JUST FOR LAUGHS Wraps Up 34th Edition with More Artists, Sold-Out Shows, TV Tapings and Networks Than Ever Before

August 2, 2016


JUST FOR LAUGHS wraps up 34th edition with more artists, sold-out shows, TV tapings and networks than ever before

Louis C.K., Seth Rogen, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Jimmy Kimmel, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David Cross, Nathan Lane, Judd Apatow, Howie Mandel, Jeff Goldblum, P.K. Subban, Sarah Silverman, Sebastian Maniscalco, Sugar Sammy, Hannibal Buress, Lewis Black, Whoopi Goldberg, Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle, David Spade, Russell Peters, Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Kristen Wiig, Tom Green, Blake Griffin and many more!

Montreal, PQ [August 2, 2016] – The Just For Laughs Festival, presented by Videotron in association with Loto-Québec, successfully raised the bar on funny with 69% more artists and TV tapings than ever before and an astonishing 67 sold-out shows. More content was filmed generating more exposure in the U.S. and around the world than JFL has ever achieved in its history courtesy of The Comedy Network, CBC, Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle on Comedy Central, Kevin Harts LOL Live, Seeso and Showtime.


Louis C.K. returned to Montreal for his first solo performance at Just For Laughs in five years. The show, which sold out in under an hour, floored over 1,800 faithful at Maison Symphonique on July 28.

Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle was telecast from L’Astral across North America from July 27 to 29 with the July 31 finals airing live to millions of viewers on Comedy Central in the U.S. and The Comedy Network in Canada.The star-studded event featured celebrity judges Jimmy Kimmel, Kevin Hart, Seth Rogen, Whoopi Goldberg, Judd Apatow, Anthony Jeselnik, Sarah Silverman and David Spade. Mike Lawrence emerged as the victorious roaster.

Kevin Hart returned to the place that catapulted his comedy career, choosing Just For Laughs as the location for LOL Live, a brand new digital series shot exclusively for his comedy platform. Showcasing some of the best comedic talent from around the world, more than 120 stand-ups performed live in front of 12 packed houses. The resulting 52-episode series will help kick off the VOD service when it launches in Spring 2017. Fans were treated as Kevin Hart was there to personally oversee the initial tapings, attending many of the shows, meeting the comics and enjoying their sets along with the audience.

The stars and creators of Sausage Party lit up the red carpet at the film’s sold-out special screening on Saturday, July 30 at Imperial, first time any audience in Canada screened the film. Fellow screenwriters Ariel Shaffir and Kyle Hunter, directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, and cast members Nick Kroll and Kristen Wiig accompanied writer, producer and star Seth Rogen. The screening was followed by a Q&A, moderated by Judd Apatow.

P.K. Subban returned home for an emotional goodbye to Montrealers on Aug. 1 at the P.K. Subban All-Star Comedy Gala, presented by Air Canada and Videotron, where he was welcomed with a five-minute standing ovation. The P.K. Subban Foundation donated $150,000 to The Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, including the money raised from the sales of 500 limited edition Just For Laughs P.K. Subban hockey jerseys.

Kicking off ComedyPRO, HBO brought the cast of the Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated series VEEP to a packed house at Maison Symphonique. Showrunner David Mandel sat down along with cast members Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale and Timothy Simons for an hour-long conversation about one of the funniest political satires ever made.

Sugar Sammy’s last performance of his groundbreaking You’re Gonna Rire drew record crowds to the festival’s outdoor site on July 28 as English and French Montrealers alike were treated to the last show on his four-and-a-half-year tour. It had the largest attendance of any outdoor presentations on Place des Festivals this year.

The fundraising event Free Mike Ward helped raise awareness and support for the right to free speech. Announced just two days prior, this sold-out bilingual event featured a dozen all-star comics, including Quebecois mega-talents Jean-Thomas Jobin, Dominic Paquet and Stéphane Fallu, in addition to international superstars ranging from Brad Williams to Jeff Ross to Jimmy Carr. Amplifying the comedic elements were two live bands who rocked a full-capacity Metropolis. Raunchy punchlines and hilarious messages of solidarity were declared in the name of free speech to a roaring crowd.


Filmed for The Comedy Network, Sebastian Maniscalco sold out his Gala in record time and proved why he was the winner of the Just For Laughs Awards Stand-Up Comedian of the Year!

Filmed for the CBC network, Montreal’s favourite citizen, P.K. Subban, said his final goodbye in front of a sold-out audience following an opening five-minute standing ovation to chants of “P.K.! P.K.! P.K.!”

Filmed for the CBC Network, the Mega Stars of Comedy came together for a heavyweight show featuring Danny Bhoy, Lewis Black, Gerry Dee, JB Smoove and more!

