For nearly three decades, Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival has been the annual marquee event in the comedy world, as every comedian who has ever hit it big once paid their dues at the Quebec fest. Comic greats like Chris Rock, Bill Hicks and Mitch Hedburg all clutched the mic and delivered a stand up routine early in their careers at JFL, and now, for the first time, those performances and hundreds more will available to the masses thanks to Just for Laughs’ new YouTube channel, the AV Club reports.
Just for Laughs has over 500 hours worth of material in their vaults stretching back to 1987, which the fest will add to their YouTube page at the pace of three videos per week. One of the first videos JFL unveiled is the above 2003 performance by (a still-married) Louis C.K. “I’m in a great mood today actually because I had sex with my wife, which is amazing. We never have sex anymore because we have a baby, and our baby is a fucking asshole,” C.K. jokes in a riff that would later resurface on an episode of his HBO sitcom Lucky Louie.
There’s even video of Jon Stewart at the JFL Festival in 1992, just months before the comedian found a larger audience thanks to his stint as host of MTV’s You Wrote It, You Watch It and The Jon Stewart Show. In his routine, Stewart jokes about the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. “If I have to listen to one more tragic backstory about one more athlete… Can’t anyone get to the Olympics without some catastrophe along the way,” Stewart jokes. The Daily Show host also shows an early affinity toward the political humor he’d soon master, “Man, does George Bush really want to bomb a country right now. He is so low on the opinion poll, he wants to bomb Iraq so bad, he can taste it.”
Watch Stewart and Chris Rock’s Just for Laughs performances below, and check out early routines by comedians like Bill Burr, Tracy Morgan, Hicks and more at their YouTube page.