For the first time ever, The Comedy Network will broadcast the star-studded comedy galas from the 30th anniversary season of Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival. Produced in association with Just For Laughs Television, 13 hours of all-new comedy content will be shot at the festival this July to air on Comedy this fall, including the highly anticipated The Muppets All-Star Comedy Gala. Additional hosts of the new Just For Laughs gala series include Bill Hader, Joel McHale, Jack McBrayer, Jeremy Hotz, Jason Jones, and John Pinette.
“We’re delighted that our longstanding relationship with Just For Laughs has brought The Comedy Network exclusive programming with some of the biggest names in comedy today,” said Corrie Coe, Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. “This new series will deliver the full festival experience to our viewers like never before – both galas and club performances.”
“We are thrilled to collaborate with The Comedy Network this summer on what will be the most ambitious television production in our Festival’s history,” said Bruce Hills, Chief Operating Officer of Just For Laughs. “The enormous wealth of comedians at this year’s Festival requires us to shoot in not one, but two, iconic venues in the heart of downtown Montreal, during what will be our biggest and best Just For Laughs Festival ever.”
The star-studded Just For Laughs gala series will feature Comedy stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele (Key & Peele), as well as Canadian favourites Debra DiGiovanni (Video On Trial) and Caroline Rhea (Hollywood Squares). Additional stars include Chris D’Elia (CTV’s Whitney), Mario Cantone (Sex And The City), Jay Pharoah (Saturday Night Live), Jim Breuer (Half Baked), and international stars Danny Bhoy (from Scotland) and Tommy Tiernan (from Ireland).
Fresh from their triumphant return to the big screen in their self-titled feature film, The Muppets take Montreal in celebration of Just For Laughs 30th anniversary festival when they go back to their variety show roots in The Muppets All-Star Comedy Gala.
“Sharing the stage with the greatest comics in the world in front of the greatest comedy fans in the world is an incredible honour for The Muppets, and the highlight of Fozzie Bear’s life,” said Kermit the Frog. “In fact, Fozzie is so overwhelmed, he may not be able to stand up to do his stand-up.”
Additional hosts of The Comedy Network’s Just For Laughs galas include:
- Bill Hader – Those viewers who actually do call in sick to work can find plenty of inspiration for voices and characters by Saturday Night Live star Bill Hader. A master of characters, accents and comedic versatility, see why this Not Ready for Prime Time funnyman has both feet planted firmly in the big time!
- Joel McHale – With razorsharp wit and easy charm Joel McHale can be seen weekly on E!’s The Soup, where his smart, sardonic humour is on full display. One of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents, McHale is also known for starring role as Jeff Winger in Community.
- Jack McBrayer – From appearances on Late Night With Conan O’Brien and Saturday Night Live, to his starring role on 30 ROCK, and performances at Second City and ImprovOlympic in Chicago, the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, and the UCB and IO outposts in Los Angeles, Jack McBrayer is no stranger to the stage or screen. Most recently heard as one of the voices in Despicable Me, McBrayer has also appeared in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
- Jeremy Hotz – One of Canada’s most respected comedians, Jeremy Hotz is a true original. The former NEWSROOM star, who continues to electrify fans on both sides of the border with his distinct, improvisational comic style, infectious glee, and shrewd observations of daily life, returns to The Comedy Network.
- Jason Jones – Born in Hamilton, ON, Jason Jones has appeared on The Daily Show, Queer As Folk, How I Met Your Mother and Law & Order, and is part of the Canadian sketch comedy troupe The Bobroom. Joes hosted Craft Corner DeathMatch and co-wrote, starred, and co-produced the film Ham & Cheese, with fellow Bobroom alumnus Mike Beaver.
- John Pinette – Fresh off his newly-released fifth album, Still Hungry, the long-time festival favourite returns to his second home with a stellar line-up of deeply hilarious comics, including special guest Tommy Tiernan.
Just For Laughs gala series is produced by Just For Laughs Television in association with The Comedy Network. Executive Producers are Bruce Hills, Andy Nulman, and Gilbert Rozon.