boyd banks cbc

Toronto comedian assaults reporter on live television

A well-known Canadian stand-up comic is coming under intense criticism today for his bizarre and inappropriate treatment of a Toronto journalist.

CBC Toronto reporter Chris Glover was reporting live on Tuesday evening from Comedy Bar, where the Canadian Association of Stand-Up Comedians were hosting a Town Hall to discuss a controversial new deal between SiriusXM and Just For Laughs.

Comics say the rebranding of radio station Canada Laughs 168 to "Just for Laughs Radio" will negatively impact the livelihoods and careers of countless Canadian performers, as well as hurt the country's comedy scene in general.

It's a serious issue involving one of Canada's greatest cultural exports, making what CBC viewers saw during Glover's live hit all the more bizarre.

Even before anchor Dwight Drummond throws to Glover in the field, a man (comedian Boyd Banks) can be seen poking his face almost desperately over the reporter's shoulders.

As Glover answers Drummond's questions about the station's rebranding, the man behind him becomes increasingly aggressive.

Eventually, Banks starts to lick the visibly uncomfortable reporter's ear and neck. As Glover leans away, Banks follows him closely and continues trying to lick and kiss him.

"Things are getting a little awkward out here, so I'm going to pass it back to you, Dwight," says Glover in this week's greatest understatement.

Drummond calls the man's behaviour "really unnecessary" and encourages Glover to "move away from that gentlemen," but the bar is jam-packed.

"Yeah, I have nowhere to go," laughed Glover as Twitter users took their phones in disgust over what they'd just seen.

Glover's colleagues, contemporaries and viewers are all praising the journalist for maintaining his professionalism despite the circumstances.

"This is outrageous, and it's assault," wrote CBC Radio host Matt Galloway on Twitter. "Respect to [Chris Glover] for keeping his cool - I would not have been so patient."

"No one would (hopefully) ever do this do a construction worker, a grocery store clerk, or anyone else doing their job in their workplace," noted Global TV News Director Mackay Taggart in response to the clip. "Why do people feel compelled to do this to a TV reporter. [Chris Glover] I'm sorry you had to experience this."

Even more people are expressing their disapproval of Boyd's behaviour.

"I'm not going to share what [Banks] did on the news," wrote Mark Forward, one of Canada's most-prominent comics on Twitter Wednesday morning. "But fuck you dude. We are begging for fucking respect from our country. Everyone. Grow the fuck up. Cheers and good morning."

"I'm so sorry you were treated so horribly," Forward continued. "It's disgusting and wrong. I truly appreciate you coming to cover our story and I'm so sorry."

Banks is described in his professional bio as "a popular stand up comedian and actor" as well as "one of the favourite alternative comedians on the scene." He was born in Saskatchewan but now calls Toronto home.

He has appeared in such films as Dawn of the Dead, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and American Psycho II, as well as dozens of TV shows, including CBC's own Little Mosque on the Prairie.

Banks has not yet commented publicly on the incident, nor have Glover or the CBC. It is not yet known if assault charges will be filed, as so many on Twitter would like to see, but it's safe to say that the comedian's hard-earned reputation is trashed right now—if not forever.

Lead photo by

Jeffrey Vallis

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Arts

Artists are transforming a Toronto neighbourhood with colourful works of art

Someone is driving around Toronto in a giant metal rat

The 10 most famous people from Toronto

Someone with a bag on their head has been giving away free art in Toronto

French bookstore reopens at new location in Toronto after nearly shutting down for good

Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre reopening with innovative sound installation

An exhibition all about New York's iconic Studio 54 is coming to Toronto

Toronto's derelict malting silos are now being used for outdoor video screenings