A Brief History of

Canadian

Sketch Comedy on TV

Without Wayne & Shuster, there may not have been Saturday Night Live. And SCTV? Well... it’s SCTV, and spawned the careers of John Candy, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Rick Moranis, Catherine O’Hara and many others. So, what more needs to be said about the influence of Canadian sketch comedy?

Plenty, actually.

Did you know that Bob Einstein’s iconic Super Dave Osborne character originally appeared on a Canadian sketch show called Bizarre? Or that before SNL, Mike Myers debuted Wayne’s World’s Wayne Campbell on a CBC series called It's Only Rock & Roll?

With this project, our goal is to not only catalog what we consider to be highlights in the history of Canadian sketch TV, but to also map how it’s changed and grown into what it’s become today; a vibrant celebration of diverse voices and perspectives like Baroness von Sketch Show and TallBoyz.

Before we invite you to discover (or re-discover) some of Canada’s incredible sketch-TV history, we do have a few things we’d like to acknowledge.

This collection is by no means exhaustive – no doubt we’ve missed many shows you might deem worthy of including. Another crucial note is that we decided to limit our focus solely on English-language programming, but we do recognize that French-Canada also has a long and rich history of sketch comedy worth discussing, and there has been some high-impact Inuktitut sketch comedy as well, namely Qanurli.

Now without any more preamble, let’s take a look at where English-Canadian sketch TV has been, and where it’s headed.

- The CBC Comedy team

Peppiatt and Aylesworth

1952 - 1957

Frank Peppiatt and John Aylesworth began their legendary careers as writing partners in the advertising business. A reputation as industry jokers quickly transitioned to a role at the burgeoning CBC, writing and producing the first Canadian televised comedy series, After Hours.

The pair went on to write and star in two more CBC series, the musical variety show On Stage and The Big Revue, both of which were directed by future Oscar winner and Peppiatt’s University of Toronto classmate Norman Jewison, before heading south to pursue opportunities working on a series of popular variety programs including The Judy Garland Show, The Sonny and Cher Show and The Julie Andrews Hour.

A decade after leaving the CBC, Peppiatt and Aylesworth created the legendary country-comedy variety series Hee Haw, which ran as a ratings juggernaut at CBS for twenty years.

In 1995, Peppiatt & Aylesworth were inducted into the CBC Comedy Hall Of Fame and, a year later, the pair reunited to pen new sketches for a CBC tribute show in their honour.

Rich Little On Peppiatt and Aylesworth

They made my career, those two. They wrote me my first club act, and they got me on The Jimmy Dean Show in New York, they got me on The Judy Garland Show and The Julie Andrews Show.

They were a big influence in my career.

They were a big influence in my career. They ended up in the States doing a lot of very important, big shows: Bing Crosby, Perry Como. They were a hot comedy team.

Wayne & Shuster

1954 - 1990

It’s been said in Canada there are only three certainties: Death, Taxes and Wayne & Shuster.

The comedy team of Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster became a comedy institution through the '40s, '50s and '60s, appearing on the The Ed Sullivan Show a record-breaking 67 times, but it’s their sheer endurance on the CBC up until the 1990s which makes them a pillar of Canadian culture.

It’s not an exaggeration to say for most intents and purposes, Wayne & Shuster are Canadian comedy for those that grew up with the concept.

Honing their skills first at the University of Toronto, then as performers for the troops during the Second World War before landing on CBC Radio, the post-vaudevillian pair had a reputation for classy, literary-themed sketch comedy. Or, as the New York Times described them, “the harbingers of literate slapstick.” But it’s the duo’s unimpeachable Canadianism which is perhaps their most defining feature – they never made an American series, preferring to keep their egghead puns and punchlines on the CBC (and Sullivan). Despite this, many of Canada’s comical exports, from SCTV to Saturday Night Live, can be traced back thematically to such Wayne & Shuster pop-culture-meets-litcom staples as 'Western Hamlet.'

