The Just for Laughs / Juste pour rire comedy festival is a world class event Montreal residents and tourists alike adore, attracting almost two million spectators every year, the Just For Laughs Festival also caters to industry needs. Crawling with talent scouts, booking agents, managers and producers looking for the next big thing, many of today's household names -- Denis Leary, Tim Allen, Dave Chapelle, even Jon Stewart -- got their big break at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival or saw their career (serendipitously?) take off after participating. And in some cases, acts that were tried out in Montreal ended up attracting international acclaim. Rowan Atkinson's Mr. Bean for example, was first tested on Montreal crowds back in 1989. The public raved and the BBC was tuning in. The rest is television history.
Stand-up Comedy: A Just For Laughs Specialty
The Montreal Just for Laughs Festival's main feature is stand-up comedy and the fest attracts present and future A-listers, up-and-coming rookies and literally the best comedy in the world. Past guests include:
Everyone linked to SCTV
Nearly every cast member from Saturday Night Live
Nearly every comedian that got his/her own sitcom
The Kids in the Hall
Free Street Arts
Closing off the Latin Quarter to cars (St. Denis, from Ste. Catherine to Sherbrooke), performance artists, giant puppet thingies and creepy types gently entertain/harass the roving public, who are often on the lookout for impromptu street antics anyways. From fire-breathing comedy to live statues to drumming harlequins circling random strangers into submission, Just For Laughs street arts are so much fun, great for all ages and it's free!
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