Just for Laughs announced the official news today that was the source of so much social media controversy over the weekend. The comedy giant is indeed joining forces with SiriusXM Canada to launch a brand new comedy channel, Just for Laughs Radio on SiriusXM 168.
The new channel will officially launch this spring and provide a collection of stand up tracks recorded at various Just for Laughs festivals and events around the world. The company promises that the channel will feature Canadian artists plus artists from around the world and will include premium content from independent comedy albums as well.
Just For Laughs Radio will be voiced and hosted by Canadian rising star DeAnne Smith and promises to feature hundreds of legendary comics, including brand-new and archived stand-up content from Canadian artists K. Trevor Wilson, Dave Merheje, Elvira Kurt, Russell Peters, Norm Macdonald, Sabrina Jalees, Pat Thornton, Mike MacDonald, and many more. The channel will also air weekly shows from celebrated SiriusXM hosts and Canadian comedians.
“We are very excited about this partnership, which allows us to provide the best homegrown and international comedic talent programming to our listeners,” said John Lewis, SVP, Programming & Operations, SiriusXM Canada. “The new channel will help us to continue our legacy of elevating Canadian talent by providing them with a North American platform.”
“Just For Laughs has always endeavoured to entertain comedy fans with first class performances from both Canadian and International comedians,’ said Bruce Hills, President, Just for Laughs “Our goal with Just For Laughs Radio is precisely the same thanks in large part to the depth and quality of Canadian artists”
The channel was previously branded Canada Laughs and served as a place to hear tracks from local homegrown comics. This weekend when news of the change first started to circulate, comedians took to social media to express anger that Canadian born and raised Just For Laughs would take over a channel that provided substantial income to homegrown comedians and shift the focus to comedians who have performed at the festivals. Things got so heated on Sunday that Howie Mandel who owns part of the comedy enterprise got on Facebook Live to dispel some rumors.
Monday’s announcement about the official launch was careful to highlight the involvement of Canadian comedians in the endeavor.
Later this spring, Canadian comedians will be invited to register for their chance to be part of SiriusXM’s Top Comic, entering its 10th year in 2019. With a $25,000 cash prize and bookings at JFL’s major festivals, the prestigious competition continues to be the biggest in the country. Recorded content from Top Comic will be heard on Just For Laughs Radio, including the Finale airing live from JFL42 in Toronto.
Just For Laughs Radio will officially launch in Spring 2019 on SiriusXM Canada’s Channel 168 and will join SiriusXM’s hilarious comedy lineup, including Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Radio, Comedy Central Radio, SiriusXM Comedy Greats, Raw Dog Comedy, Jeff and Larry’s Comedy Roundup, Laugh USA and more