Network: CBC Television Network
Broadcast Run: 1985
Broadcast Medium: Television
Co-produced by CBC and Films Rozon Inc. this 30-minute program started as an annual special and then became a regular series. The program was produced from the Montreal “Just For Laughs” [Juste pour Rire] Comedy Festival held every July. The show premiered as a special on Sept. 12, 1985. It debuted as a series in 1988 with only six episodes per season and later extended to 12 as the program grew in popularity.
Performers seen on the series included such names as Howie Mandel, John Pinette, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, George Lopez, William Shatner, Russell Peters, Louis CK, Lewis Black, André-Phillipe Gagnon, Zach Galifianakis, Harland Williams, Damon Wayans and Gerry Dee.
A companion series, Just For Laughs Gags, was seen on CTV in 2002. The Festival became one of the most important artistic events in Canada, showcasing new and seasoned comics from around the world
The original series continued to run each year on the CBC, and on April 3rd 2013 Just for Laughs was included in an announced list of programs scheduled to return to the network during the 2013-14 season.
On April 4th 2014 the CBC reported that it would be bringing Just for Laughs back to the schedule for the 2014-15 season. On March 4th 2015 the CBC reported that four one-hour Just for Laughs specials would be included in the 2015-16 schedule.
Written by Pip Wedge – June, 2008