comedy trends

The top 5 comedy trends in Toronto

Like most scenes in Toronto, our comedy community parses the trends made popular by our counterparts down South. And expats like Nathan Fielder are now redefining how comedy is created, promoted, and consumed.

Here are the five trends to look out for on the Toronto comedy scene.


Years ago, Biggie advised Nas don't forget the publishing. Heeding this advice, Crimson Wave, Things Black Girls Say, West End Girls, and Joker's Corner all have one thing in common - these shows are produced and headlined by women, women who've built their own following.


Crimson Wave by Jess Beaulieu and Natalie Norman is perhaps the most notable success story of the bunch, having skillfully traversed the Oregon Trail of podcast glory: record a quality podcast, build a following, invite the following to a show, charge at the door, sell out the entire room, get invited to have your own freakin' show at JFL42.


Ever since Jon Stewart rose to stardom, I've noticed the invisible hand of comedy at play. More and more, you see comedians talking about social, political, and economic issues. Some have become so carried away that they've banded together against fellow comedian Nicole Arbour. It's kinda funny when you think about it. Kind of tragic too.


The alternative comedy scene is where it's at right now. From Nathan Fielder's wildly successful Nathan For You to Mark Little, Chris Locke, and David Dineen-Porter invading LA, the alternative intelligentsia seems unstoppable. In what might be the most extreme case of the alternative going mainstream, a McDonald's commercial might've ripped off a Burger John's sketch by Barlow and Locke.


Quality comedy acts are coming to Toronto in droves thanks to independent producers Rob Mailloux and Ian Atlas. Danish Anwar recently struck gold with his Your Hood's A Joke series. Quinn C. Martin's been putting on shows for years. You wanna know how strong the independent scene is? Last week, after the Canadian Comedy Awards, everyone went to Comedy Bar rather than the official after party.

Thanks to JFL42 for sponsoring this post.

What trends did I miss? Let me know in the comments.

Photo of Crimson Wave via Facebook.

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Arts

Toronto location of art store with 100-year reputation is permanently closing

Pete Davidson just cancelled his Toronto show and people are blaming Kim Kardashian

People in Toronto can now see giant billboards with new bylaws that don't even exist

45-year-old Toronto mom unexpectedly gets into National Ballet School but there's a hitch

Legendary Toronto muralist RUNT sad to see iconic artwork painted over

Nuit Blanche is officially coming back to Toronto and it'll be the biggest year yet

The 10 most famous people from Toronto

You can now feel what it's like to step inside a huge Icelandic volcano in Toronto