Just For Laughs Acquired by Howie Mandel and ICM Partners
The Just for Laughs Group has been acquired by a group of investors lead by Canadian comedy legend Howie Mandel and ICM Partners. The news follows founder and former President Gilbert Rozon stepping down after a number of sexual misconduct allegations emerged this past October.
Mandel, who has performed at the past two consecutive editions of the organisation's staple Montreal festival (the largest comedy festival in the world), maintains that Just for Laughs will remain grounded in its hometown.
"The Montreal Just For Laughs Festival is part of Montreal’s DNA, and we are looking forward to perpetuating this great cultural legacy. The Festival will continue to be held in Montreal each summer, and jobs and offices will remain in Montreal.", Mandel maintained in a joint statement with his fellow investors released earlier today.
2017 marked the Montreal festival's 35th anniversary. Highlights from the milestone edition included the continuation of fan-favourite shows such as The Ethnic Show and The Nasty Show, as well as hosting a treasure trove of legendary and arising comedians alike. It was here that the organisation also announced plans to expand into South Africa in summer 2018.
"We are excited to put together a phenomenal 2018 edition, and we will continue to work closely with local talent for years to come.", the statement continues. "JFL’s history of success will be continued: its outdoor component, its French and English components, and the amazing talent, both from Quebec and from around the world, that makes this Festival so unique.”
Just for Laughs Montreal 2018 takes place from July 11-29. The festival has already revealed Kevin Hart as this year's headliner, a show that has the potential to be the city's highest-attended indoor comedy performance.