Best Just For Laughs
2000 – The birth of a comedy empire!
The year 2000 was an interesting year in pop culture. Amid the popularity of Harry Potter, DVD’s, Pokemon, the Just For Laughs Gags as you know them were born from the twisted minds hidden camera show veteran Pierre Girard and French Canadian comedy superstar (in his own mind) Jacques Chevalier Longueil.
The boys assembled a ragtag team of pranksters, some hideable cameras, a skunk on a stick and went for broke. After a tumultuous summer of filming in Montreal and a few bloody noses, the first half hour show debuted in the fall on Canal D – the Quebec version of what would be the love child of TLC and the Discovery Channel.
2001 – They like us, they really do!
The show was a planetary success in Quebec and so the filming season 2 began with new broadcasters on board: TVA (French Canada), Comedy Network (English Canada) and TF1 (France). International cred was had!
2002 – Keep on trucking’
Some geniuses somewhere realized that a prank show without any spoken word could work in any country – even above and in between countries! So the Gags found home in 40 different countries and 5 airlines. The Gags on planes have the highest watch rate, because even the few people who hate the show are forced to stay on the plane and watch it anyway.
2003 – We’re on a roll!
Season 4 starts filming, the Gags are shown on 4 different Canadian TV stations (TVA, Canal D, The Comedy Network & CBC). This is also the first time the Gags started pranking outside of Canada with two seasons of 6 episodes each produced in Ireland for the BBC.
We’re now rolling in the money so what do we do with it? We buy stuff we don’t know what to do with! The Gags purchase the a hidden camera series from Belgium in the 80s and 90s called “Just Kidding/Only Joking” which may or may not have originally inspired the actual Gags. It will take almost ten years before anybody figures out what to do with them – you can see them on YouTube under theHidden Camera Classics channel.
- The worst enemies of Canadian comedy are the people who produce it (o.canada.com)
- Travis Doering (en.wikipedia.org)
- Shaq’s Comedy Network Spoof: ‘The Preachers Wives’ (atlantablackstar.com)
- Stephen Colbert: Windsor, Winnipeg ‘the Earth’s rectum?’ (lfpress.com)
- Picnicface: Why are we laughing?I don’t know, but it sure beats crying (theglobeandmail.com)
- SCTV: The Sequel? A 27-year effort to revive a comedy legend (o.canada.com)
- Ban Ki-Moon falls for Canadian radio prank (telegraph.co.uk)
- On Twitter, @stats_canada is 100 per cent parody (thestar.com)
- Some brief thoughts on comedy (hikarublue.wordpress.com)
- Hulk Hogan Chokeslams Shaq In Clip For Basketball Star’s YouTube Comedy Network (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)