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JUST FOR LAUGHS,THE LARGEST AND MOST INFLUENTIAL COMEDY FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD GROWS WITH ELITE ADDITIONS TO THEIR INAUGURAL 100% FREE DIGITAL COMEDY FEST

September 29, 2020

JUST FOR LAUGHS,

THE LARGEST AND MOST INFLUENTIAL COMEDY FESTIVAL

IN THE WORLD GROWS WITH ELITE ADDITIONS TO THEIR INAUGURAL

100% FREE DIGITAL COMEDY FEST

 Joining the previously announced star-filled roster are comedy heavyweights Kevin Hart and Judd Apatow sitting down for a special 1:1 conversation,

Chelsea Handler, The Opening Act (with Cedric the Entertainer, Steve Byrne, Jimmy O Yang, Anjelah Johnson, Roy Wood Jr.), Jimmy Carr, Noel Fielding, Ronny Chieng, Tig Notaro, Wanda Sykes, Gina Yashere, Bobby Lee, Sabrina Jalees, Ms. Pat, Alonzo Bodden, Eat My Shorts, New Faces: Creators, Variety’s 10 Comics To Watch

and more!

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 Laugh Out Loud (LOL) brings its new, experiential division LOL X to JFL and Reveals Its Shining Lineup Celebrating Comedy in Color for their Comedy Room!

Go directly to festival.hahaha.com

on October 9 & October 10

Montréal (September 29, 2020)Just For Laughs Festival, presented by La Capitale Insurance and Financial Services, in collaboration with Loto-Québec will be taking over cell phones, computers, and Smart TVs across the world with the first-ever digital Just For Laughs Festival on October 9 & 10, 2020. The festival’s very first 100% online free festival is already promising to be one of the must-see digital comedy events of the year, with the addition of more sought-after comedy talent partaking in the unique online comedy experience featuring In Conversations, discussions, panels, films and more.

The Festival will have multiple virtual comedy rooms that will be running simultaneously, starting at Friday at 5:15pm EDT/ 2:15pm PDT and Saturday at 6pm EST / 3pm PDT, allowing fans to do what they love to do best and digitally club-hop from room-to-room. Featuring original comedy content, each show will remain on the website via video on demand until Sunday, October 11 at 11:59pm EDT. This will optimize all comedy fans’ experiences, allowing them to catch performances from all of their favourite artists.

“Through Laugh Out Loud and JFL’s shared mission of keeping the world laughing together, we will be deepening our relationship tied to that core focus. We’re thrilled to announce the line-up of robust LOL at JFL programming that will engage consumers, fans and the global business community alike around the shared value of laughter, specifically through Comedy In Color.” says EVP and GM of Laugh Out Loud, Thai Randolph.

The inaugural festival kicks-off with Kevin Hart, founder/CEO of Laugh Out Loud and award-winning filmmaker and comedian Judd Apatow sitting down for a special 1:1 conversation presented by JFL and LOL, where the two luminaries will discuss all things comedy, and the creative process behind growing a comedic empire. All comedy rooms will simultaneously run this never-before-seen conversation between two of comedy’s most influential artists in the industry today. This event will take place on October 9, 2020 from 5:15pm-6:00pm EDT.

In addition, JFL is excited to announce today added star-power to this year’s lineup:

Conversations with Funny People featuring Chelsea Handler, presented by HBO Max:

In this edition of Conversations with Funny People, comedian Chelsea Handler takes to the virtual stage for a live, unscripted and never-before seen conversation. Regarded as one of the most successful figures in entertainment today, Chelsea Handler and her talk shows, best-selling books, and stand-up comedy have attracted millions of fans worldwide. Handler has been honored by TIME magazine as one of its annual “TIME 100”; Glamour magazine as one of its 2011 Women of the Year; and the Human Rights Campaign, which gave her its Ally for Equality Award in 2009. Handler’s first stand-up special in over six years will launch on HBO Max this October. In the special, Handler will share her hilarious experiences about her family, friendships, and her first foray into therapy—where she was able to unearth why everyone on this planet annoyed her so much.

This event will take place on October 10, 2020 from 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT.

BREAKING IN – Writer/Director Steve Byrne moderates the cast from his new film THE OPENING ACT: Steve Byrne, writer and director of the upcoming comedy THE OPENING ACT gets together with some of the film’s cast and comedians Cedric the Entertainer, Jimmy O Yang, Anjelah Johnson and Roy Wood Jr., to share tales of bombing and other war stories while trying to break in as a standup comedian.

