Just for Laughs unveils 2018 festival lineup

Tried-and-true comedians Ken Jeong, David Cross, Tom Green and Russell Peters are joining the lineup for this summer's comedy festival.

Comedian Howie Mandel, new part-owner of JFL, says his goal is to create more brand awareness

Comedian Howie Mandel, one of the new co-owners of the Just for Laughs comedy festival, says the festival will stay in Montreal and he hopes to make it more popular. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Tried-and-true comedians Ken Jeong, David Cross, Tom Green and Russell Peters are joining the lineup for this summer's Just For Laughs comedy festival.

"This town, this festival means more to anything in my career," said Canadian comedian Howie Mandel, a new part-owner of the festival who will host one of the 2018 galas.

Two high-profile acts at this year's festival, Girls Trip star Tiffany Haddish and the host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, had already been announced. 

The full lineup was released Wednesday morning.

It includes a keynote address from Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, solo shows from Arrested Development reboot stars David Cross and Maria Bamford, and a gala hosted by Ken Jeong of The Hangover and Community fame.

This marks the first edition of the festival since it was bought by Mandel and a Los Angeles-based talent and literary agency.​

The festival's future was uncertain after sexual assault allegations involving Juste pour rire co-founder and president Gilbert Rozon emerged during the #metoo movement.

Mandel said the key players who have made the international festival what it is today are still part of the team, and he wants to work with them to boost the festival's brand recognition.

"My dream has been to have Canada and Montreal and Just for Laughs recognized as the mecca of comedy," Mandel said.

"You know what Coachella is, even if you've never gone, everybody is talking about it. It's part of the pop culture... and that's what we have to do."

The festival runs from from July 11 to 29.

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