Stand Up Toronto

What does it mean to be an up-and-coming comedian who isn't white? Explore the lives of three multi-cultural comics as they navigate Toronto's comedy circuit.

What does it mean to be an up-and-coming, stand-up comedian who isn’t white? Stand Up Toronto explores the experience of three comics from diverse cultural backgrounds as they navigate Toronto’s comedy circuit. As these comics chronicle their attempts to break through in the industry, as well as break the mold of the comedians who came before them, will they find a place to speak their truth in the complicated world we live in?

Hoodo Hersi is a 20-something hijab-wearing comic who has been doing standup for six years. Her family has never seen her perform. She eventually wants to quit her day job and make her living in the comedy world. But she also has to help support her family. Making the leap to comedy full-time will be the challenge.

Danish Anwar, 32, is a pot-smoking millennial indie producer of live shows and web pilots. Anwar, who is half Indian and half Bangladeshi, was born in Russia and came to Canada with his parents when he was very young. He's been performing stand-up for six years but is not interested in tying himself to one specific comedy club or promoter. Using social media, he produces his own shows and is developing a TV pilot based on his "Your Hood's a Joke" comedy nights.

Aisha Brown is a 35-year-old club comic. In 2017 she won the Toronto Breakout Comic of the Year award. She is at a crossroads with her career. While her comedy plays well to Toronto crowds, she is often struggling with the question of whether or not to alter her material for the mostly mainstream audiences she plays to when she travels across the country.