Woe, Canada: the plight of the Canadian comedian

Why it’s almost impossible to succeed in comedy in Canada

Canadian comedians were not happy last month. It leaked that a SiriusXM station, Canada Laughs, would be acquired by Just For Laughs.

Online chatter about the deal picked up steam after the Canadian Association of Comedians posted to their Facebook page. “Earlier this week CASC learned that SiriusXM Canada and Just for Laughs have agreed to a corporate partnership to allow Just For Laughs (#JFL) to brand and curate the Canada Laughs channel going forward. From what we have heard, it will become “Just for Laughs Radio” with a majority of the programming coming from JFL’s company catalog.” That catalog includes many non-Canadians who have simply recorded sets in Canada at the Just For Laughs Montreal comedy festival.

SiriusXM pays residuals on track plays to comics whose material airs on the station. A major shift in programming meant less income for many local comics, many of whom say those checks can typically cover their rent. Within days, comedians from all over were standing in solidarity with their Canadian colleagues and pressured JFL to keep playing Canadian content.

Read the full article by Rosa Escandon by Laugh Spin.