Aurora Browne (Baroness von Sketch Show) On Wayne & Shuster

We watched Wayne & Shuster all the time when I was a kid. It's so old-school because it went back to when sketch and variety really were one thing. They had songs and sketches were in between. 

It's so old-school because it went back to when sketch and variety really were one thing.

I was so young when that was on, I didn't necessarily know all the references, but it was a clear duo of the troublemaker and the straight-ahead kind of guy, and that dynamic. And they had a live audience. Hearing the audience response to them was really informative. 

I grew up in Thunder Bay and we didn't have cable or a VCR, so I was limited to what I'd see.

Nightcap

1963 - 1967

Lascivious, bold and, according to one sour Toronto Star critic, “the worst TV show in the world,” late-night variety series Nightcap was infamous during its five-year run. Starring Bonnie Brooks, Jean Christopher, Alan Hamel, Vanda King, June Sampson and Billy Van, with musical accompaniment by The Rubber Band, Nightcap used sketch comedy to make light of the day’s headlines. And, rather scandalously for the era, its weekly shows would feature at least one sketch highlighting the female-cast members scantily clad. Such razzle dazzle made it a hit (outrating Johnny Carson where both aired) and the show eventually spawned the spin-off soap opera parody, Flemingdon Park.

Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour

1970 - 1971

Though it only ran for two seasons, the Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour is perhaps most notable for inspiring star Lorne Michaels to create Saturday Night Live. The variety show aired as part of CBC’s Sunday at Nine anthology, where its quick sketches, irreverent spoofs and mockumentaries were shown alongside dramas and other “light entertainment.”

Modeled on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, where straight-man Michaels and funny-man co-star Hart Pomerantz worked before returning to Canada, the series mixed sketch and musical guests and starred, amongst others, Dan Aykroyd.

Four years after Terrific Hour went off the air, Michaels would create and produce Saturday Night Live for NBC.

Lorne Michaels was then a great straight man, and he continues to be a great straight man on the occasions that he appears on Saturday Night Live. I don't know the man, and I don't think he would call himself a comedian. His offering a cheque to the Beatles to reunite was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Rick Mercer

The Hilarious House of Frightenstein

1971

An oddity of oddities, The Hilarious House of Frightenstein was produced by Hamilton independent station, CHCH. Its charming, child-friendly and all around zany premise has kept it a perennial cult favourite around the world. Based around a loose narrative premise — banished vampire Count Frightenstein's efforts to revive his Frankenstein’s monster-esque charge Brucie J. Monster — the series mostly showed the goings on of other creatures, monsters and ghouls around the castle. Starring Billy Van (in a much-loved multitude of roles), Fishka Rais, Guy Big, Mitch Markowitz, Julius Sumner Miller and, rather unlikely, Vincent Price, all 130 Frightenstein episodes were shot in a nine-month span.

In 2019, the series found a new home in Canada on Bell Media’s Crave streaming network and a new, full-cast audio production titled Return to Frightenstein is due for release.

Jennifer Whalen (Baroness von Sketch Show) On The Hilarious House of Frightenstein

It was appointment viewing for me. I believe it played at 6am on weekends, so that's how I'd start my cartoon marathon. It was amazing, Billy Van doing all of those characters was spectacular. It has really classic, repeatable setups, the same joke over and over again, which weirdly I never got tired of.

It has really classic, repeatable setups, the same joke over and over again, which weirdly I never got tired of.

Actually, I know it was supposed to be scary, but to me the scariest part of the show was the old math professor who would do physics problems. That I found terrifying. I loved it as a kid, I hope there's a reboot of that, because boy, that was my favourite show.

SCTV

1976 - 1984

Many of Canada’s notorious comedy exports from the '70s originated at Second City Toronto, so it makes sense that one of — if not the most — influential Canadian sketch-comedy series bears both the troupe’s moniker and staggering talent.

