Film has Cannes. Sports have the Olympics. Music has South by Southwest. Comedy? It has Just for Laughs.
The Just for Laughs festival in Montreal, currently celebrating its 30th anniversary with a month-long party ending July 31, is hands down the largest comedy festival in the world. This is where comedy superstars rub elbows with podcast kings and sitcom showrunners, where promising new talent hope to make it big by catching the eye of just the right industry insider. This is where an entire city turns into one big, rowdy comedy club.
Much of the credit for this comedic phenomenon goes to Andy Nulman. In 1985, Nulman, then a journalist, joined the two-day-long Francophone comedy festival, then two years old, adding English-language events and extending the celebration to a month. By the time he departed in 1999, Just for Laughs was an international force to be reckoned with. Then, after founding the tech company Airborne Mobile and selling it for nearly $100 million, Nulman came back, becoming Just for Laugh's president of festivals and television.
Read full article: Wired, July 21, 2012