In honour of any day being a good day to celebrate women here are some favourite female/non-binary identifying Canadians working in comedy. With an eye towards the future of the genre and the entertainment industry at large, the Brunch Club is always scanning for new perspectives. Explore this list and support these Canadian artists by checking out their shows, podcasts and more.
Tranna's is a transgender comedian and writer with a unique brand of humour (and glamour!). Her brand is iconic - a mix of old Hollywood charm with contemporary values. Her podcast, Chosen Family, is a much needed and wanted celebration of "friendship, resistance, community at the intersection of art, gender and sexuality". With a new solo show and some exciting TBA projects coming up you will want to put Tranna on your watch list.
In her decade-long comedy career, Eman has headlined across Canada, opened for Patton Oswalt, and recorded her first comedy album. Her debut audio album Unveiled, can be heard regularly on SiriusXM Radio and is available for purchase on iTunes. Eman is a Canadian, Palestinian, Muslim, lesbian currently lives in New York City. Eman has headlined across Canada and US and can be seen with performing this summer with her wife in this year's Off-JFL festival.
Robby Hoffman is a small ex-Chasidic lesbian Jewish stand-up comedian and writer. She's written for all sorts of shows like Workin' Moms and Baroness von Sketch Show. Her writing work on Odd Squad led to a nominated for a 2017 Daytime Emmy Award. She splits her time between LA and New York, where she currently writes on truTV's, 'The Chris Gethard Show'. Robby's eccentric sense of humour is reminiscent of Larry David if he were a young gay woman.
Sandra Battaglini is an award winning stand-up comic, actor and writer. She is the 2013 Canadian Comedy Award winner for her solo show, Classy Lady, directed by Phil Luzi, that premiered in Toronto in 2012 and was voted ‘Best Female Standup’ by NOW Magazine. Sandra is the founder of CASC (Canadian Association of Stand-up Comedy) which seeks to create and build upon opportunities for success for Canadian stand-up comedians. The first initiative is elevating stand-up comedy to a recognized art form in Canada. If you're a fan of comedy sign the Sign E-1512 petition to make stand-up comedy an art form in Canada.
Amy has been performing for 10 years. She's one half of The Ryan & Amy show. Amy's enjoyed viral success with her YouTube channel which has over 6 million views. Amy and her comedy partner won both the 1st price and also the grand prize win at the Vancouver Just For Laughs Film Festival 2018 with their comedic short film, White Wine Boys Club. Amy is also an actress who's appeared in several television shows, including The Flash and Too Much Information. Amy just directed an episode of a wicked female lead series called Girls vs The Series which will be coming out soon. Amy is currently shopping a comedic pilot. Cross your finger and hope to die if they don't get it to your eyeballs.
Aisha is one of Toronto's hottest comedic commodities. Last year she hit a new milestone in her career, recording her first televised gala at the Montreal Just For Laughs festival. she’s also performed at JFL42, the Guelph Comedy Festival, Sketchfest and Toronto’s Field Trip festival. She’s part of the hip-hop comedy collective Runnin’ at The Mouth, who recently released their first record Wit My Woes.
Nancy Webb is a Montreal-based writer and comedian. She co-produces and co-hosts Stand Back, a monthly feminist and LGBTQ+ comedy show and is the co-creator of Kelp! A Self-Help Hour, a biannual show that parodies the wellness movement. She has performed twice at the Just For Laughs Festival (OFF-JFL/Zoofest) and is a fixture of the alternative comedy scene in Montreal. She is a contributing writer for The Beaverton.
D.J. is a young award-winning stand-up, sketch, and improv comedian. D.J. co-hosts and produces the podcast Experts which dedicates episodes to interviewing influential women working in comedy. She's currently an understudy for The Second City Touring company and preforming around stages in Toronto.
Rebecca is a comedy veteran. She's an award winning comedian who continuously writes for Canada’s top television comedy series. Her album In Living Kohler was nominated this for a Juno award for Best Comedy Album. Rebecca is currently living in Los Angeles, be can be scene touring throughout Canada.
Steph is wild, weird and wonderful. Like many, she's relocated to Los Angeles to elevate her career where she's being warmly embraced. She won the award for Best Female Stand Up at the Canadian Comedy Awards in 2015 and was nominated for her sketch troupe. Her first stand up album Hot N’ Hungry hit number one on iTunes and had amazing reviews from both the Comedy Network and Exclaim Magazine.
Aisha is the winner of Winnipeg’s Funniest Person with a Day Job Award and a top five Winnipeg finalist for Canada's Next Top Comic. Aisha’s appeared on CBC’s Degrassi: The Next Generation, MuchMusic’s Video on Trial and Shaw TV’s Week Thus Far. She was a 2012 TEDx Manitoba speaker and a 2013 TEDx host.
