From July 12 to 31, Just for Laughs Montreal, arguably the world’s premier comedy festival, celebrates its 35th anniversary. At this morning’s press conference, JFL Chief Operating Officer Bruce Hills proudly unveiled the JFLMTL all-star lineup, with the promise of more announcements to come.

The festival’s crown jewel is sure to be the Anniversary Show on July 26, with megastars Jerry Seinfeld and Gad Elmaleh—often referred to as the ‘French Seinfeld’—sharing the stage for the first time. Anyone who doubts the pair’s chemistry and mutual admiration only need watch their episode of Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” Elmaleh, who considers Montreal his part-time home, played to sold-out English language audiences at last summer’s fest.

JFL’s Bruce Hills (L) & Sugar Sammy Khullar, with JFL mascot

On July 28, Montreal-born, multilingual comedian Samir Khullar, known globally as Sugar Sammy, hosts his first English-language JFL gala, featuring an array of international talent. “We couldn’t be happier to add to the fold, a homegrown star who is making a name for himself around the world,” says Hills. Khullar was on hand today to express his gratitude for this honour, after 22 years in the industry. He also playfully expressed his humility at arriving for the conference by metro instead of limousine, thanks to Montreal’s construction woes.

The conference began with a montage of remarkable talent from past festivals. Countless A-list comedians, including superstar Kevin Hart, whose association with JFL flourishes, credit JFLMTL for their careers. Some JFL ‘New Faces of Comedy’ alumni include Hart, Amy Schumer, Hannibal Buress and Demetri Martin.

This summer, Hart teams with JFL once again, for a short film competition entitled, “Laugh Out Loud Presents: Just For Laughs Eat My Shorts.” Canadian and US filmmakers are welcome to submit their works, for a chance to be featured on Hart’s LOL online comedy platform. The deadline for submissions has been extended until May 15.

On July 28 and 29, Writer/Director/Producer/Comedian Judd Apatow records his Netflix stand-up comedy special at Place des Arts. According to Hills, Apatow chose JFLMTL for its enthusiastic audiences.

Ali Wong, another former JFLMTL ‘New Face,’ whose Toronto JFL42 show sold out in mere minutes, returns to Montreal on July 27. “Baby Cobra,” the hit Netflix special filmed while she was seven months pregnant, is a riotous indictment of motherhood.

Canadian-born Howie Mandel is back as gala host, on July 29. Mandel has frequently praised JFLMTL for launching his career. David Spade, Rick Mercer and Laverne Cox and are also named as gala hosts.

More returning JFL favorites include Jimmy Carr, Trevor Noah, Jim Norton, Mike Birbiglia, Danny McBride, Jessica Kirson, Moshe Kasher and Natasha Leggero.

As tradition dictates, Andy Kindler brings back his acerbic wit to Off-JFL’s ‘The Alternative Show’ and presents his legendary/infamous ‘State of the Industry Address’ at JFL ComedyPRO. ComedyPRO offers inside access to industry-led discussions and presentations—highly recommended for aspiring comedians and diehard fans alike.

While Canada and Montreal celebrate major anniversaries this year, Just for Laughs Montreal’s 35th festival highlights what makes our land so great— it’s our relentless sense of humour!


Just for Laughs Montreal 2017

July 12 to 31, 2017

Passes: JFL 2-Show Pass $99.00; 3-Show Pass $139.00; 5-Show Pass $215.00

*Each pass includes 1 free ticket per day, from July 25-29

Pre-sale, from May 3, 12 noon

General Sale, May 5, 10 a.m.







About The Author


Stephanie Ein is a Montreal-born writer & stand-up comedian. Since 2011, she has been writing about Montreal Comedy. As Boss Ein, she shares news, reviews and profiles of the city’s dynamic comedy scene.

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