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Dane Cook, Bassem Youssef to perform at 'revived' Montreal Just for Laughs festival

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The president of a Quebec-based entertainment group says he's reviving the Montreal Just For Laughs festival with a scaled-down 2024 event that includes shows by Dane Cook, Bassem Youssef and Bobby Slayton.

ComediHa! CEO Sylvain Parent-Bedard says it's a "miracle" the company is able to announce a July lineup only weeks after acquiring a number of assets from the financially troubled Just for Laughs comedy company.

Just for Laughs cancelled its Montreal and Toronto festivals earlier this year and sought creditor protection, blaming the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and the changing entertainment industry for its financial woes.

Parent-Bedard's ComediHa! announced earlier this month that a judge approved its bid to acquire the brands Juste pour rire, Just For Laughs, Zoofest, ComedyPro, the Gags, as well as the audiovisual catalogue.

Parent-Bedard says the English side of the festival will be smaller than in previous years, but he says it's important for the company to send a signal to fans and the industry that the event isn't finished.

The 2024 festival runs from July 18 to 28 and will feature a free outdoor performance by Cook, about 15 shows at various venues, and a closing show that has yet to be announced.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 26, 2024.

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