Comedy Is Canadian – Part 1

The Country’s Top Funny People and Where to Watch Others

Whether you realise it or not Canada has a huge history in western comedy. Despite being the butt of the jokes for a long time thanks to their charming nature and quirky accent, Canadians have since come to stand tall among the big hitters of laugh lounges, sitcoms and of course the big screen. Because much of their work is performed or celebrated in scale in America its hard to distinguish many acts from their southern neighbours, but once you look closer its clear that Canadians have been the real ones making us laugh for decades. Here are some of the funniest people who have spawned from Canada over the years and some of the spots you can go and see performers if you are in the country.

Jim Carrey

Actor, artist and activist Jim Carrey is probably better known as the zany improviser who soared to fame in the 90’s. With his uncanny ability to contort his face into an endless variety of over the top cartoonish expressions, Carrey combined this with his hilarious impressions and physical comedy to create some of the best loved characters in comedy from modern times. During his astronomical rise from solo performer on a late night talk show to headline star in movie theatres everywhere Carrey established some iconic names including Ace Ventura, the borderline insane animal whisperer. He also took on the roles of the comic book hero The Mask and the loveable idiot Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber alongside funnyman Jeff Daniels. Liar Liar and Me, Myself and Irene where Carrey acted as two separate characters occupying the same body (much like his regular day to day life) also went down as staple comedies of the time.

As his career ascended, he began to take on less obviously comic but still unforgettable roles such as his appearances in films like The Truman Show and Man on The Moon, eventually he would go on to take part in roles quite opposite to his family friendly laugh out loud origins. Regardless of his move to more dramatic roles (which he also did with great success) Carrey’s silly portrayal of madmen will always have a place in the hearts and minds of children who can’t help but laugh at his quirks. At this point in his career his face is still associated with comedy, despite him leaving a lot of it behind.

Carrey would go on to become once again iconic in the Dr Seuss Christmas tale The Grinch and the computer animated retelling of Dickens’ Christmas Carol, cementing his place as a childhood icon especially during the festive season. Nowadays he is creating political art which still has a sense of humour, if somewhat darker than that which he is usually associated with. Still working he now plays a dramatic role as a children’s entertainer in the TV series kidding, the title character no doubt influenced by Carreys own career path. Unquestionably a talented actor and comedian Carrey has left an outstanding legacy in his wake with few others even capable of imitating his outlandish slapstick style, or indeed becoming as legendary as this great performer.

Kristen