Canada Has Comic Talent Galore But Which Province Is Funniest?

By Jeff Parker
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Here in Canada, a sense of humour is no laughing matter. In fact, we take our comedy very seriously.

From “SCTV” to “Kids in the Hall” to “Trailer Park Boys” and most recently, “Schitt’s Creek,” Canada has produced gut-busting TV series for more than 50 years.

And comedians might as well be our third biggest national export behind oil and maple syrup. Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Seth Rogan and so many more Canucks have found fame after ditching the Great White North for Hollywood.

But Canada is a big, diverse country — so which province is the funniest?

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How We Made Our Comedy List

As part of our ongoing coverage of Canadian movies, TV and entertainment, is taking a break from our Ontario sports betting coverage to find Canada’s funniest province.

To do so, we used and the SEO analytics site to determine the 75 most famous Canadian comedians/comedic performers over that past year (Aug. 2022 to Aug. 2023). From there, we determined which province each of those 75 people hail from. Because each province’s population varies widely, we also determined a “per capita” metric.

Canada’s Funniest Provinces Per Capita

Rank, Province Comedians In Top 75 No. Per 100,000 Residents
1. Ontario 43 0.28 per 100K
2. British Columbia 9 0.17 per 100K
3. Quebec 6 0.07 per 100K
4. Alberta 5 0.11 per 100K
T5. New Brunswick 3 0.37 per 100K
T5. Nova Scotia 3 0.29 per 100K
T5. Saskatchewan 3 0.25 per 100K
8. Newfoundland & Labrador 2 0.38 per 100K
9. Manitoba 1 0.07 per 100K
10. Prince Edward Island 0 N/A

Ontario Far Outpaces The Rest

According to our research, Ontario is the country’s funniest province, with more than half of the comedy minds inside our top 75 hailing from Canada’s most populous province. While it wasn’t the funniest province per capita — that would be Newfoundland — the home of legal Ontario sportsbook apps certainly boasts a fair share of comedians.

That’s thanks in no small part to Ontario-produced “Second City Television,” or “SCTV” as it’s more commonly known. The premise behind the successful sketch comedy series, which sprung from Toronto between 1976 and 1984, surrounds a fictional community television network, with the individual sketches being pulled from the made-up channel.

An off-shot of the long-running improv troupe, “SCTV” helped launch the career of the likes of Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, John Candy, Martin Short, and Rick Moranis.

Moranis co-starred in SCTV’s most successful reoccurring sketch, “The Great White North,” with Bob and Doug McKenzie. Moranis portrayed Bob alongside fellow “SCTV” star Dave Thomas as Doug. The McKenzie brothers were two stereotypical beer-swilling, toque-wearing, hockey-crazed Canadians. Despite the eventual popularity of Bob and Doug, the faux-talk show only exists because producers pressured the cast to include at least two minutes of “Canadian” content.

Bob and Doug was the “SCTV” creators’ flippant response — with a season’s worth of sketches filmed by a skeleton crew in a single session as Moranis and Thomas drank beer after wrap one day. But the McKenzie Brothers became an unexpected hit, inspiring the cult comedy film “Strange Brew,” which came out in 1983, and a successful comedy album.

Of course, there’s another sketch comedy series equally, if not more, responsible for Canada’s reputation for producing hilarious comedians and actors — that would be America’s late-night institution, “Saturday Night Live.” Premiering in 1975, the long-running sketch comedy series is broadcast on NBC on Saturday nights “live from New York” and is the brainchild of Toronto’s own Lorne Michaels.

Perhaps feeling some loyalty to his home and native land, Lorne has shown a knack for including Canadians to join the long-running series’ cast. Featured players to appear on SNL from Ontario include the likes of Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd and Phil Hartman.

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Other Provinces Have Contributed Plenty

British Columbia has produced the second-most Canadian comedians in our list of 75, with Vancouver’s Seth Rogen and Ryan Reynolds highlighting the funny folks on the West Coast.

Meanwhile, among the Prairie provinces, Alberta has the most comic talent on our list. This includes the beloved actor from the 1980s and 90s, Michael J. Fox.

After starring as Alex P. Keaton in the sitcom “Family Ties,” Fox landed the role of Marty McFly in the “Back to the Future” trilogy. His acting career was cut short after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but the charming Edmonton native is likely popping up in our research because of the highly acclaimed documentary about his life, “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie,” which premiered at Sundance in January and is currently available on AppleTV+.

As for Manitoba, Winnipeg native Nia Vardalos has a spot in the Top 75. Her name is popping up again lately with the impending release of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3.”

Notable comedians from the East Coast include Newfoundland’s Rick Mercer, one of the inaugural cast members of the long-running political satire series “This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” and later “The Rick Mercer Report,” which aired for 15 seasons. He helped his native province rate highest in per-capita funny talent.

Ricky and Julien from “Trailer Park Boys” — that is New Brunswick-born Robb Wells and Nova Scotia’s John Paul Tremblay, respectively — also cracked the top 75.

So while Ontario can brag about having produced the most successful comedians in Canada, there’s no shortage of funny men and women from coast to coast. But for the information on Ontario online casinos that you’re looking for, is the place to be.


Jeff Parker is an entertainment writer for A writer for film, television and the internet, Jeff is a life long movie buff, with a Masters Degree in Popular Culture. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he works full time as documentary filmmaker and producer.

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