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This is no Laughing Matter

The Just For Laughs Festival, an iconic event that has painted Montreal with hues of humor and joy for over four decades, has hit an unexpected pause this year. The festival, renowned globally for its vibrant comedy performances and star-studded line-ups, has been an annual highlight for locals and tourists. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the 2024 edition has been canceled. This blog post delves into the history of the festival, the reasons behind this year’s cancellation, and reminisces about the legendary performers who have graced its stages over the years.

The 2024 Cancellation: What Happened?

Many were shocked when the 2024 Just For Laughs Festival was canceled. The official statement cited “unforeseen logistical and financial challenges” as the primary reasons. While the specifics needed to be more detailed, it is understood that a combination of factors, including economic downturns, increased operational costs, and lack of public funding, led to this difficult decision.

The impact of the cancellation is multifaceted. Economically, it is a blow to Montreal’s summer tourism season. Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, Nightclubs, and all services in the downtown core will suffer due to the loss of revenue that comes with the Just For Laughs festival. Culturally, it leaves a void in the city’s vibrant festival calendar in July, keeping the festival season rolling along at full speed. For the comedy community, it means the loss of a significant platform for performance and discovery. Comedy fans must cross their fingers that some of their favorite comics will still visit our city booking private events.

A Storied History

The Just For Laughs Festival, known in French as Juste pour rire, was founded in 1983 by Gilbert Rozon as a two-day French language event. Over the years, it expanded into a month-long festival that attracts over two million visitors annually. It has been a melting pot of cultures, showcasing comedians from various backgrounds and languages, thus cementing Montreal’s status as a global comedy capital.

The festival’s growth mirrored the evolution of comedy over the decades. From stand-up to improv, from street performances to gala events, Just For Laughs has been at the forefront of showcasing comedic talent in all its forms. It has also been a launching pad for many comedians, offering them international exposure and opportunities.

Legendary Performers Over the Years

The Just For Laughs Festival’s legacy is, in part, built on the legendary performers who have taken its stages. From comedy giants like Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Joan Rivers to contemporary stars like Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer, and Trevor Noah, the festival has hosted a who’s who of the comedy world.

The festival has also been a beacon for discovering new talent. Many comedians, including Tim Allen, Dave Chappelle, and Hannah Gadsby, had career-defining performances at Just For Laughs. The festival’s New Faces showcase, in particular, has been instrumental in launching the careers of future comedy stars.

Looking Forward

While the 2024 cancellation is a setback, the spirit of the Just For Laughs Festival is far from diminished. The organizers have expressed their commitment to overcoming the current challenges and returning stronger in 2025. For comedy fans and performers alike, the hope is that this pause will be a brief intermission in the long-running show, the Just For Laughs Festival.

In the meantime, the comedy world will undoubtedly find other stages and platforms to express and enjoy the universal language of laughter. And Montreal, with its rich cultural tapestry, will continue to be a hub for artistic expression, eagerly awaiting the return of its beloved comedy festival.


The Just For Laughs Festival’s cancellation this year reminds us of the fragility of even the most established cultural events. However, it also highlights the resilience of the arts community and the enduring power of comedy to bring people together. As we look forward to the festival’s return, we can take this moment to reflect on its rich history, celebrate its past triumphs, and anticipate the laughter that will once again fill the streets of Montreal. is your go-to for a fabulous night out in Montreal. They’ll sort you out with a table at a great restaurant, and if you’re up for drinks after your concert, they’ve got connections with the most excellent clubs and bars in town. Are you coming from out of town? No sweat; they’ll also hook you up with sweet hotel spots and travel deals. Just give them a ring or shoot a text at 438-995-6496 and get ready for a fantastic night in Montreal!