Canada is having a moment.
It’s not just that Steve Martin curated a Lawren Harris exhibit. Or that our PM makes headlines with handshakes. It’s not even the fact that we’ve got Drake, The Weeknd, and Bieber.
It’s the sudden explosion of Canadian comedy, on a scale that hasn’t been seen since the ‘90s.
Whether you’re a maple syrup-slurping Mountie, or just someone who googled “How to move to Canada” recently, here’s our unofficial guide to some of the funniest stuff from these parts. First up…
Baroness von Sketch
Unless you’ve been orbiting Mars or on a social media fast, you’ve probably seen the “Locker Room” sketch, which racked up over a million views in a matter of days.
Sketch after solid sketch, this laugh-out-loud look at modern life is a breath of fresh air on the male-dominated airwaves. It’s also a middle finger to the face of anyone who says women aren’t funny.
The series was created by and stars comedy powerhouses Aurora Browne, Meredith MacNeill, Carolyn Taylor and Jennifer Whalen.
Improv fans will also recognize Ann Pornel, Lee Smart, and Kris Siddiqi, among others who make guest appearances. And with additional writing by Jennifer Goodhue, Dawn Whitwell, and Monica Heisey, Baroness is a showcase of Canada’s fiercely funny female talent.
Did we mention Reggie Watts is also a fan?
Catch it Tuesdays, 9:30 pm on CBC, or view online.
The Whole Truths
Jim Annan, Scott Montgomery, and Kurt Smeaton (a.k.a. Falcon Powder) have been killing it in the comedy community for over a decade. Their new series for CBC digital, The Whole Truths, brings their rapid-fire, surrealist humour to a wider audience starting July 4.
If you’re not already a fan, we promise that after watching this trailer you will be.
This Is That
Also from CBC digital, This Is That is “a current affairs program that doesn’t just talk about the issues, it fabricates them.” The show built its fan base on CBC radio, beginning in 2010.
Long-time fans will remember Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring from their improvised web series Good Morning World, which was picked up by Comedy Network. And judging by the first few promos, this new series will be coming soon to a TV near you.
Keep an eye out for appearances from some of our other favourite improvisers, including Kayla Lorette and Caitlin Howden.
Tiny Plastic Men
Edmonton improvisers non pareil Mark Meer, Chris Craddock, and Matt Alden have written and starred in this part-sitcom, part-sketch series for the past three seasons. The story revolves around three man-boys who work in the testing department of a toy company. In other words, nerd nirvana.
You can watch it on Super Channel in Canada, or stream it on Hulu in the States.
People of Earth
While not a Canadian production, we had to give this a special mention. Whether he’s doing a solo show, or climbing all over Isaac Kessler in 2-Man, No-Show, Ken Hall is loved by the improv community. So when People of Earth was announced this year, starring Wyatt Cenac, Oscar Nunez, and one Ken Hall, well, the community went a little crazy.
Check out the trailer below.
Other great series created by Canadians include White Guys, Doing It! with Brian and Darla, and Womanish. It’s exciting to see so many improvisers and sketch comedians bring their talents from stage to screen.
Hopefully this means network execs are finally wising up. After the sudden and short-sighted cancellation of Picnicface and more recently, Sunnyside, it’s time someone besides Lorne Michaels promoted Canadian comedy, in all its flavours.
As Obama said, “The world needs more Canada.”