AMANDA BROOKE PERRIN
Coming from an improv and sketch background, Amanda has multiple comedy festivals under her belt including Just For Laughs, The Bridgetown Comedy Festival, JFL42, NXNE, The Women In Comedy Festival and Sled Island. Most recently, Amanda won Best Female Stand Up in NOW magazine’s Best Of T.O. Reader’s Choice Awards and was one of the 42 headline acts at JFL42 in Toronto. In July of 2016 she released her debut comedy album AKA Randy which hit #1 on the Canadian Comedy iTunes charts. Amanda has written for Hulu, Netflix, City TV, CTV, CMT and CBC and has worked alongside The Kids in the Hall, Jay Baruchel and SCTV’s Catherine O’Hara.
Tatyana Olal started her comedy career a short while ago while attending McGill University. Since then Tatyana has become a staple in the Montreal comedy community. Already having appeared in festivals and due to perform in five shows during this year's Off-JFL festival.
📍 Toronto < LA
Ally 'Alyssa' Pankiw is a Canadian writer/director, who works in both LA and Toronto.. She got her start as part of a directing collective called the Young Astronauts, with whom she directed and produced music videos for artists like Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Janelle Monae, The Arkells, The Vamps and Lil Jon. Since then, she has been conquering the commercial space — working with top brands like Pepsi, Amazon, Benefit, Nylon, Chanel and Nasty Gal. Ally's now developing an original comedy with its star and creator, Dan Levy and Imagine. She has also directed behind-the-scenes work for Amazon and Tig Notaro's One Missippi, a music segment for the finale of NBC’s The Voice and most recently, the CBC's Terrific Women, a new digital comedy series, which was just nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for best digital series. Most recently, she was selected as one of Film Independent's 2018 Directing Lab fellows for her feature, The Hiding House, which she wrote and will be directing.
Courtney Gilmour is a stand-up comedian from Toronto and has made appearances at the All Jane Comedy Festival in Portland, NXNE, Just For Laughs and SiriusXM's Top Comic. She co-hosts and produces the monthly clean-themed So Fresh N' So Clean at Toronto's Comedy Bar, and can also be heard on SiriusXM's Canada Laughs. Courtney has also opened for a number of prominent headlining acts including Todd Glass, Aparna Nancherla, and Chris Gethard. After a fairly new prosthetic leg boke on her without warning she has begun funding for her #dreamleg. If you have a few spare dollars please consider donating.
Sophie started stand-up at the tender age of 15! She was runner-up at SiriusXM Top Comic, which has led to her first national TV appearance here at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal in 2017. Barely Legal, the monthly show she runs with her room-mate in Vancouver, was a featured show at Just For Laughs Northwest. She's also performed at some of the coolest spots in LA and occasionally writes for CBC's comedy website. Watch out for her debut album coming out soon!
Shirley Whalen’s twisted optimism, and unabashed style delight audiences everywhere. She's repeatedly featured in SheDot, Dark Comedy Festival, Zoofest, Winnipeg Comedy Festival and was named ‘Best of the Fest’ at the Big Pine Comedy Festival in Flagstaff, AZ in 2015. She can be heard on Sirius XM’s Canada Laughs or talking to dogs in public.
Hoodo Hersi was also nominated for the Tim Sims Encouragement Fund at Second City, taped her first TV comedy special for No Kidding and has been featured on SiriusXM Canada. Hoodo had the great fortune of opening up for Baron Vaughn, Moshe Kasher, Hari Kondabolou, Gina Yashere, Eric Andre, Jermaine Fowler and Matt Braunger. She has also performed at the 12th annual New York Arab-American Comedy Festival, Boston Women in Comedy Festival and Toronto’s Shedot Festival. You can read her writing on outlets such as Hello Giggles, Essence Magazine and Vice Canada or follow her on Twitter @sheiscleverbro.
Anasimone is the brainchild of SHADE which had now become a brand that puts a focus on comedians of colour, comedians from the LGBTQ+ community, and comedians who identify as women. When Anasimone isn't hustling to produce all things SHADE she can be seen performing throughout Toronto. She has also opened for Baron Vaughn, Aparna Nancherla, and Emily Heller to name a few.
Natalie is a Spice Girls enthusiast, who loves talking about her period. Natalie has appeared at JFL42, Sled Island, Guelph Comedy Fest, Women In Comedy Fest, Pop Montreal, Canadian Music Week, Toronto SketchFest, Feminist Arts Conference, Field Trip, Sled Island, and more. She is the co-host of the Crimson Wave a podcast about menstruation. The Crimson Wave has been named one of Blog T.O. top ten podcast and Toronto livings most addictive podcasts. It was also part of the Canadian Menstruators campaign to remove tax on menstruation produces. The Crimson Wave wrote and starred in the viral video to promote and spread awareness of the campaign. The tax on menstruation products was removed in July 2015. The Crimson Wave also hosts a weekly comedy show held every Sunday at Comedy Bar in Toronto. The show is always LGBTQ+, feminist friendly and No Rape Jokes.