This event will take place on October 10, 2020 from 6:30pm-7:30pm EDT.

Conversations With Funny People – Jimmy Carr & Noel Fielding: In this edition of Conversations with Funny People, comedians Jimmy Carr and Noel Fielding take to the virtual stage for a live, unscripted and never-before seen conversation. Jimmy Carr is an award-winning comedian, writer and television host and one of the biggest selling live acts in UK comedy, consistently performing to sell-out crowds across the country and around the world. Noel Fielding is a comedy performer and writer behind the multi-award winning series The Mighty Boosh alongside Julian Barratt and an accomplished stand-up comedian performing shows all over the world.

This event will take place on October 10, 2020 from 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT.

Conversations With Funny People – Ronny Chieng:

In this edition of Conversations with Funny People, comedian Ronny Chieng takes to the virtual stage for a live, unscripted and never-before seen conversation. Ronny Chieng is a stand-up comedian, actor and Correspondent on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah. He was also one of the stars of the worldwide hit movie Crazy Rich Asians and has appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and in the New York Times, and GQ. Ronny co-wrote and starred in his own sitcom Ronny Chieng: International Student which is currently airing on Comedy Central and Netflix. In December 2019 Ronny released his debut smash hit Netflix Stand Up Comedy Special Asian Comedian Destroys America.

This event will take place on October 9, 2020 from 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT.

Moderated Keynote with Gina Yashere:

Comedian, producer, writer, actor and social commentator Gina Yashere is one of the most influential comedic voices on television, and on the comedy circuit today. For this exact reason, Just For Laughs could not be more honoured to have her deliver a moderated keynote address for JFL’s inaugural virtual festival. Yashere is currently filming the second season of CBS’ hit sitcom, Bob Hearts Abishola, a series she co-created, co-writes, produces and stars in. She can be frequently seen giving her input on topical issues as The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’s British correspondent. A real comedy mastermind, Yashere self-produced 3 separate stand-up specials, two of which are currently streaming on Netflix. Her latest special, part of Netflix’s second season of The Stand-Ups, has been garnering rave reviews since its initial release. Yashere is no stranger to stand-up stages, having performed at many of the world’s most prestigious comedy festivals and theatres, selling out performances across the globe. This keynote is her chance to speak out passionately and politically, sure to entertain us all.

The hysterically funny comedian, actress and writer, Wanda Sykes will moderate this event taking place on October 9, 2020 from 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT.

Comedy Sessions with Howie Mandel:

Howie Mandel takes to the virtual stage for an exclusive show with some very special guests. “Comedy Sessions” is a raw, hilarious, and timely digital series where Howie Mandel steps in to the role of armchair psychologist and talks to some of America’s funniest voices about how they turned past and present life circumstances and tragedy into comedy gold. There’s a common thread between our greatest comedians: they’ve used humor to overcome adversity, especially in the current world we are all living in right now! Howie will talk to comics from the comfort of their own homes about past experiences, their current situation, and how they are coping with this new normal.

This event will take place on October 10, 2020 from 7:30pm-8:30pm EDT.

Eat My Shorts:  Just For Laughs’ annual short film competition, Eat My Shorts, is back! From romantic to action and edgy comedies, bad dates to office comedies and dinner parties gone bad, and anything in between! The top short films from around the world will be featured in the first ever Just For Laughs digital festival, and three winners will be selected at the end of the screening for the top three prizes. The competition judges include: Jeremy Garelick, Founder of AMERICAN HIGH (Big Time Adolescence, Banana Split, The Binge), Nisha Ganatra (Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee of Amazon’s Transparent) and comedian Alonzo Bodden.

The following titles are finalists in this year’s competition:

AlaskaDir. Chris Wilson, Gwynne Philllips, Brianna Templeton

BabylifeDir. Carl J. Sorheim

Crazy Sexy OreosDir. Adrian Snow

Date NightDir. Marni Little and Christine Milo

Diversity Hire, Dir. Christer Harris

Gum, Dir. Jacob Reed

Roadtrip!, Dir. Max Laferriere

Second TeamDir. Ria Pavia

The Product LaunchDir. Tony Akio Cohen

The Shabbos GoyDir. Talia Osteen

TribesDir. Nino Aldi

WaffleDir. Carlyn Hudson

Truth HertzDir. Shaun Majumder

This event will take place on October 9, 2020 from 9:00pm-10:45pm EDT.

