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Do Canadians have their own sense of humor?


Per capita, Canada is funniest country in the world. Sure, there may be more funny people in the US or UK, but on average, Canadians are the funniest. But let’s be honest, Canada is just the 51st state of the United States – the humor is one in the same.

Vanity Fair’s January 2013 Comedy Issue investigates…

There are actually funny Canadians alive today, but all nine of them moved into the U.S.A., and once they got here they renounced their Canadian cultural heritage, the way Mick Jagger renounced of his English accent.

Canadians, if you’re still reading, I mean that “51st state” thing with the utmost respect. You may be the 51st state, but you’re in America’s Top 5 comedic states. Right there with California and New York. Props!

Q: How do you get 26 Canadians out of a swimming pool?
A: Yell, “Everybody out of the pool!”

Canada is cold and dark, and so is their humor. If anything, their comedic styles are aligned with Scandinavia. The more miserable place you grow up, the funnier you are. Minnesota is funny, Florida is not. Finland is funny, France is not. Neither is French-Canada.

It must be the language.

The world may not be watching, but Canadians can make other Canadians laugh. It makes sad sense that while Canadian humor entertains the native population, it will never flourish outside the country, because nobody outside of Canada feels any urgent need to read or hear about, or even be ware of, Canada.

Will Arnett, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Jim Carrey, Rick Moranis, Dave Foley, Tom Green, Lorne Michaels, Phil Hartman, Eugene Levy, Norm Macdonald, John Candy (again), Mike Meyers, Martin Short…all funny, all American.

Quick – name a funny Canadian female! Other than Catherine O’Hara. Other than Samantha Bee. Leslie Nielsen? Close enough.

Canadians are, by history and temperament, the opposite of aggresive, and so, unsurpirsingly, their humor is defensive; they beat up on themselves before anybody else – i.e., Americans – can do it.


Author Description

Phil Schwarzmann

I'm a writer, stand-up comic, and author of “How to Marry a Finnish Girl” (Gummerus Publishers, 2011). Better! Funner! is where I write. Poorly. More of my jibber-jabber at:

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Phil’s debut humor book, “How to Marry a Finnish Girl” is out now on Gummerus Publishers.

About Better! Funner!


Better! Funner! is a blog written and curated by Phil Schwarzmann. You’ll find funny original pieces, some not-so-funny pieces, plus stuff that made Phil laugh from around them internets. Enjoy!