It’s Canada Day! Americans love to rib our neighbors to the north about their reputation for being “America’s Little Sister” but it’s all in good fun. As a Canadian immigrant I know that Canadians generally don’t hold a lot of affection for Americans, but Americans genuinely love Canadians (although a lot of us think Justin Trudeau is kind of ridiculous). Americans are sincere in their love of the Canadian landscape, attitude and hospitality.
But Americans should be grateful to Canadians for more than just their good manners and superior beer. “America’s Tophat” has given us some of the greatest comics of all time. Don’t we all love to laugh? In times like these everyone could afford to laugh a little more.
So on this Canada Day let’s celebrate the gift of Canadian comedy by counting down some of the greatest Canadian comics of all time.
10. The entire cast of SCTV
There would be no Saturday Night Live without SCTV. The Canadian sketch comedy show came out of Toronto’s famed Second City comedy troupe and gave us some of the greatest names in comedy, including Eugene Levy, Catherine O’hara, Martin Short, Rick Moranis and Harold Ramis.
9. Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong
Yah, he’s Canadian.
8. Mike Meyers
Austin Powers not murderous insane asylum escapee
7. Phil Hartman
Amazingly talented and gone too soon.
6. Leslie Nielsen
Two words – air…plane.
5. Tom Green
MTV made Tom Green a household name throughout the ’90s and his time as a top comic in America included a short-lived marriage to Drew Barrymore.
4. Jim Carrey
These days he does weird angry Trump art but there was a time when Jim Carrey was the gold standard in comedy and considered just steps away from an Academy Award. Some of his performances still stand up as the most memorable in the history of comedic film.
3. Dan Aykroyd
There’s too much to say about this comedian/comic actor. He’s iconic. That is all.
Also 3. John Candy
Like Aykroyd, the SCTV alum deserves his own recognition. He was one of the greats and for a moment he ruled the landscape of comedy on film.
2. Norm MacDonald
Maybe one of the most underrated comics of all time. He’s responsible for more comedy history than you think and is considered a “comic’s comic”.
1.The Kids in the Hall
Lorne Michaels has a talent for talent. Kids in the Hall might be the greatest sketch comedy show of all time. The only reason it isn’t recognized above SNL is because it didn’t rotate cast members, so eventually it had to end as the amazing comic actors grew and moved on to other pursuits. But while it lasted, there was nothing better.