JFL’s world-renowned New Faces showcase is back, acknowledging the influence of today’s top comedy creators with the reveal of their coveted

2020’s New Faces: Creators!

New Faces: Creators: This exciting virtual showcase features the best of up-and-coming digital creators, hand-picked from hundreds of submissions. 2020 New Faces: Creators are contributing to the evolution of the comedy landscape as we know it. They are working as actors, writers, producers, directors (and more!) on their own original digital content. Tune in to see some of their work and hear about their process and what it means to be an influencer in the digital world. The 2020 Cohort of New Faces: Creators is Brad Evans & Nick Ciarelli, Caleb Hearon, JSnow, Mary Neely, and Rekha Shankar.

This event will take place on October 9, 2020 from 6:30pm-8:00pm EDT.

Joining the comedy extravaganza,

Official Programming Partner of this year’s digital Just For Laughs Festival,

Laugh Out Loud Brings Comedy In Color to JFL

In its first year as the official programming partner for JFL, Kevin Hart’s global comedy brand, Laugh Out Loud (LOL), and its experiential division, LOL X, will deliver a curated lineup of live stand-up performances, podcast tapings, panel discussions and roundtables dedicated to celebrating Comedy in Color.

Comedians Godfrey and Affion Crockett will serve as hosts for LOL’s live stand-up comedy slate bringing a mix of top-tier talent and emerging performers including David Arnold (headliner), Helen Hong, Tacarra Williams, Orlando Leyba, Francisco Ramos, April Macie, and more. Successful producer and stand-up comedian David Arnold will also be headlining night one of the festival, as comedian Owen Smith will host a live taping of his popular YouTube series, NOTEBOOKS while both Quake and Kevin Hart and the Plastic Cup Boyz, a group of successful comedians, actors, and writers consisting of Will “Spank” Horton, Na’im Lynn, Joey Wells, Harry Ratchford, and Wayne Brown will bring their hit SiriusXM radio show’s Quake’s House and Straight from the Hart to JFL. Lastly, Laugh Out Loud President, Jeff Clanagan will also host the “‘Now What?!” virtual roundtable where he’ll be joined by a panel of industry veterans and comedians to discuss the current state of the comedy industry and the future of live comedy.

Kevin Hart and Judd Apatow In Conversation: The inaugural festival kicks-off with Kevin Hart, founder/CEO of Laugh Out Loud, and award-winning filmmaker and comedian Judd Apatow sitting down for a special 1:1 conversation presented by JFL and LOL, where the two luminaries will discuss all things comedy, and the creative process behind growing a comedic empire. All comedy rooms will simultaneously run this never-before-seen conversation between two of comedy’s most influential artists in the industry today.

This event will take place on October 9, 2020 from 5:15pm-6:00pm EDT.

LOL Presents: Now What?! Comedy and Touring IRL: A thought leadership roundtable moderated by President of Laugh Out Loud, Jeff Clanagan, that will include industry veterans and thought leaders from around the comedy space as they discuss the current state of the live comedy business and what the future holds for the industry.

This event will take place on October 9, 2020 from 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT.

Special Screening of Notebooks: A special screening of producer, actor and comedian Owen Smith’s popular series, Notebooks. Notebooks features the top standup comedians of the times sitting down with Owen to discuss their careers, creative writing process, comedy and more.

This event will take place on October 9, 2020 from 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT.

Quake’s House Live: Comedian, Earthquake takes the virtual stage in the Laugh Out Loud “Comedy in Color” room for a never-before-seen, live taping of his hit daily SiriusXM radio show, Quake’s House.

This event will take place on October 9, 2020 from 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT.

Stand-Up Turnup, Comedy in Color: Laugh Out Loud will be presenting a Stand-Up Turnup session in LOL’s “Comedy in Color” room.

This event will take place on October 9, 2020 from 9:00-10:00pm EST and October 10, 2020 from 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT.

Straight from the Hart: A filmed version of Kevin Hart and the Plastic Cup Boyz’ hit SiriusXM radio show Straight From The Hart will feature the successful comedians, actors and writers who have performed all over the world with Hart as his longtime opening act. The Plastic Cup Boyz bring over a decade of experience to the stand-up scene as they and Kevin grace JFL with their high-spirited, resonant brand of comedy.
This event will take place on October 10, 2020 from 6:00pm-8:00pm EDT.

