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Top 10 Canadian Comedians

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Sometimes, it seems like Canadians have taken over Hollywood. And, you might notice that most of that country’s exports have a better-than-average sense of humor (sorry: "humour"). You’ll find Canucks invading the stage on "Saturday Night Live" thanks to Canadian creator Lorne Michaels, and that show has brought us such talents as Martin Short, Norm Macdonald, Phil Hartman, Mike Myers and Dan Aykroyd. Throw in other sketch comedy triumphs like "In Living Color" and "SCTV," some stand-up for good measure and writing credits galore, and you’ve got your list. You know you’re jealous, eh? In this video, counts down our picks for the Top 10 Funniest Canadian Comedians.

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There must be something in the water in the Great White North. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Canadian Comedians.

#10 – Seth Rogen

Kicking off our list is one of Canada’s best young comedians. Since his “Freaks and Geeks” days, Rogen wrote for “Da Ali G Show,” before showing a wider audience what he could do in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” It was “Knocked Up,” “Superbad” and “Pineapple Express” that made him a household name, showed off his deadpan sarcasm, and held up the Vancouver stoner stereotype.

#9 – Russell Peters

This Brampton-born stand-up is one of the funniest and most successful on the circuit, Canadian or not. Anyone can relate to his routines, but Canadians especially connect to his unique racial experiences. He also opened for Charlie Sheen on the Canadian leg of his Violent Torpedo of Truth tour. They can’t all be hits.

#8 – Martin Short

This Hamilton, Ontario native began on the legendary Canadian sketch comedy show “SCTV,” and has made us laugh ever since. Characters like Ed Grimley followed him to “Saturday Night Live,” where he became a formidable impersonator. Cue Jiminy Glick and great stage performances, and you’ve got a star on your hands. Memorable roles in “Three Amigos,” “Mars Attacks!” and “Father of the Bride” reminded us he’s one of the funniest Canadians around.

#7 – Norm Macdonald

You either love him or you hate him. Born in Quebec City, Macdonald would have ranked higher if he didn’t make jokes about renouncing his home country. While his celebrity impersonations on “SNL” weren’t exactly dead-on, they were entertaining as hell. Controversy is this guy’s middle name, and while that gets him into trouble, he’s still alive and kickin’.

#6 – Phil Hartman

Born in Brantford, Ontario, Hartman’s first foray into comedy came when he and Paul Reubens created the characters Pee-wee Herman and Captain Carl. Hartman eventually took his unmistakeable voice and impersonations to “SNL,” where he flourished. You may remember him from such brilliant Simpsons’ roles as Troy McLure and Lionel Hutz, in addition to movie and TV roles aplenty, including a show with fellow funny Canuck, Dave Foley.

#5 – Leslie Nielsen

Most remember this Saskatchewan-born actor as a hilarious comedian, but he actually started in drama. Good thing he made the switch, or we wouldn’t have the memorable “Naked Gun” series. Nielsen actually became the king of spoofs with his first comedic turn in “Airplane!” But, his most Canadian role came when he portrayed a retired curling champ in “Men with Brooms.”

#4 – John Candy

This lovable Torontonian used impressive impersonations and hilarious characters to win fans on “SCTV.” A breakout role in “Splash,” made room for side-splitting comedies like “Spaceballs,” “Cool Runnings,” “Uncle Buck” and – of course – “Canadian Bacon.” His name is even on the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup as former part-owner of the Toronto Argonauts: You can’t get more Canuck than that.

#3 – Mike Myers

Wayne Campbell, Austin Powers, Shrek: he’s done it all. After growing up in Scarborough, Ontario, Myers built an “SNL” cast of characters that included Linda Richman, host of Coffee Talk, and Dieter, host of Sprockets. But it was the pairing of Wayne and Garth that skyrocketed him to film fame. And, only a Canadian would have hockey play such a huge role in a movie.

#2 – Dan Aykroyd

This Ottawa-born Blues Brother prospered on “SNL” with original characters like Two Wild and Crazy Guys and Beldar Conehead. Of course, his unparalleled writing skills and memorable catchphrase didn’t hurt either. Comedies like “The Great Outdoors” and “Ghostbusters” solidified Aykroyd’s spot on this list. And, while he was in a movie called “My Fellow Americans,” we’ll let that go since he was also in “Canadian Bacon.”

#1 – Jim Carrey

Coming in at number one is the man nicknamed “Rubberface.” His stand-up routines poked fun at Canada, but this Newmarket, Ontario boy earned his stripes as the white guy on “In Living Color.” His slapstick talent made him a star in “Ace Ventura,” “The Mask,” “Dumb and Dumber” and “Bruce Almighty,” but Jim Carrey tops this list simply because he got famous for talking out of his butt.

With so many hilarious comedians coming out of Canada, we’re sure we’ve missed a few: who’s your favorite?

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