5 Canadian Stand-ups to Watch on Canada Day

Comedy Lists Canada

It’s Canada Day and we’re celebrating up here in the great white north. I think there’s a free concert happening somewhere, rather. But the malls are open and we’re out here to pay homage to the great land of Canada—home of the beaver tail.

In honour (with a U) of our honoured (U) homeland, here’s a list of some of my favoUrite stand-up comedians—all of whom are homegrown.

1. Debra DiGiovanni

Debra DiGiovanni is the first female comedian I discovered. Her stage presence is a force to be reckoned with as her booming voice commands her to be the centre of attention. She used to be one of the best judges on the old MuchMusic show, Video On Trial. It’s easy to make jokes and poke fun, but DiGiovanni put a little more effort into her put downs, like they were a little more thought out than the average tease. I messaged her on Facebook once, as a fan—looking back, I feel like that was a little creepy. Sorry, Debra.

2. Gerry Dee

How can one make a list of Canadian stand-up comedians and not include Gerry Dee? He’s well-known for his appearance on Last Comic Standing and, later on, his own show, Mr. D (which was sort of funny—but then again, most things in Canada sort of are), which chronicled his adventures during his time as a high school gym teacher. A bit of a weird career leap, but it was definitely worth it: Dee has great stand-up material which hasn’t gotten worse despite the focus on his acting career, and he’s beloved by Canadians all around.

3. Pete Zedlacher

Now a writer on CBC’s The Ron James Show, Zedlacher was, somewhat oddly, sort of a military comedian, and often performed for the Canadian Forces at various bases. Known for his work on Just For Laughs, Zedlacher’s comedy comes strongly from the faces he makes on stage, making his live shows incredible. Oh, and his jokes about Canada and being Canadian are something all Canadians can enjoy. Here’s the thing: We can make fun of ourselves. Y’all can’t.

4. Candy Palmater

A feminist comedian! Palmater is an Aboriginal, gay comedian from New Brunswick, representing us in the best way possible. Beyond being a comedian, she’s an educator about the perceptions of the Mi’kmaq people and an international speaker. After a run-in with corporate law, which she decided she didn’t want to do anyway, she got a few other jobs and later on, her own show: The Candy Show. A progressive, fascinating comedian, her feminist viewpoints and her incredible story-telling skills make her one to be proud of.

5. Shaun Majumder

This Bengali-Canadian comedian is from Newfoundland, and thank god—his Newfie jokes are to die for. Well-dressed, superbly talented at accents, and in the entertainment industry for years, his work is worth checking out. Known for his work as a game show host on popular Canadian shows CLIPS (on youth network YTV) and Uh-Oh!, a show that involved “sliming” contestants with goop by a dominatrix-dressed man known as “The Punisher,” Majumder also played Kumar’s brother in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle.

Sofie Mikhaylova has written for Vice and Noisey. Follow her on Twitter @sofiesucks.

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