Funny Business: A Filmed Podcast from Advertising Week and Laugh Out Loud: Jokes aren’t just laughing matters. Comedy can be serious business opportunities for all involved. From comedians building business empires, to advertisers turning to comedy for branded content, jokes can generate laughs and cash. In the weekly FUNNY BUSINESS podcast our hosts – executives from Laugh Out Loud and Advertising Week – take a deep dive into the business of comedy by exploring different people, brands, topics and campaigns that bring the revenue and the funny.

This event will take place on October 10, 2020 from 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT.

These new lineup additions are joining the company of the previously announced roster of comedy brilliance, revealing show details and pairings featuring Hannah Gadsby, Jo Koy, Howie Mandel, Kenya Barris, Sarah Cooper, Amber Ruffin, Tituss Burgess, Nicole Byer, Trixie Mattel, DeAnne Smith, Jenny Hagel, and Andy Kindler, as well as Crave’s Canada’s Drag Race, CBS All Access’ Tooning Out The News, Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch and the coveted JFL showcase, New Faces: Creators.

Conversations with Funny People – Hannah Gadsby and DeAnne Smith presented by VIA Rail Canada: In this edition of Conversations with Funny People, comedians and friends Hannah Gadsby and DeAnne Smith take to the virtual stage for a live, unscripted and never-before seen conversation. Hannah Gadsby stopped stand-up comedy in its tracks with her multi award winning show, Nanette. Its launch on Netflix, and subsequent Emmy win, took Nanette to the world. DeAnne Smith, a Canadian Comedy Award winner, has performed around the world at all the top comedy festivals, including a fan favourite at the Just For Laughs festivals. She is currently developing a sitcom for CBC.

This event will take place on October 10, 2020 from 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT.

Conversations with Funny People – Jo Koy presented by Variety: In this edition of Conversations with Funny People, comedian Jo Koy takes to the virtual stage for a live, unscripted and never-before seen conversation. Jo Koy has started off 2020 with a bang with four sold out stand-up shows and selling over 25,000 tickets at both the Chase Center in San Francisco and The Forum in Los Angeles.

This event will take place on October 10, 2020 from 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT.

Conversations with Funny People – Kenya Barris: In this edition of Conversations with Funny People, comedian Kenya Barris takes to the virtual stage for a live, unscripted and never-before seen conversation. An award-winning writer, producer and director, embarking upon a successful career and ultimately creating the hit ABC series black-ish, based on his own life as a husband, father, and failed pescatarian. The show quickly became a critical and popular success, amassing multiple awards and launching two spin-off series, grown-ish and mixed-ish. Still, of all his many accolades, Barris remains most humbled by being named the proud recipient of the prestigious 1998 Federal Tax Lien.

This event will take place on October 9, 2020 from 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT.

Conversations with Funny People – Sarah Cooper: Sarah Cooper, writer, comedian, and Trump impersonator du jour, chats about how she made the jump from tech to comedy, the experience of going viral in quarantine, the ins, outs, ups and downs of making her addictive Trump lip-sync videos, and what’s next for her in the wide world of entertainment – including writing a CBS show based on one of her best-selling books, and her first variety special SARAH COOPER: EVERYTHING’S FINE, premiering on Netflix this Fall.  Sarah’s videos have garnered tens of millions of views in a very short period and which has led to recent guest spots on ELLEN, THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON, guest-hosting JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE, and being named one of Variety Magazine’s “10 Comics To Watch For 2020.”

The hilarious comedian Tig Notaro will moderate this event taking place on October 9, 2020 from 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT.

Conversations with Funny People – Amber Ruffin & Jenny Hagel: In this edition of Conversations with Funny People, comedians and writers Amber Ruffin and Jenny Hagel take to the virtual stage for a live, unscripted and never-before seen conversation where Amber and Jenny will interview each other and asking each other questions that they have not seen before. Questions will include but are not limited to how they approach writing, advice for aspiring writers, and Amber’s new show on Peacock. As well, to a few nonsense questions designed to surprise and/or embarrass each other. Emmy and WGA Award nominee Amber Ruffin is a writer and performer for NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and was the first African-American female to write for a late-night network talk show in the US. Ruffin’s own series “The Amber Ruffin Show” is coming soon to Peacock. Jenny Hagel is a TV writer and comedy performer in New York City. She is the Executive Producer and Head Writer of The Amber Ruffin Show (Peacock). She also writes for Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC), where she created the recurring segments Jokes Seth Can’t Tell and The Kind of Story We Need Right Now.”

