Canada, not so surprisingly, produces a disproportionate per-capita number of good comedians (at a rate about equivalent to the ratio of Stasi agents to citizens of the former East Germany). Kids in the Hall, SCTV, Saturday Night Live, Codco, Royal Canadian Air Farce and This Hour Has 22 Minutes have too good an uncanned laugh track record over the years to be merely an accident. As in any situation of a beaver and an elephant cohabiting a continent, the beaver has to be pretty funny to survive. Naturally, the Canadian comic genius rests with social satire, and likewise naturally, comedy’s geographic centre is Newfoundland. Eventually, all the Canadian comics go to America to seek their fortune, and eventually become much less funny. Conventional standup comics of Canadian origin, meanwhile, are no funnier or less neurotic than any other kind. Just more numerous.

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