Just For Laughs Comedy Fest Delayed Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Kevin Hart - 2016 Just For Laughs Comedy Festival - Gett y- H 2017
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The showcase for Hollywood's biggest stand-up talent is postponed from July to a Sept. 29-Oct. 11 run this Fall.

The Just For Laughs comedy festival, run by a consortium including ICM Partners, Howie Mandel and Bell Media, has postponed its 2020 edition amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual festival in Montreal where Los Angeles and New York talent scouts discover the "next big thing" for Hollywood sitcoms and movie roles will now run Sept. 29 to Oct. 11, after cancelling its traditional late July dates during the height of the summer cultural season.

"This decision was not taken lightly, however made possible by the agility, vitality and creative strength of the company," Just for Laughs said in a statement on Friday.

The festival cited the "evovling global situation of COVID-19" for the postponement, as travel bans and a closed U.S.-Canadian border is hampering travel of Hollywood talent to cancelled or delayed international festivals and markets.

"We are energized by the ability of our teams to adapt to current conditions and present a festival redesigned in its form and content as early as the fall," Charles Décarie, president and CEO of the Just For Laughs Group said in his own statement.

Also Friday, Montreal concert promoter L'Equipe Spectra said the coronavirus pandemic had led to the postponement of the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Les Francos de Montreal editions. No new dates for the events, which like Just For Laughs depend on Montrealers coming outdoors during the summer season, were given.