This event will take place on October 10, 2020 from 8:30pm-9:30pm EDT.

Conversations with Funny People – Tituss Burgess: In this edition of Conversations with Funny People, comedian Tituss Burgess takes to the virtual stage for a live, unscripted and never-before seen conversation. Emmy and SAG nominated actor, musician, and writer Tituss Burgess was recently nominated for an Emmy® for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his iconic role in Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend interactive special.

This event will take place on October 9, 2020 from 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT.

Conversations with Funny People – Trixie Mattel and Nicole Byer: In this edition of Conversations with Funny People, comedians and fellow authors Trixie Mattel and Nicole Byer take to the virtual stage for a live, unscripted and never-before seen conversation. Trixie Mattel is the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 3 and Nicole Byer currently stars as host of Netflix’s Emmy-nominated competition baking series NAILED IT.

This event will take place on October 9, 2020 from 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT.

Alive from home! Andy Kindler’s 25th Annual State of the Industry speech. “Finally, I’m alone.” Presented by CTV Comedy Channel: Every year Andy Kindler delivers his infamous State of the Industry Address at the Just for Laughs Festival. What is usually an exclusive event for industry pass holders is now open to the public and coming to you live.

This event will take place on October 10, 2020 from 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT.

Canada’s Drag Race presented by Crave: Beyond the eleganza extravaganza, the drama, and the competition, there is fierce and cheeky humour. Viewers are invited to a live conversation with the Top 4 finalists of Crave’s Canada’s Drag Race, JIMBO, Rita Baga, Scarlett Bobo, and Canada’s First Drag Superstar, Priyanka! Also joining the Queens is Canada’s Drag Race judge Stacey McKenzie, as they spill the tea on their time on the first season, and how laughter, love, and inclusivity plays a huge part in making it so successful.

The hilarious comedian and actress Sabrina Jalees, will moderate this special event taking place on October 10, 2020 from 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT.

Tooning Out the News presented by CBS All Access: TOONING OUT THE NEWS features a cast of animated characters, led by anchor James Smartwood, lampooning top news stories and interviewing real-world guests, newsmakers and analysts. New five- to seven-minute segments are available Tuesday through Friday, culminating in a weekly full episode. The series is executive produced by Stephen Colbert and Chris Licht of CBS’ THE LATE SHOW with STEPHEN COLBERT and RJ Fried and Tim Luecke from SHOWTIME’s OUR CARTOON PRESIDENT.

This event will take place on October 9, 2020 from 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT.

Variety’s “10 Comics To Watch” Panel presented by Cohen Gardner LLP: One of the biggest events in the comedy world each year is Variety’s unveiling of their annual “10 Comics To Watch” feature. Catch the best and brightest from “10 Comics To Watch” in a panel discussion and let them show you why they made the 2020 list. The 2020 list includes: Brent Terhune, Caleb Hearon, Chad Goes Deep, Dewayne Perkins, Franqi French, Janelle James, Jenny Yang, Megan Stalter, Sarah Cooper, and Ziwe Fumudoh.

This event will take place on October 10, 2020 from 9:30pm-10:30pm EDT.

Festival Juste pour rire: More accessible than ever with three viewing experiences

On the French-language side, the festival presents a hybrid edition, with three innovative opportunities to see the best of the Quebec comedy industry. Live from the Yoop Montreal space at Place des Arts, to the Théâtre St-Denis, or from the Festival online micro-site, this year’s galas, concept shows and conversations will offer the return of Soirées Carte Blanche at the Théâtre St-Denis for a live audience. The partnership with Yoop makes it possible to present several shows before a live audience while also broadcasting them in real time via the digital platform.

Mark your calendars and tune in to www.hahaha.com/en/2020festival to join us. 100% virtual. 100% free!

THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS

The Just For Laughs Group would like to thank all its partners, who have been tremendous allies in bringing about the success of this initiative. First, we’d like to acknowledge the support of La Capitale Insurance and Financial Services, Loto-Québec, Laugh Out Loud (LOL), CTV Comedy Channel, Variety and VIA Rail Canada. We also extend our thanks to our public partners: the City of MontréalSODEC and the Government of Canada.

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