Top 10 Reasons To Attend Just For Laughs ComedyPRO

July 2, 2018


Americans, are you experiencing anxiety, chronic pain or fits of rage while on Twitter? Does your fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome or glaucoma flare up at the very mention of Trump? Is ‘resistance fatigue’ ruining your career and/or your love life? Here in Canada, we feel your pain too. The good news is these conditions are treatable and we have the perfectly legal, all-natural solution for you.

Introducing Just For Laughs ComedyPRO, the wellness retreat you never knew you needed.

In just a few short weeks, the 36th edition of the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal will kick off and with it comes the annual conference and global gathering of the biggest players in the industry. ​W​e feel this is the perfect opportunity for you to take a load off and be amongst your peers. Look, you’ve been fighting a war of attrition with stupidity and absurdity all year, so there’s no shame in admitting that it’s taken a toll. That’s why it’s absolutely critical that you take the time to regroup and refuel…so you can continue to resist.

Need more convincing?


The 2017 Just For Laughs “Comedy Writer of the Year” award-winner, Kenya Barris, is back to discuss​ Black-ish, Grown-ish, Girls Trip​, his ​Shaft reboot and hopefully the Coming 2 America ​sequel he’s been entrusted with. We have soooo many plot specific questions there, but first…. WIPERS!!! And speaking of comedy nostalgia, The Sultan of Schadenfreude himself, Andy Kindler, is back to give his annual State of the Industry Address. His always delightful tirade has become a long running festival tradition that you really don’t want to miss.


So much for our peaceful retreat. Turns out, the Cheeto Benito himself has decided to grace us with his presence. You’d think a comedy conference would be hostile territory for the guy, but you know what? He doesn’t give a shit! He’s coming in orange-hot after his huge win in Singapore and is itching to give Trudeau another brow beating. As for the actual star of the show, Comedy Central’s Anthony Atamanuilk, he’s so confident he’s got the best Trump game in town, he’s personally guaranteeing that this event will draw the biggest crowd in the history of the festival. In the history of crowds. Be a part of history and ​join the rally!


Hmmm​, ​if we throwback to figure out just when we first fell in love with Wanda, we need to go past ​Black-ish, past ​Curb Your Enthusiasm, past ​Wanda at Large… Ah yes, there it is…2001… Pootie Tang! This summer come take a trip with Wanda as she brings her concept series, Throwback, to Just For Laughs ComedyPRO. She’s cracking open the comedy yearbook of some of her peers, who will share stories and insights about first gigs, outdated jokes, and memorable wardrobe and hair choices.


Sure you’re here to unwind and eat smoked meat poutine, (a key part of this wellness program) but don’t forget there’s also work to be done. We have a lineup of insightful, topical daytime panels scheduled, featuring industry leaders from across the board. Also, programming starts a day early this year, so arrive Wednesday!!

* Bell Media: The Multi-Channel Approach to Comedy
* Comedy Club Bookers: The Gatekeepers of Comedy
* Creators of Primetime Animation
* Global Laughter: Perspectives on International Comedy
* In Short Supply? Comedy and Diversity on the Web
* Laughing your Way to Success: A Focus on Comedy Programming for TV
* Political Comedy in the Pre-Apocalyptic World


It’s been a gruelling few months of sifting through a record breaking amount of entries, but the finalists have been chosen and are set to take the stage to pitch their wares. Stand Up & Pitch and the CBC Comedy Originals Pitch Program are all back this year and ready to change lives. It’s our Dragon’s Den for entertainment projects… Wait, that would make for a killer pitch!

Also returning this year is 15 Minutes With A Powerbroker. Yes, the Hyatt Regency Montreal is crawling with executives whose sole job it is to find the next big hit. But, they don’t need you cold pitching them at the bar or the urinals. Save it for your private one-on-one’s. Here’s your chance to sit down with development heads from Amazon Studios, Bell Media, FOX, HBO and more. A priceless opportunity for the price of an Industry or Express Pass.


Just For Laughs New Faces is a big deal every year. But this year it’s the subject of a six-part docu-series for Amazon so it’s extra bigly. Past alumni include Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer, Michelle Wolf, Pete Davidson, Chris D’Elia and Kumail Nanjiani… Basically everyone gets discovered here. It’s just how the universe works.


Look, two years ago you threatened to move to Canada if “he” became President. Now you’re googling Quebec immigration policies, to see if they’ll hold your children in cages if you seek asylum. The good news is, they won’t. The bad news is well there’s no bad news. We got awesome comedy and legal weed yo! Come on up!


Chances are all the podcasts you listen to at home are setting up shop in Montreal for the weekend. Or if you’re new to the format and just want to get a taste, come explore! We promise, it’s not just for Hipsters anymore. All are welcome… with a pass of course.


No cameras — no rules — it’s just you and the biggest stars in comedy enjoying an unfiltered appreciation of the people who shone brightest this year from the people who know them best — their friends, colleagues and fellow comics. It’s all the glamour of the Oscars… in shorts and tees. Stay tuned for this year’s inductees announcement.


It’s a brave new world this year with Bruce Hills being appointed President of Just For Laughs, and Howie Mandel, ICM Partners, Bell Media and Groupe CH coming onboard as investors. But rest assured the festival hasn’t missed a beat when it comes to programming. Seriously, does the idea of scores of crazy fans, Deadheads and comedy nuts all in one place excite you? If so look no further than John Mayer and Dave Chappelle’s Controlled Danger show! Or maybe you’re just a huge MacGruber fan, in which case the Will Forte Gala is for you. Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, Trevor Noah, Ken Jeong, Maria Bamford, Russell Peters… not too mention all the intimate shows on OFFJFL and ZOOFEST. It’s all here for you. For us. For our collective wellness. No need to micro-dose this stuff either. For best results, take in as much as you can.

A big thanks to our resident comedy commentator, Ricky Letovsky of Nacho Night Studios, for this dynamite Top 10 list!

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