Scroll through Twitter’s #justformoney hashtag and you’ll find an army of angry Canadian comedians. Their rage stems, as it does for so many in this era of late-stage capitalism, from a corporate merger, specifically that of Sirius XM Canada and Just For Laughs. As the Montreal Gazette reports, the merger will see ‘Canada Laughs’ satellite radio comedy station rebrand as Just For Laughs Radio. That sounds innocuous, but some changes to its programming could have a seismic financial impact on Canada’s comedy community, and the lot of them are not going gentle into that good night.
Since it launched in 2005, Canada Laughs has committed to broadcasting only Canadian comedians, offering the Great White North’s jokesters a reliable showcase, a home for their independently produced work, and, perhaps most importantly, access to royalties. According to a Monday press release, that will no longer be the case. In it,