One need only look at the names in the cast: John Candy, Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, Martin Short, Joe Flaherty, Harold Ramis, Andrea Martin, Dave Thomas, Catherine O’Hara, each at the top of their post-modern, absurd and comical game, to realize SCTV (in its multiple incarnations) was a supernova we were lucky to observe.

Set in and around the only station in the fictional town of Melonville, SCTV’s constraints were only that of the televised universe. The result, as with Candy’s minor celebrity Johnny LaRue, Levy’s showbiz-hack Bobby Bittman, or Short’s Jerry Lewis, were biting and timeless skewing of a previous generation by a wild new one. Both idol-killing and timeless, SCTV ultimately struggled to find a steady home both in Canada and abroad, though unsurprisingly it remains a rerun juggernaut.

Currently in the works is a Netflix-produced documentary directed by Martin Scorsese, which saw the cast reunited at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto.

I loved their stuff. The characters, the sketches were so well written, the performances were wonderful and each one of them had such a unique point of view and such strength in their characters. You can watch those shows [today] and they still hold up. Colin Mochrie

Smith & Smith

1979 - 1985

Created and starring real-life couple Morag and Steve Smith, Smith & Smith ran for six seasons on Hamilton’s CHCH and in syndication throughout the country. The series, which featured sketches including the Polka Dot Door parody 'The Kids' Show' and a gender-flipping bakery bit, as well as musical numbers, almost exclusively featured the husband-and-wife duo and would prove especially fertile ground for Steve, who debuted his signature character, the Canadian handyman Red Green, on the series.

Brent Butt (Corner Gas) On Smith & Smith

Smith & Smith was huge for me, as a kid who wanted to get into comedy, and who was living in rural Canada. I only had two channels. I don’t know what it is that made me want to get into show business or comedy, but anything that was borderline comedy on Canadian TV, I’d watch it. When the show Smith & Smith came on, I wasn’t expecting much. I knew it was a low-budget Canadian sketch variety show, but I found it to be very funny and very smart.

[Smith & Smith] was the first show that made me think, maybe this is possible.

I became very enamoured with that show. It just kind of helped solidify the notion that this was maybe a possibility, of doing comedy on TV in Canada. Seeing this couple out of Hamilton make this show that I thought was very good on a limited budget, made it seem real. When you see big, glitzy, flashy American shows... you don’t think yourself that you can get there. [Smith & Smith] was the first show that made me think, maybe this is possible.

You Can’t Do That on Television

1979 - 1990

Taking the popular Laugh-In format and revamping it for children, You Can’t Do That on Television began as a local Ottawa success story before blowing up internationally, becoming synonymous with the rise of American children’s channel Nickelodeon.

Running for 10 seasons, each episode had a strong pop-culture-based theme. Along with its iconic sliming segment, YCDTOTV is notable for launching the careers of, among many, screenwriter and Big Bang Theory creator Bill Prady, and Alanis Morissette.

Teddy Wilson (You Can't Do That On Television, Mighty Trains) On You Can't Do That On Television

The creator of the series Roger Price actually had a detailed understanding of child psychology and a very detailed understanding of the broadcast landscape at the time in terms of the shows that were on TV in the mid-to-late '70s, and specifically how kids were treated on shows.

So despite the puerile surface of the show, there is a real deep understanding about what kids wanted and what they were going through.

I remember him telling us back then at the time he started You Can’t Do That on Television, a lot of kids on TV shows were put up on pedestals and were in these kinds of great situations so his theory was that it made the kids at home who were dealing with very real struggles like divorce and crappy parents, being bullied by a friend or any of the stuff that kids go through, he felt like the shows of the time weren’t reflecting [that] and were actually having the impact of making kids feel worse.

His idea was to start a series in this kind of alternate reality, sort of pseudo-reality, where the kids are put through the ringer and put into these ridiculously bad situations. You know, they get put in front of a firing squad, the burger joint they go to always gives them food poisoning, if they say three words like “I don’t know” by accident they get horrific green slime dumped on them, and so on and so on. His theory was that by doing so, it might make kids feel better about their own crappy situations. And he really hit on something and it worked.

