Just For Laughs Festival goes all virtual, all free

Hannah Gadsby, Sarah Cooper, DeAnne Smith, Canada's Drag Race and Jo Koy among acts appearing in two-day comedy festival

After the year we’ve had, we could all use a few laughs. Now the Just For Laughs comedy festival is providing that with a special two-day event, October 9 and 10. All acts are virtual, and all acts are free to watch.

“Just For Laughs has worked tirelessly over the recent months to curate an inimitable comedy experience that will include multiple digital comedy rooms running simultaneously with a hybrid of programming in forms of In Conversations, live discussions, and panels, designed specifically for online audiences,” reads a JFL press release.

In total, there will be over 100 artists. Included among the first group of announced acts are: Hannah Gadsby, Jo Koy, Howie Mandel, Kenya Barris, Nicole Byer, DeAnne Smith (who was on last year’s NOW JFL42 cover), Trixie Mattel and Tituss Burgess.

One of the breakout stars of the pandemic, Sarah Cooper, whose TikTok videos of lip synching Trump have gone viral, is also one of the acts, as well as the stars of Canada’s Drag Race.

Kevin Hart’s global comedy brand, Laugh Out Loud (LOL), is the festival’s official programming partner. Its experiential division, LOL X, will curate a lineup dedicated to showcasing Comedy in Color, featuring live stand-up, virtual panel discussions, live podcast tapings and more.

Both the Montreal and Toronto festivals were cancelled earlier this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Rest assured that we will be back in a big way in 2021 with exciting plans for the comedy fans and industry who travel to join us every Summer,” said Charles Décarie, President and CEO of the Just for Laughs Group.


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