The Yuk Yuk's Guide to Canadian Stand-up

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 7:30pm
Gladstone Hotel Upstairs, 1214 Queen St. W
The Yuk Yuk's Guide to Canadian Stand-up

Have you heard the one about the stand-up comedy empire that began in a Toronto basement and nurtured some of Hollywood’s biggest stars? How about the five audio books on the subject? And when did ‘Canada’s comedy emperor’ start wearing new clothes? To celebrate the release of his box set The Yuk Yuk’s Guide To Canadian Stand-up, laugh-biz impresario Mark Breslin will discuss the colorful history of his comedy club chain, Yuk Yuk’s, with celebrated broadcaster Ralph Benmergui. Vintage moments in Canadian comedy, drawn from the audio books, will punctuate their conversation. Marc Glassman, Executive Director of This Is Not A Reading Series (TINARS), will host the evening.

From the club that introduced such stars as Jim Carrey, Mike Bullard, Howie Mandel, Norm MacDonald and Russell Peters, along with dozens more, The Yuk Yuk’s Guide to Canadian Stand-Up is guaranteed to make milk come out of your nose. Mark Breslin—founder of Yuk Yuk’s, the largest chain of comedy clubs in North America, and the initial force behind XM Satellite Radio Canada’s comedy channel—narrates the past, present and future of Canadian comedy. Following the explosion of talent from the mid-'70s to today, Breslin explores the unique qualities that make Canadian stand-up unique. Well-known performers treat listeners to behind-the-scenes stories of great comics and clubs as well as to excerpts from an array of favourite routines.

Breslin brings to life the history of Canadian comedy with hours of vintage performances from Yuk Yuk’s comprehensive and exclusive archives. Representing the classic work of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, along with current and past gems, The Yuk Yuk’s Guide to Canadian Stand-Up is 100 percent Canadian and the only audio collection of its kind.

Mark Breslin opened the first Yuk Yuk’s in 1974 in the basement of Toronto’s Church Street Community Centre. Yuk Yuk’s now has 16 clubs nationally and is North America’s largest comedy club chain. Breslin is also the co-founder of the Humber School of Comedy, as well as Laugh Attack on XM Radio, Canada’s only 24-hour comedy channel. Visit him online at

Ralph Benmergui, host of Benmergui in the Morning on JAZZ.FM91, has a long and varied broadcasting background. Over the last two decades, Canadians have come to know him as a television host and journalist who has appeared on both CBC radio and television, Current Affairs and Variety. He has won a prestigious Japan Prize for Best International Youth Programming.

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Media / Info:

Mark Breslin: Lindsey Love,, (416) 975-9334

This Is Not A Reading Series: Chris Reed,

Read more:

The Globe and Mail | Yuk Yuks: That funny business, explained

The Calgary Herald | Canadian comedy ditches hoser humour: Nation's standup comics adopting edgier formula