So despite the puerile surface of the show, there is a real deep understanding about what kids wanted and what they were going through and what they wanted to see reflected on TV. That’s why the show was kind of revolutionary in a lot of ways.

Bizarre

1980 - 1986

As its title suggests, Bizarre made no bones messing with the audience's expectations of normality. Hosted by American comedian and impressionist John Byner, the series featured slapstick sketches, parodies, monologues, and performances by guest stand-up comics.

Byner’s comedy stylings were considered raunchy for the time, and indeed, during its run an uncensored version featuring nudity and swearing was made for Showtime along with a clean version for CTV.

Though Byner and a rotating mostly American cast were featured throughout the series, it was show producer Bob Einstein and his creation Super Dave Osborne that ultimately became Bizarre’s breakout hit. Eventually getting its own series, Super Dave, which featured a more family-friendly version of the character.

Jennifer Whalen (Baroness von Sketch Show) On Bizarre

There was a joke I saw on Bizarre that I think actually was hugely influential to me. John Byner walks into a hospital room, and there's a guy on the bed, and he's comically writhing in pain, and steam is rising from his crotch, and there's a nurse standing there, and John Byner says, 'No, no nurse, I told you to prick his boil.'

And I lost my mind, I thought it was so funny.

And I lost my mind, I thought it was so funny. I couldn't believe my mom was laughing in a way like, she gets it too, and it gave me this like, 'Wait a minute, you can do that on television?'

Four on the Floor

1986

Created as a showcase for comedy troupe The Frantics aka Paul Chato, Rick Green, Dan Redican and Peter Wildman, Four on the Floor would fail to survive beyond one season, running for a scant 13 episodes.

Nevertheless, the show’s impact and quintessentially Canadian subject matter (most notably the superhero character Mr. Canoehead) can be seen in its influence on the Red Green show, which Green helped create and featured Wildman.

It was definitely an influence on us in the early years. I thought they were great, Dan Redican ended up writing for the Kids in the Hall, he was the head writer for the last year. I used to love to watch Dan Redican live, he’s just a magnificent live performer. Another underrated Canadian sketch show that didn’t quite get its due. Scott Thompson

It’s Only Rock and Roll

1987

Part variety show, part rock and roll spectacle, It’s Only Rock and Roll was a short-lived companion to the CBC’s music video show, Good Rockin' Tonite. Airing for one season, it’s most notable as the petri dish in which a young Mike Myers first concocted the characters Wayne Campbell (Wayne’s World) and Dieter (Sprockets) – both of which Myers would later develop into popular roles on Saturday Night Live.

The Kids in the Hall

1988 - 1995

Absurd, irreverent and increasingly relevant with every year that passes, the Toronto troupe’s unique takes on modern life were beautifully unsubtle. Produced by SNL head honcho Lorne Michaels, the sketch series, which featured Kids Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson, was, by all accounts, ahead of its time. With sketches based more on insular trauma than exterior populism — gender and sexual anxiety rather than popular culture references — The Kids in the Hall gained a popular cult following both in Canada and abroad before being taken off the air in 1995.

As a result, much of Canadian exports and imports have the Kids' fingerprints all over them (often literally, with many going on to successful careers in front and behind the camera).

Brent Butt (Corner Gas) On The Kids in the Hall

I’m standing at the back of the audience, and when the Kids in The Hall show starts, I have never been part of that kind of frenzy before. People were losing their minds. It was like the Beatles in 1964, the crowd is going crazy. I remember thinking, this white-hot and very deep connection the audience had with this comedy troupe was created by the CBC.

I have never been part of that kind of frenzy before.

After that, I knew there were no more questions. From that point on, when I talked about making a sitcom in Canada, and people would say "you can’t do that in Canada," that meant nothing to me. I’ve seen what can happen in Canadian TV.

