Ottawa comedian Mike MacDonald is awake and in a spirited recovery after a seven-hour liver transplant at a Toronto hospital, says his mother Colette MacDonald.

The 57-year-old funnyman, who's starred in a host of television specials and films, was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 2011 and since then has waited for a transplant that finally happened on Friday.

Once released from hospital care, MacDonald must stay in Toronto for two months so doctors can monitor his condition while he's on anti-rejection medication.

But since waking up on Saturday morning, MacDonald's been very adamant that the people he loves stay nearby, said Colette. When his wife Bonnie left him momentarily to speak to a nurse, MacDonald didn't hesitate to let everyone know he was unhappy.

"He was kind of upset ... but that was a really good sign, even if it is being annoyed," said Colette. "Just the fact he's awake and back to, I wouldn't say normal, but at least he shows some emotions."

Colette said the transplant couldn't have come at a more critical juncture.

"He was very weak, and when he comes over to visit he just lies down on the couch and rests," she said of her son's failing health. "It was time for him to get this."

MacDonald's mother said she hopes to visit her son next week and she thanked everyone for the support and well-wishes throughout her son's illness, particularly after learning MacDonald needed a transplant.

"I know he was a bit apprehensive about this operation," she said.