Globe & Mail on JFL Takeover

Vice Magazine on SiriusXM and JFL
February 27, 2019
The Montreal Gazette on SiriusXM and Just For Laughs Radio
February 27, 2019

Globe & Mail on JFL Takeover

Howie Mandel, who acquired the Montreal-based JFL last year in partnership with an L.A.-based talent agency, promised good things for the Canadian comedy scene as a result of the new channel format. RYAN REMIORZ/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Did you hear the one about the Canadian comedy satellite-radio channel that changed its format, dropping “Canada” from its name, and then promised it would strengthen the reach of Canadian comedy? The punchline, according to many Canadian comedians, is not at all funny.

The controversy involves a satellite-radio station on SiriusXM Canada that airs comedy routines. Canada Laughs was marketed as “uncensored Canadian stand-up, sketch, improv and music.” But last week, some listeners noticed a change. Suddenly, the station was playing a great deal of material from Just For Laughs (JFL) festivals.

When word got out in the comedy community that JFL would be programming the station, some Canadian comedians became frantic with concern. The station has been a consistent venue for Canadian stand-up material, and playing JFL content would mean less room for their work.

“Let’s be honest,” Quebec comedian Derek Seguin said. “They’re not going to play me as much now that they can play Jerry Seinfeld and Tim Allen.”

Read the full article by Marsha Lederman on the Globe and Mail

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