). The industry has changed the way it looks for new stars and it’s also changed the criteria used in the search. The industry used to be a gatekeeper, but with the Internet anyone can bypass the gatekeeper and go straight to YouTube and become a star. Today, the comedy industry serves more as a guide and facilitator while being careful not to over interfere with the creator/star.
Q: What gets you most excited about this year’s conference?
Paul Ronca: The awards! We have some really cool people lined up, but I can’t talk about it right now.
Q: If someone hasn’t been before, why should they attend? And where should they start?
Paul Ronca: Anyone who is in the business of comedy should attend. It’s the biggest comedy event of the year. We have great ACCESSIBILITY – you can’t get any closer than this to the biggest stars and the biggest players in the comedy industry. Everyone hangs out at the Hyatt Regency bar. Every year, we invite an ALL-STAR CAST in a completely relaxed environment. And you get a BIG BANG FOR YOUR BUCK. Registration is $575 and gets you ACCESS to EVERYTHING: The three-day conference, industry lunches, Awards Luncheon, industry cocktails, All-Star Midnight Party, and LIVE shows at the best comedy festival in the world. You start by visiting our website.
Just For Laughs ComedyPro takes place July 25 – 27, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Montreal. ComedyPro is a unique, annual global gathering of the biggest players in the comedy industry. And we’re not kidding!