“Just for Laughs” Reveals Plans for In-Person Comedy Festival

Run by a consortium led by ICM and Howie Mandel, JFL has booked arena shows hosted by Kevin Hart and Hasan Minhaj, and gala shows emceed by Chelsea Handler, Iliza Shlesinger, Russell Peters, Hannah Gadsby, Ronny Chieng and Patton Oswalt.
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Just For Laughs Festival COURTESY OF JFL

The Just For Laughs comedy festival, run by a consortium led by ICM and Howie Mandel, is returning this summer with live audiences in comedy clubs and arenas in Montreal.

After a two-year hiatus during the pandemic where JFL held fully virtual comedy events, the festival is returning to a physical event and traditional venues like Place des Arts, Gesu, L’Olympia and L’Astral. The Montreal festival no longer has to scale down and rejig its format because global comics, including from New York City and Los Angeles, could not attend due to travel bans in place during the COVID-19 crisis.

With the Canadian border now open to vaccinated visitors, the high-profile gala JFL shows set for this year include those hosted by Chelsea Handler, Jo Koy, IIiza Shlesinger, Russell Peters, Hannah Gadsby, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’s Ronny Chieng, Patton Oswalt and Marc Maron.

JFL will also return with one-artist concert shows, led by Kevin Hart headlining the Centre Bell arena. There’s also solo arena shows in Montreal hosted by Bill Burr, Hasan Minhaj, John Mulaney, Tommy Tiernan, Bollywood stand up comic Vir Das, Australian comic Celeste Barber and Neal Brennan.

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The return of JFL’s in-person festival follows the stand-up comedy sector facing massive disruption during the COVID-19 crisis. The Canadian comedy festival for its 2022 edition has renamed The Ethnic Show as the Just For The Culture Show, The Nasty Show will be hosted this year by Big Jay Oakerson and Dara O’Briain has joined the lineup for the Brit(ish) comedy showcase.

More lineup announcements will be made in the coming months.

The world-famous chuckle fest typically hosts Hollywood stand-up talent that were in part discovered over the years by JFL. That includes Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer, Ali Wong, Kumail Nanjiani, Pete Davidson, Colin Jost and Dave Chappelle.

The Just For Laughs festival will run from July 13 to 31, with the biggest profile artists to perform on the final weekend.

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