Filmed for the CBC Network, Nathan Lane proved to be the perfect host, delivering a killer opening act which earned him an incredible standing ovation!

Filmed for the CBC Network, Jeff Goldblum set the tone for this year’s galas with a show filled with high-energy and hilarious performances.

Filmed for The Comedy Network, David Cross returned to stand-up comedy after a six-year hiatus.

Filmed for The Comedy Network, Russell Peters worked the crowd in front of a sold-out audience in Montreal.

Filmed for The Comedy Network, Carrie Fisher was Montreal’s favourite princess at her Just For Laughs debut.

Filmed for the CW Network, Howie Mandel returned as host for the second straight year, showcasing even more talent – special guests Alonzo Bodden, Tom Papa, Iliza Shlesinger, Jay Pharoah and Russell Peters – intended for a U.S. audience in front of a sold-out crowd in Montreal!


The Ethnic Show hosted by Rachid Badouri never failed to impress throughout its entire 19-show run. With standout performances from Godfrey and Jessica Kirson, and a surprise performance from French superstar Gad Elmaleh, audiences were left in stitches.

Oh, Hello took Montreal by storm before they take on Broadway with three sold-out performances by Gil Faizon (Nick Kroll) and George St. Geegland (John Mulaney), July 28-30.

French actor and comedic superstar, Gad Elmaleh, had a sold-out, five-show run in English at Le Gesù.

Maria Bamford brought her quirky brand of raw, honest comedy to the festival and showed audiences why she was crowned this year’s Just For Laughs Awards Breakout Comedy Star of the Year.

Brian Regan proved why he is a stand-up legend, receiving two standing ovations for his solo performance on July 30.

All Access Live gave fans eight amazing shows featuring some of the hottest names in comedy and was televised for The Comedy Network. Hosts Jay Pharoah, Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart, Deon Cole and Nikki Glaser wowed the crowds July 27-30 at Club Soda.


The Nasty Show lived up to its reputation of offering stand-up comedy without boundaries. Alongside a propos host Mike Ward, every performer delivered, and stars Brad Williams and Ralphie May received multiple standing ovations for their performances.

Sarah Silverman proved why she is a stand-up legend with her solo performance on
July 30.

Judd Apatow returned to the festival, his first appearance since 2008. He popped up all over the festival on different shows including a full house in front of a sold-out crowd at MainLine Theatre.

Hannibal Buress delivered a hilarious performance while adding a digital touch to his stand-up routine, broadcasting videos with the help of DJ Tony Trimm.

Homegrown Comics, presented by Sirius XM, showcased the next generation of Canadian comedic talent in a multi-comic competition, ultimately crowning Toronto’s Nigel Grinstead as the winner.

Other festival standouts included performances by Jeremy Hotz, Jimmy Carr, Iliza Shlesinger, Russell Howard, Colin and Brad, Hyprov, Jo Koy and Kathleen Madigan.


OFF-JFL experienced its most successful year to date with over 200 shows ranging from artists in the international spotlight all the way to local comics getting their first festival break.

Midnight Surprise continued to be one of the hottest tickets at OFF-JFL, filling Theatre Ste-Catherine every single night. Hosts Piff the Magic Dragon and Blake Griffin kept audiences guessing with surprise performances from Judd Apatow, Jeff Ross and Hannibal Buress.

More OFF-JFL highlights included successful runs and sold-out shows by both Tom Green and 24 star Mary Lynn Rajskub at Theatre Ste Catherine and MainLine Theatre. Janeane Garofalo sold out several performances at MainLine Theatre. Andy Dick, Emo Philips, Barry Crimmins and Louie Anderson proved why they’re comedy legends at their solo performances. U.K. superstar Alan Carr brought his solo show Yap Yap Yap! to North America for the first time ever. America’s Got Talent breakout star Piff the Magic Dragon sold out his series of solo shows, while Trump vs. Bernie packed rooms with hilarious politically polarized debates from Anthony Atamanuik and James Adomian. Seeso brought a special sneak screening of Cameron Esposito’s Take My Wife and the return of Funny as Hell, videotaped for Season 6.
Also at OFF-JFL: Jim Norton, This is Not Happening with Ari Shaffir, Kurt Metzger, Todd Barry, Big Jay Oakerson and many more!


ComedyPro highlights include An Evening with the Cast of VEEP and Master of None cast panel.

Comedy superstar Kevin Hart brought his wonderful self to Just For Laughs ComedyPro where he entertained pitches for his Laugh Out Loud Network Pitch Panel from 10 content creators pre-selected from over 200 submissions. Kevin gave the crowd packed into the Grand Salon Opera his typical brand of inspiring advice, optioning all 10 of the projects presented!