Celeste is an award-winning writer, a comedian and activist. She is a writer/cast member for The Sketchersons, a stand-up comedian who has performed across North America, a juror for The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, and the editor of the academic journal The Foolscap. She currently performs in Comedy Bar's weekly show "Sunday Night Live". Celeste has worked for VICE and at Instagram's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. She was also the head writer of U of T's sketch comedy troupe The Follies and the humour editor of the student newspaper The Strand. In 2017, Celeste was named a fellow at The Second City Toronto, one of "Canada's Top 100 Most Notable Women" by Flare Magazine, and "racist to whites" by a Twitter user.
DeAnne has performed all over the world, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Iceland Comedy Festival and Just for Laughs Montreal and Chicago to name a few. She’s also been on TV in four countries, including on Last Comic Standing NBC, The Late Late Show on CBS, Canada’s The Comedy Network and CBC, Australia’s Channel 10 and ABC, and UK’s Sky TV.
Jess is a former U.N. war crimes lawyer turned comedian who recently made the move to New York with her Muslim wife because she has excellent comedic timing. Since making the move to the USA, Jess was selected to be a 2017 StandUP NBC finalist and had her stand up featured on SiriusXM’s Raw Dog. She’s done lots of cool festivals in America like the Laughing Skull Festival, San Francisco Sketch Fest and the Boston Comedy Festival. In Canada she’s been in Just for Laugh’s OFF JFL, the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, and the Odd Block Comedy Festival as well as on CBC’s “The Debaters”. Her stand up has aired on CBC Television and can be heard on SiriusXM’s “Canada Laughs” and CBC’s “LOL”.
Nour has been featured locally on the CBC News, FLARE Magazine and was picked as one of four comedians to watch in 2016 by the Toronto Star. She is a writing contributor to CBC Comedy, and is a writer for the political satire shows The Beaverton on the Comedy Network and This Hour has 22 Minutes on the CBC. Nour made her national television debut at the CBC’s Winnipeg Comedy Festival in July of 2017, and her jokes have been played on CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud and Sirius XM Canada Laughs. She has appeared on the CBC hit radio show the Debaters multiple times.
Nelu Handa is an actor, comedian and writer. Trained extensively in Improv comedy, Nelu is a graduate of The Second City Conservatory program, a Bob Curry Fellow, and has studied at Bad Dog Comedy Theatre and Upright Citizens Brigade. She's performed on a variety of TV shows, including The Beaverton, Odd Squad. and Almost Genius. She is a writer and performer on Seasons 1-3 of the hit show Baroness Von Sketch Show, and a new recurring character for Season 2 of Workin Moms. Nelu is the creator, producer, and host of YAS KWEEN, a groundbreaking monthly night of comedy that showcases ethnic women. It's the first Thursday of every month. Come check it out #YasKweenTO.
Fatima quickly established her place in Vancouver comedy scene. Since then she's preformed at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, CBC’s The Debaters, Seattle International Comedy Competition and Sirius XM’s Next Top Comic.
Emma Overton is a Senior Editor for satirical news website The Beaverton and an award-nominated TV writer (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Beaverton). She has worked on stand-up specials at the Just For Laughs Festival, VICELAND’s Fubar: Age of Computer and contributed to the best-selling “CANADALAND’s Guide to Canada”. She co-hosts a weekly celebrity gossip podcast presented by Brunch Club called “The Hot Goss Podgosst” on n.10.as radio and is a member of the sketch troupe “Emma Overton’s Nasty Boys”. She has given talks and workshops on satire at the University of Toronto, McGill University, Concordia University and student journalism conference NASH.
Justine Mark is a Toronto based comedy Producer. She graduated from York University in 2015 with an HBA in Communications and has since gone on to develop live stand-up shows with Canadian comedy brands like The Brunch Club. She is co-creator of LA based comedian Nick Flanagan’s Home for the Holidays and Wiped Privilege album release shows. She is currently co-producing a series of comedy shows called The Ebony Tide with comedians Brandon Ash-Mohammed and Hoodo Hersi who recently starred in TVO’s documentary Stand Up Toronto (2017). She produces a new show with Brandon Ash-Mohammed that has been covered by The Globe and Mail and featured on CBC’s Metro Morning, you won’t want to miss the next edition of The Ethnic Rainbow – Canada's FIRST & ONLY comedy show to showcase the brilliance of solely LGBT2Q+ comedians of colour.
Monica is a writer and comedian. She is an editor for Broadly and has peened numerous articles for outlets such as The New Yorker, The Guardian, VICE, Gawker, The Cut, The Globe and Mail, Playboy and many more. is the author of the book I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better. Monica written for Schitt’s Creek, Crawford, Baroness von Sketch Show, and other comedies for television.
Carol is from São Paulo, Brazil and is based in Toronto. She a big deal back home where she's had multiple appearances on all major Brazilian TV shows. She was one of the finalists of the Montreux Comedy Festival's Jokenation international comedy competition, and the recipient of the Tim Sims Encouragement Award. Her monthly show, Comedy as a Second Language, featuring immigrants and first generation Canadian comics, occurs every fourth Saturday of the month at 120 Diner (120 Church St. in Toronto).