CODCO

1988 - 1993

Often airing as the latter half of a CBC comedy hour with the Kids in the Hall, CODCO was a no holds barred, off-the-wall, sketch comedy series which featured hard-edge satire and biting wit, all exposed with a lashing east-coast tongue.

CODCO featured Tommy Sexton, Greg Malone, Mary Walsh, Cathy Jones, and Andy Jones and drew much of its humour lampooning the country’s perception of Newfoundlanders as boorish yokels. Turning such regionality on its head, CODCO was a sharp contrast to the Kids’ irreverent and absurdist generational satire – they didn’t just have an openly gay character as a political statement, they had skits called 'Blaming Africa for AIDS.' By 1993, down a member due to a controversy arising over a sketch about Irish priests, the group decided to voluntarily call it quits, setting the stage for a more measured but equally sharp news satire: Walsh’s brainchild, This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

Rick Mercer (Rick Mercer Report) On CODCO

When CODCO premiered on the national network, it was such a huge event in my life. I was a very young man, and I was visiting a friend in Montreal and she didn't have a television. The two of us, we couldn't find the television. We couldn't go to a bar in Montreal and ask them to turn on English CBC.

When CODCO premiered on the national network, it was such a huge event in my life.

So, we actually went to the train station, and in those days they had little tiny black and white televisions and a chair that you could sit in, and you could put in 25 cents, and you've got five or 10 minutes of television. Believe it or not. That's where I watched the first episode of CODCO.

The Red Green Show

1991 - 2006

One of Canadian sketch comedy’s most enduring characters, Red Green began life as a parody of an overly dull D.I.Y. outdoor show on Smith & Smith, but quickly grew his own following in Canada and the States (where it aired on PBS) as creator Steve Smith built out the handyman’s world – the fictional northwestern Ontario town of Possum Lake.

Featuring popular segments like The Possum Lodge Word Game, Handyman Corner and Adventures with Bill, The Red Green Show went through several permutations before landing at CBC in 1997, where it stayed until its finale almost ten years later.

Proving Smith’s theory that something can be so Canadian it works around the world, Red Green and his love of duct tape have outlasted the series, producing a film and multiple books.

It appealed to everyday people. It probably wasn't considered 'hip.' A lot of people related to it. You could probably feel the love for duct tape taking over the world. Colin Mochrie

Royal Canadian Air Farce

1993 - 2008

Originally formed in Montreal in the 1970s, but transplanted shortly thereafter to Ontario, comedy troupe The Royal Canadian Air Farce was a hit on CBC Radio before successfully landing on Canadian television in the early 1990s following the success of a New Years special. Originally featuring Roger Abbott, Don Ferguson, Luba Goy and John Morgan, Air Farce has since featured a new generation of Canadian comics including Jessica Holmes and Darryl Hinds.

Notable for its political and socio-economic satire of Canadian life — look no further than Mike from Canmore and chain-smoking bingo player Brenda — Air Farce could be seen as a national comic temperature, always threatening to boil over but in the end always quick-witted and good-natured.

Jessica Holmes (The Holmes Show, Air Farce) On Royal Canadian Air Farce

What amazed me was, I was always used to creating my own comedy, I always felt like, "Okay I’m gonna play the characters that work for me."

I had a lot of wonderful years there.

Then when I came on Air Farce, they were like, "No, no. We have enough writers. And this week the writers decided that you are gonna play Michael Jackson." It was really cool to be so outside my comfort zone in terms of playing these new people doing someone else’s comedy but it was a really good mix. I had a lot of wonderful years there.

This Hour Has 22 Minutes

1993 - Present

In the wake of CODCO, comedy mainstay This Hour Has 22 Minutes was created in 1993, when comedy by Newfoundlanders made a strong return. In many ways ahead of its time as a fake news satire, 22 Minutes was the brainchild of CODCO alum Mary Walsh. Modeled on a CBC News broadcast, 22 Minutes took savage pleasure in mocking televised convention and regularly calling out the hypocrisy of Canada’s elected officials. While the news format allowed the cast a rich platform in which to pointedly slap their intended target, it was the sketches in which “experts” gave their opinions on the day’s events that allowed a pulpit for the stars, specifically Walsh and a young Rick Mercer, to rain down comical blows.

