April 23rd, 2024

Just for Laughs’ financial woes are worrying for future of comedy, Brent Butt says

By Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press on March 6, 2024.

Brent Butt gives an interview in Rouleau, Sask., on Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Canadian funnyman Brent Butt says the news of Just for Laughs Montreal's financial woes has him worried for up-and-coming comedians. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Bell

Canadian funnyman Brent Butt says the news of Just for Laughs Montreal’s financial woes has him worried for up-and-coming comedians.

The company that operates the Montreal festival, Groupe Juste pour rire Inc., announced Tuesday that it was cancelling this year’s event and filing for creditor protection.

Butt first performed at the festival in 1992, and says it was pivotal to his career.

The creator of “Corner Gas” says connections he made at the festival hooked him up with a producer in Vancouver, and the rest was history.

He says it’s a common path for comedians, and if JFL Montreal doesn’t come back after restructuring, it will leave a hole in the industry.

Long touted as the world’s largest comedy festival, Just For Laughs Montreal first ran in 1983.

Recent festivals have included comedy heavyweights such as Ali Wong, Hasan Minhaj and Amy Schumer.

Writer and comedian Mark Critch was similarly saddened by the news.

He posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that JFL gave him many opportunities.

Meanwhile, Rick Mercer posted that the development was “a kick in the guts.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2024.

Share this story:

12
-11
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments