Regret over bomb joke

Festival stunt 'inappropriate'

Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival has admitted that it was wrong to stage a sketch involving hoax bomb threat.

The gag came during on Thursday night, after London had again been targeted by terrorists but before yesterday’s blasts that killed 62 in Egypt.

During the show, a technician gave Stephan Bureau, pictured, who was hosting one of the festival’s French events, a note saying the venue had received a threat.

Three people dressed as firefighters – including festival chief Gilbert Rozon – then took to the stage to tell the audience the hoax was ‘just for laughs’.

But Rozon now admits the stunt was inappropriate, even though no one had complained that it was in bad taste.

‘When I made the crack, we weren't aware of the attacks in London,’ he told Canada Press. ‘If we had known, we certainly wouldn't have done it.'

He said they came up with the idea because Dieudonne, a French comedian who was being interviewed on stage at the time, has been threated over comments some deem anti-Semitic.

Thursday night also saw the festival’s Britcom gala – in which one of the highest-profile events of the international festival was, unusually, given over entirely to comedians from the UK.

Hosted by Lenny Henry, the show also featured Lee Mack, Noel Fielding, The Hollow Men, Rhod Gilbert, Danny Bhoy, Adam Bloom, Alan Carr and sword swallower Miss Behave.

Also at the festival, Tommy Tiernan had been offered a rare one-man show, as had Eddie Izzard.

Other British and Irish-based acts there include Dylan Moran, Rich Hall, Julia Morris, Adam Hills, Jim Jeffries, Rhys Darby, Kitty Flanagan and Steve Hughes.


Published: 23 Jul 2005

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