With the exception of Cathy Jones, the original cast has moved on and been replaced by a new generation of hungry east-coasters including Mark Critch, Susan Kent and Trent McClellan. With humorous impressions and cutting one-liners, its brand of say-it-as-I-see-it political satire lay the groundwork for much of today’s biting news-based comedy.

Colin Mochrie (Whose Line Is It Anyway?) On This Hour Has 22 Minutes

It was a weird time for me because I started right after 9/11. So it was that weird thing of, "How do we make this funny?"

I learned a lot from how to write comedy, how to be succinct and how to find the funny in even the worst situations.

Mark Farrell, the showrunner, and the group of writers we had, were amazing at finding how to make something so horrific and tragic and find the humour that didn't disparage the event. It certainly made more fun of the hysteria and what was happening around it. I learned a lot from how to write comedy, how to be succinct and how to find the funny in even the worst situations.

History Bites

1998 - 2004

Created by Rick Green for History Television, History Bites comically exposed the false narrative nostalgia can bestow on historical events through the trope of pop-culture parody. A typical episode would open with host and creator Rick Green giving historical context before the viewer was set off on a rapid-fire channel-surf of theoretical programming of the era.

After five seasons on the air, History Bites continued on as a series of one-hour specials, focusing its efforts on such subjects as 'The Separatists' and 'Celine Dion'

[Rick Green] was using his ability to do comedy to educate people and have them see a particular point of view that referred to historical events... It wasn't totally comedy and it wasn't totally educational, it was a great mix of each. Steve Smith

The Holmes Show

2002

Created by and starring comedian Jessica Holmes, The Holmes Show featured the former Mormon missionary and a supporting cast including Roman Danylo and Kurt Smeaton portraying a series of characters and impressions taking shots at society, politics and pop culture, most notably Candy Anderson, a right-wing Martha Stewart-type. Running for only one season, Holmes would carry many of her characters and impressions, including Celine Dion and Liza Minnelli, onto a role on Royal Canadian Air Farce.

[The Holmes Show] was the culmination of every ounce of funny I had experienced in my life and it was an incredible experience to work on it. Jessica Holmes

Comedy Inc.

2003 - 2007

A socio-political satire with a fair share of slapstick, Comedy Inc. aired for five seasons slotted opposite Hockey Night in Canada. Never shying away from exposing the absurdity of pop culture, the cast, which included Roman Danylo, Jenn Robertson, Aurora Browne and Jen Goodhue, took particular pleasure satirizing television, with segments about WFTO (Woofto) TV news anchor Ken Shawn and his unpredictable weather girl appearing alongside impressions of political figures such as George W. Bush.

Rick Mercer Report

2004 - 2018

Emerging from This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Rick Mercer became a powerful voice in Canadian comedy, as much for his brash rants as his sharp tongue and Newfoundland accent.

Mixing monologues, sketches and ad spoofs as well as on-location segments, the Rick Mercer Report played as part news satire, part fiery op-ed and part late-night comedy show.

Running for 15 seasons, Mercer is a national comic star and he remains a strong public figure and firebrand.

He never talked down to the audience... His rants should be mandatory viewing for any comedian, or anybody with anger issues. [Rick is] probably the smartest political humourist in all of Canada. Colin Mochrie

Caution: May Contain Nuts

2007 - Current

Created by the Edmonton-based stage comedy troupe Blacklisted, Caution: May Contain Nuts is a fast-paced sketch series featuring a diverse, multi-ethnic cast that holds nothing as holy. Set and shot in Edmonton, ...Nuts presents a unique perspective on Canada’s political and social environment, exposing the bounty of indigenous and diverse humour this country has to offer.

