As we explained this week, the Canadian Dream means making it in America. Some of today’s leading comedy voices are from the Great White North—something that couldn’t have happened if they stuck around home. Jim Carrey, Seth Rogen, Samantha Bee, and others have found huge success in the American entertainment industry.
While many Canadian comedians come to the states seeking success, some are making Canada laugh. Americans are generally not very aware of our neighbors to the North unless they end up on Netflix, but there is a lot of great comedy happening just across the border. Laughspin brings you eight Canadian comedians who are all ‘aboot’ the laughs.
K. Trevor Wilson
This Toronto native is a stand-up and actor. While K. Trevor Wilson might be known best for his role on the CraveTV show Letterkenny, he started as a child actor on the series Goosebumps. As a stand-up in 2012, he won the Irwin Barker Home Grown Award at Just For Laughs. His first album, SexCop Fire Penis, won Best Taped Live Performance at the 2015 Canadian Comedy Awards. His second album, Sorry! (A Canadian Album), was nominated for a Juno Award (Canada’s Grammys). While he has worked in America and appeared on American TV like Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, he remains based out of Toronto and is a Canadian favorite.
Rebecca Kohler is a stand-up and writer. In 2018, she won the Juno Award for Comedy Album of the Year for her album In Living Kohler. Kohler has also worked on shows like Schitt’s Creek, Kim’s Convenience, and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. She both wrote and appeared on episodes of Workin’ Moms, a Canadian show that is distributed by Netflix in the US.
Andrew Phung is a Calgary native, actor, and improviser. He started with the sketch group Sciencebear, but went on to perform with several sketch and improv groups. He now appears on Kim’s Convenience as Kimchee, a role that has earned him two Canadian Screen Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Featured Supporting Role or Guest Role in a Comedic Series.
American audiences might recognize DeAnne Smith from her set on Netflix’s Comedians of the World. You may also know her from her viral joke-turned-viral meme about straight men. Back in Canada, she has often been ranked amongst Montreal’s Top 10 Comedians by the Montreal Mirror, ranking #3 in 2010-2012. She has gone to JFL, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and the Edinburgh Fringe multiple times. In 2011, she was nominated for Best Female Stand-Up at the Canadian Comedy Awards. We weren’t sure if we should include Smith because, while she lives and is based in Montreal, the stand-up is originally from upstate New York! But she’s just so funny, we’d be remiss to not include her.
Baroness Von Sketch—the whole gang
Shown on IFC in America, Baroness Von Sketch is a CBC show. The all-female sketch program stars and is executive produced by Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne, and Jennifer Whalen. The fourth season is set to come out in later this year.
While comedy coming out of the French part of Canada might be less accessible to American audiences, Louis-José Houde isn’t to be missed. The French-Canadian comedian hails from Quebec. He is also an actor and set to appear in the upcoming comedy film Menteur and appeared on the show Les beaux malaises.
Mark Little is best known from his work on the CBC sitcom Mr. D, but he currently works on the shows Gary and His Demons and Cavendish. Little started comedy in his native Halifax. Little was one of the members of the sketch group called Picnicface which produced viral videos as well as a 13-episode sketch TV series which aired on The Comedy Network.
Trent McClellan started as a stand-up but is now also on the long-running Canadian comedy series This Hour Has 22 Minutes. When he’s not on the show or touring as a headliner he also has his own podcast called The Generators.