The Just For Laughs ComedyPro Film Series, presented by the Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange in association with the Canadian Film Centre (CFC), returned this year with Howie Mandel’s Committed, The Comedian’s Guide to Survival, Thank You Del, Tickling Giants and a special screening of Sausage Party. Hitting the red carpet was Seth Rogen himself, along with directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon and screenwriters Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir. Joining Seth and crew for the Q&A after the film was last-minute addition Kristen Wiig!

Anger is in. And so is Andy! Rage was the theme of Andy Kindler’s annual State of the Industry Address. Never one to disappoint, Andy addressed a packed house filled with fellow comedians and industry leaders, laying into his peers and dissecting one of his favourite topics, Donald Trump.

The 2016 Just For Laughs Awards Show presented by Air Canada featured an A-list red carpet celebrating this year’s award recipients: Aziz Ansari (Comedy Person of the Year), Judd Apatow (Generation Award), Maria Bamford (Breakout Comedy Star of the Year), Sebastian Maniscalco (Stand-Up Comedian of the Year), and Mike Judge and Alec Berg (Comedy Writers of the Year). Hosting duties went to the always stylish and hilarious JB Smoove.

Always an integral part of the ComedyPro experience, industry panels including the Comedy Content Race, Report from the Digital Trenches and Comedy Goes OTT brought top broadcast and platform executives to Montreal to discuss the changing landscape of comedy.

The ComedyPro Podcast Series returned with a bang (literally) as Scott Aukerman presented his popular podcast and television show Comedy Bang! Bang! Live from Just For Laughs. Other sold-out podcasting events including Dan Harmon’s Harmontown and Guys We F****d with Krystyna Hutchinson and Corinne Fisher. In total, 12 podcasts were featured including The Smartest Man in the World, Industry Standard with Barry Katz, My Dumb Friends, Put This in Your PYPE and Smoke It, The Dork Forest, The Comedian’s Comedian Podcast with Stuart Goldsmith, The Todd Barry Podcast, Truth and Iliza and The Comic’s Comic presents Last Things First.

Hollywood director Jeremy Garelick (The Wedding Ringer, The Breakup) and actor, director and writer Jay Baruchel (Goon: Last of the Enforcers, Man Seeking Woman, This is the End) hosted two un-produced script readings as part of the JFL/Thruline Television Staged Readings, featuring a cast of all-star writers and comedians, including Saturday Night Live’s Jay Pharoah.

Just For Laughs’ signature event, New Faces of Comedy, anchored the industry side of the festival with a raft of new talent pulled from across the continent and showcased in front of industry and fans alike.

Every year, Just For Laughs honours Variety’s Top 10 Comics with a panel and cocktail party at the festival. This year’s list of stand-up, sketch artists and web content creators included James Adomian and Anthony Atamanuik (Trump Vs. Bernie), Vlad Caamano, Ronny Chieng, Cameron Esposito, Jermaine Fowler, Lauren Lapkus, Aparna Nancherla, Lilly Singh, Granger Smith and Roy Wood Jr.

Alice Moran and Jon Blair (Old Man) and Lauren Corber and Wendy Litner (How To Buy a Baby) were the winning teams at this year’s Stand Up ’N Pitch, the annual pitch competition presented by Just For Laughs in conjunction with CBC Comedy, the New York Television Festival and the International Academy of Web Television. The pitch program hit its stride this year with more, and better quality, submissions than ever before.

– END –

The Just For Laughs Festival runs from July 13 to August 1, 2016 in Montreal, Canada. Just For Laughs ComedyPRO runs from July 27-30, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Montreal, Canada.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @justforlaughs @jflcomedypro

The Just For Laughs Festival presented by Videotron in association with Loto-Quebec would like to thank their partners and sponsors: Vidéotron, Loto-Québec, Tangerine, Sleeman, KIA, Tim Hortons, Sirius XM, Le Lait, SAQ, Air Canada, V8, Appleton Estate, Eska, Lolita, Pepito Sangria, Gouvernement du Québec, Government of Canada, City of Montréal and Tourisme Montréal.

About the Just For Laughs Group:

Founded in 1983, the Just For Laughs Group has had but one goal in its 30-plus years of operation: Make People Happy. To achieve this goal, the Just For Laughs Group has focused on four major products: festivals in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney; television production including Gags seen in over 130 countries and on over 75 airlines and stand-up specials; live shows, such as Canadian tour dates for Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K., Jim Gaffigan and the Just For Laughs Comedy Tour; and talent management. The Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival is the world’s largest and most prestigious comedy event welcoming on average 1.35 million visitors to Montreal each summer and generating approximately $80 million for the city’s economy. The Group has offices in Montreal, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, London and they are all connected to each other via the Internet.

For tickets by phone, online or in person:
 The Just For Laughs Box Office, 514-845-2322, 
presented by Videotron

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