The Ron James Show

2009 - 2014

A product of Second City, kinetic comedian Ron James made a name for himself as a stand-up with, as he put it, “a comedian’s eye for satire and a writer’s ear for language.” On The Ron James Show, he interspersed sketches and animated bits (most notably L'il Ronnie) with his filmed stand-up routine.

Ron is fantastic, he has a mastery of a crowd that I have never seen. Not only is he super funny, he's also, like, a gentleman, which is a rare and wonderful combination. I think he is amazing. I loved writing on that show. Jennifer Whalen

Picnicface

2011

Halifax-based comedy troupe Picnicface was an early example of internet glory translated to television. Following the success of such viral videos as the energy drink commercial spoof Powerthirst (30 million-plus views to date), Picnicface took their millennial comedy to the tube with a combination of clip-art commercial parodies and traditional sketch bits.

I thought they were brilliant… It was ahead of its time in comedy, taking on the new digital world. And I think they were absolutely first with that. Scott Thompson

Sunnyside

2015

Created by Canadian comedy vets Dan Redican and Gary Pearson, Sunnyside followed the comings and goings of the odd and wacky residents of a downtown Canadian neighbourhood. Featuring a stellar cast, including Pat Thornton, Kathleen Phillips and Patrice Goodman, the series fell somewhere between sketch and sitcom, but failed to find a foothold in a rapidly online-focused comedy world and was cancelled after only one season.

Their very first sketch hooked me, and the way they would go from sketch to sketch. It seemed really smart and new, done in a unique way, not difficult to digest. Brent Butt

The Beaverton

2016 - Current

Following in the footsteps of American satirical news series such as The Daily Show and the Colbert Report, and firmly in the wake of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Beaverton is a television manifestation of the popular Canadian satirical news site of the same name. Claiming to “hit above, below, and to the right and left of the belt,” The Beaverton brings a uniquely young, Canadian perspective to political satire in a rapidly online and polarized world.

Baroness von Sketch Show

2016 - Current

Hailed as the new, feminist face of Canadian comedy, Baroness von Sketch Show honours Canada’s long history of sketch comedy by breaking all the rules. Sketches run as fast-paced and irreverent takes on hot-button social issues, but do so with a fair share of Kids in the Hall absurdity and CODCO frankness. Featuring a series of short, internet-friendly sketches on anything from mom jeans to catcalling, Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen mine the embarrassing and satirize the absurd idiosyncrasies of navigating life as 40-something women in the modern world.

Entering its fourth season on CBC, Baroness von Sketch Show is that rare show that manages to have a large following in Canada, the United States (where it airs on IFC) and the internet, where sketches like 'Locker Room' continue to accrue millions of views.

I think what's great about that show is that you can tell that the writers and the performers are loving every minute of their lives while they're doing that show. It just comes right to the screen... the joy that they have on the show. You don’t see enough of that. Rick Mercer

TallBoyz

2019 - Current

Creativity nurtured by The Kids in the Hall's Bruce McCulloch, TallBoyz is a new series featuring Toronto sketch troupe TallBoyz II Men aka Vance Banzo, Guled Abdi, Franco Nguyen and Tim Blair. Described as “a group of diverse comedians who explore themes of friendship, race, nostalgia, toxic masculinity and more in their sketches,” TallBoyz is set to bring a uniquely towering presence to Canadian TV this fall.

They’re fearless in their ideas. They can be strong, like using race, or they can use the silliest ideas that will make my 10-year-old son laugh, and they’re not afraid of that. Bruce McCulloch

Credits

Produced by: Michelle Daly, Greig Dymond, Brad Frenette, Tyrone Warner, Nick McAnulty, Calum Shanlin, Michelle Villiagracia, Jesse Todd, Vanja Mutabdzija, Chanel Klein, Aruna Dutt | Writing by: Jonathan Dekel | Website by: Mike Evans