Just For Laughs 2020 festival, now virtual and free for all

This July, Montreal felt much less funny thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down the annual Just For Laughs (Juste Pour Rire) festival and comedy conference that represented comedian summer camp as much as anything else until now.

For 2020, JFL didn’t abandon all hope, however.

This year, JFL is going virtual, and virtually free for all to enjoy. The festival just announced its initial slate of headliners who’ll perform on a screen near you this coming Oct. 9-10, 2020.

It’ll include one (ONE) edition of New Faces for 2020, and as you might have guessed or suspected, it’s the New Faces Creators edition, which was introduced a few years ago to celebrate online comedy influencers. JFL also is going all-in on Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud (LOL) comedy brand, naming LOL’s experiential division, LOL X, the official programming partner.

OK. Here’s the slate for JFL 2020 (now not just for Montreal anymore):

Who’s coming?

  • Hannah Gadsby
  • Jo Koy
  • Kenya Barris
  • Howie Mandel
  • Tituss Burgess
  • Sarah Cooper
  • Nicole Byer
  • Trixie Mattel
  • Amber Ruffin
  • Jenny Hagel
  • Andy Kindler
  • DeAnne Smith
  • Canada’s Drag Race (Crave)
  • Tooning Out the News (CBS All Access)
  • Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch 2020
  • New Faces: Creators


“As a leader in the global comedy industry, but also as a true digital comedy pioneer, we are very proud to offer this special edition in an optimized free edition format, enabling us to do what we do best, curating and creating the best of comedy, while making it more accessible than ever, to all fans across the globe”, emphasizes Charles Décarie, President and CEO of the Just for Laughs Group. “We are truly able to deliver a Festival that lives up to Just for Laughs standards. Our spectators will be thrilled to safely reunite with their favorite artists – 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”.

“Our goal with the Just For Laughs Festival is to really engage with the global comedy community, and have some important discussions regarding big societal issues in a way that’s still entertaining, with comedic relief provided by some of today’s brightest comedy stars”, shared Bruce Hills, President of Just For Laughs. “I could not be more honoured that Kevin Hart’s LOL is our official programming partner, working alongside our talented programming team, to offer the best possible, first-ever, 100% digital comedy festival.”

“Just For Laughs is an unparalleled comedic institution and we are delighted to expand our relationship with the festival and usher in an exciting new phase for our experiential division LOL X!,” said Jeff Clanagan, President of Laugh Out Loud. “Just For Laughs is the perfect partner to shine a spotlight on the emerging, diverse voices that are shaping the future of our Comedy In Color franchise and we look forward to unveiling more in the coming weeks.”

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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