You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Just For Laughs Launches YouTube Channel Featuring Unseen Footage of Top Comedians (Exclusive)

Comedy festival enlists Maker Studios to help build brand in U.S.

Just for Laughs is partnering with Maker Studios to launch a YouTube channel later today featuring never-before-seen stand-up performances from comedians including Dave Chappelle, Louis CK, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart and Tracy Morgan.

Because JFL’s Montreal Just for Laughs Festival has long been a showcase where up-and-comers get their big break in front of an industry audience, much of the footage is of the comedians is at relatively early stages in their careers going as far back as 1987. Other comedians from JFL’s vaults on the channel include Bil Burr, Mitch Hedberg and Bill Hicks.

“So much of this hasn’t been seen in the No. 1 market in the world,” said Bruce Hills, COO of Just for Laughs, who expects the additional exposure to also boost attendance at its annual festival event in July.

With this new channel, JFL is hoping to establish a brand that is much better known on TV in English-speaking countries overseas like its native Canada than it is in the U.S., where its high profile is limited to the entertainment business and comedians. JFL’s last TV exposure to viewer stateside was JFL-packaged stand-up specials that ran on premium cable channels well over a decade ago. Last year, JFL launched a radio comedy program on SiriusXM.

Over 500 hours of JFL content will be released thrice weekly. In time, the channel will accommodate original material drawn from current JFL-hosted festivals.

JFL turned to Maker because of its expertise in seeding YouTube with short-form content. The companies already partner on a YouTube channel based on JFL’s “Gags” franchise, which is well known outside the U.S.

Dar Nothaft, VP of audience strategy at Maker Studios, cited the JFL deal as part of an evolution for the Disney-owned property as its branches out beyond its core ranks of YouTubers to also include business partners including “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” Penny Arcade, and Jukin.

“This is a deal that exemplifies the work that Maker is doing now and is very different than where we were 2-3  years ago,” he said.

The JFL-Maker deal was brokered by UTA.

More Digital

  • Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese

    Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese Video Platform Bilibili

    Alibaba has purchased an 8% stake in the Chinese online video platform Bilibili, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Bilibili is one of China’s top video streaming and entertainment platforms, with about 92 million monthly active users and 450 million page-views per day. Founded in 2009, it was listed on the NASDAQ last March. Alibaba’s [...]

  • Clevver-Logo

    Hearst Magazines Buys Clevver's Pop-Culture YouTube Channels After Defy's Demise

    Hearst Magazines has snapped up Clevver, a network of female-skewing lifestyle and pop-culture news YouTube channels that had been owned by now-defunct Defy Media. Clevver was left homeless after Defy’s sudden shutdown in November; its principals said at the time they were looking for a new home. Hearst Magazines sees a digital fit with Clevver’s [...]

  • "Brother" -- Episode 201-- Pictured (l-r):

    CBS Interactive's Marc DeBevoise on Streaming Boom, Content Strategy, and Apple

    Not everyone wants or needs to be Netflix to succeed in the streaming space. And not everyone sees Apple’s enigmatic new service as a threat. Even as rival streaming services offer gobs of content, CBS Interactive’s president and COO Marc DeBevoise sees the company’s targeted original programming strategy continuing to attract viewers to its All [...]

  • Rhett-Link-Good-Mythical-Morning

    Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment in Talks to Acquire Smosh (EXCLUSIVE)

    Smosh, the YouTube comedy brand left stranded after parent company Defy Media went belly-up, may be about to get a new business partner. Mythical Entertainment, the entertainment company founded by top YouTube comedy duo Rhett & Link, has been in talks about acquiring the Smosh brand, sources told Variety. Multiple potential buyers came forward to [...]

  • Pokemon Go

    Proposed 'Pokémon Go' Lawsuit Settlement May Remove Poké Stops, Gyms

    A proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against “Pokémon Go” developer Niantic could remove or change a number of Poké Stops and Gyms in the popular augmented reality game. The proposed settlement was filed in a California court on Thursday and applies to anyone in the U.S. who owns or leases property within 100 meters [...]

  • Skyline of Doha at night with

    Qatar's beIN Rallies Support From U.S. Companies Against Pirate Broadcaster beoutQ

    Qatari powerhouse beIN Media Group has rallied support from American sports and entertainment entities, including Discovery and Fox, behind its request that the U.S. government place Saudi Arabia on its watch list of top intellectual property offenders. The Doha-based broadcaster, a state-owned spinoff of Al Jazeera news network, accuses the Saudi government of harboring pirate broadcaster [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content