Just For Laughs, the world’s largest comedy festival, is partnering with live entertainment company AEG Presents to debut the event in 2023 at London’s The O2.
The annual comedy festival Just For Laughs London runs 2-5 March 2023 and features solo shows, live podcast recordings, talk sessions and cast panels from UK-based artists and international stars.
As is well known, British comedy icon Rowan Atkinson introduced Mr. Bean to a global audience in 1987 at the Montréal Just For Laughs Festival. Although Atkinson had no dialogue at all, he insisted that Bean be presented in the French portion of the program rather than the English portion in order to gauge how the physical comedy would translate to a non-English speaking audience.
Other UK stars who have appeared on Just For Laughs include John Oliver, Jimmy Carr, Jack Whitehall, Eddie Izzard, Gina Yashere, Sarah Millican, Stephen Fry, John Cleese and Lenny Henry.
Since its beginnings in Montréal in 1983, the festival has expanded to Toronto, Vancouver, Austin and Sydney. The 2021 North American Festival was held as a hybrid event combining online and in-person shows live from Montréal, New York City and Los Angeles, with Dave Chappelle honored with the Comedy Person of the Year award and Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo the Comedy received Writers of the Year Award for their hit comedy “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar”.
Bruce Hills, President of Just For Laughs said: “We couldn’t be happier to host a Just For Laughs festival in the UK, celebrating the contribution and influence of British comedy to JFL and the industry as a whole. ”
Charles Décarie, President and CEO of Just For Laughs Group, said: “Just For Laughs has produced many successful comedy festivals and tours in cities around the world and we are now very excited to lay down roots with a new comedy festival of the most notorious comedy cities in the world, London, England.”
Steve Homer, CEO of AEG Presents UK said: “We are delighted to be working with a company as respected and talented as Just For Laughs and look forward to presenting a fantastic festival at The O2 next year.”
Emma Bownes, VP of Venue Programming at The O2 added: “Just for Laughs is the global leader in comedy programming and we can’t wait to bring the very best alongside podcast recordings, table readings and breakout comics across multiple channels British and global stars present stages under our roof. We look forward to Just For Laughs LONDON returning to The O2 for years to come.”