Dane Cook, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Jerry Seinfeld… as well as being funny and awesome, these stars have also previously appeared at Montreal’s “Just for Laughs” International Comedy Festival (in French, Juste Pour Rire), an annual summer event founded almost thirty years ago – now one of the world’s biggest comedy shindigs, with over 2 million attendees, 2,000 artists and countless viewers all over the world.
See the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ “Pink Carnaval” parade on Saturday, July 16th at 7:30pm (Sherbrooke and Crescent Streets), killer music/dancing at Le Grand Bisou (July 21st-24th), the Twins Parade down Maisonneuve Blvd and Union and Ste-Catherine Streets (July 30th, 10am-8pm), or massive spontaneous Dancing in the Street shenanigans.
If you’re passing through anytime between July 8 and July 28, check the schedule for what’s happening and when. Consider getting a membership card for extra perks if you think you’ll want to dive in head first. You can also watch the Rock Paper Scissors tournament on July 16th to see who wins a slice of the $10,000 prize stash. Yes, that’s a Rock Paper Scissors tournament.
Film nuts might also enjoy the JFL Film Festival, which works alongside the main fest and has launched/boosted many a career. Past appearances include Jason Reitman, Amy Sedaris, Eric Idle (Monty Python), the cast of Broken Lizard (Super Troopers), Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen (Knocked Up/Pineapple Express), and Michael Cera (Superbad).
Aspiring comedians themselves should definitely check out the JFL Comedy Conference for discussions on industry trends and general schmoozing (July 28th-30th).
If you’re in or near Chicago instead, lucky you – the windy city also has a JFL festival! Bring on the chuckles.