The 2023 Nominees

Nominated as Legacy (2 to be voted in by industry members)

  • Oliver Guimond
  • Happy Gang
  • Beatrice Lillie
  • Rose Ouellette
  • Marie Dressler

Nominated as Creators – (2 to be voted in by industry members)

  • Sandra Faire
  • Keith Johnstone/Loose Moose Theatre
  • Robert Gravel and Yvon Leduc/ Ligue Nationale d’Improvisation
  • Jo-Anna Downey
  • Perry Rosemond
  • Joe Bodolai

Nominated as Performers – (5 to be voted in by all members)

  • The Cast of SCTV
  • The Cast of CODCO
  • Steve Smith
  • Elvira Kurt
  • Al Waxman
  • Jim Carrey
  • Eugene Levy
  • Martin Short
  • Billy Van
  • Mary Walsh

For the re-introduction of the Hall of fame names were suggested by the board, the committee and through the website.  The board and the committee narrowed the list down to the final list.

Names not elected will remain in the list as per the nomination rules and guidelines.

Voting is open to members and memberships are available at

Legacy Nominees

Olivier Guimond (Montreal May 21, 1914 – November 29, 1971)

There is no question that Quebec supports it’s artists and one of it’s favourites Ti-Zoune Jr. (Olivier) Guimond was a natural.   His parents were pioneers in the wave of burlesque that swept Quebec in the 1920’s. He convinced his parents to let him perform as Olivier “Ti Zoune jr.” His performance and characters fueled the rise of comedy on radio and on television (Music Hall), but they were honed live in burlesque.  Guimond was physical, charming, and often compared to Charlie Chaplin.   He worked with the legendary Rose Ouellette and many others.  The sketch Trois Heures de Matin, perfected in the live burlesque shows, is one of the most famous sketches to come out of Quebec.

The Happy Gang (comedy troupe radio show CBC 1937-1959)

In its hay day two million Canadians tuned in to hear the ‘knock-knock ‘on the door, the voice that answered, “Who’s there?”  The response “It’s the Happy gang” and the warm welcome, ”Well Come on in!”  And the variety show entertained, boy did it entertain.

During WWII the Happy Gang records were played on trans-Atlantic crossings, and back home the song “There’ll Always Be an England” was performed nearly every day by The Gang to give all hope.  Bert Pearl was the band leader and Master of Ceremonies, trumpeter Bob Farnon, violinist Blain Mathe and Kathleen (Kay) Stokes rounded out the original four-member troupe/band. In 1975 they did a special show at the CNE with many of them now in their ‘80s.  They were so delighted as over 20,000 people showed up to remind The Happy Gang they will never be forgotten.

Beatrice Lillie (Toronto May 29, 1894 – Jan 20, 1989)

Beatrice Lillie came naturally to performing, touring Ontario in a trio with her mother and older sister while Dad was running their home as a boarding house in Toronto. The actor moved to England performing in West End revues until 1922.

Rose Ouellette (August 25 1903-September 14 1996)

  • Also known as La Poune
  • Sometimes Worked as a duo with Olivier Guimond (Ti Zoune)
  • Director of the Theatre National
  • Her show was sold out, including matinees, for 17 years.
  • First Quebecoise artist to record for RCA Victor.

Marie Dressler (born Leila Marie Koerber, November 9, 1868 – July 28, 1934

Marie was a Canadian stage and screen actress, comedian, and early silent film and Depression-era film star.[3][4] In 1914, she was in the first full-length film comedy, Tillie’s Punctured Romance, opposite Charlie Chaplin. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1931 for the comedy Min and Bill.

Creators Nominees

Sandra Faire (Edmonton died Feb 27, 2019)

The late Sandra Faire’s four-decade TV producing career spanned comedy, music and dance (So You Think You Can Dance Canada). She began in the ‘70s as associate producer for a Toronto-filmed series starring U.S. comic George Kirby. She went on to nurture many Canadian comics with Comedy Now!, Comedy Inc. and The Holmes Show (starring future Air Farce member Jessica Holmes). With 199 episodes, each showcasing a single stand-up, Comedy Now! gave national exposure to Canadian comics. Episode stars included: Brent Butt, Russell Peters, Gavin Crawford and Shaun Majumder.

Keith Johnstone/ Loose Moose Theatre (February 21, 1933 - March 11, 2023)

Chicago gets most of the credit for modern improv comedy. But far away, in the unlikely mecca of Calgary, a contrarian British educator and playwright named Keith Johnstone decided to apply his theories of acting spontaneously to the stage. The Loose Moose Theatre, co-founded in 1977 by Mel Tonkin, gained an international reputation, and inspired long-running improv shows like: Theatresports, Maestro and Gorilla Theatre. Loose Moose alumni include: Kids in the Hall’s Mark McKinney and Bruce McCulloch, Pat Kelly & Peter Oldring, SNL and King of the Hill writer Norm Hiscock, and comedian Roman Danylo.

Jo-Anna Downey (Montreal February 1, 1967 – December 1, 2016)

A comic’s comic, and a comic who nurtured comics, the late Jo-Anna Downey was funny, insulting and warm in equal measure. Her legendary Wednesday night open mike at Toronto’s Spirits nightclub had a wide reputation, attracting major stars like  Robin Williams (who received a tongue-lashing from Downey for hogging the stage). On any given night, you could see top Canadian comics trying out new material, drop-ins like Lewis Black and Patton Oswalt, or then-future stars like Ryan Belleville and Debra DiGiovanni. Canadian comedy was her extended family, and that family mourns her still.

Robert Gravel/Yvon Leduc, Ligue Nationale d’improvisation (1977)

In 1977, two members of the Experimental Theatre of Montreal, Robert Gravel and Yvon Leduc, came up with a novel way to inject entertainment into the art of improv. They created a hockey themed Ligue National D’Improvisation, with an “ice surface,” two teams of six actors, coaches, a referee, and an audience with noise-makers and scoring cards. This unique approach to improv utilized referees – complete with a regular season and playoffs – became a viral francophone phenomenon, catching on in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Franco-African nations. At home, the Ligue was televised for years, with a generation of Quebec’s top comics and actors “playing.” Famed playwright Robert Lepage was Rookie of the Year in 1984 and credited it as a major influence in his theatrical approach.

Lorne Michaels (Toronto November 17,1944)

Canadians with very long memories may recall Lorne Michaels’ early ‘70s stint with partner Hart Pomerantz in CBC’s very funny Hart & Lorne Terrific Hour. Its cancellation was a loss to comedy, but Michaels’ decision to pivot to masterminding comedy behind the camera would change everything. His live comedy gamble, Saturday Night Live has been on the air nearly a half-century, giving us generations of break-out comic genius, from John Belushi to Eddie Murphy to Mike Myers to Tina Fey.  The show and its stars ignited an ongoing boom in movie comedies. Outside of SNL, Michaels’ keen eye for comedy saw him produce Kids in the Hall and 30 Rock. He holds the record for the most Emmy nominations by one person, with 94.

Perry Rosemond (November, 16 1936)

Born in WinnipegManitoba, Canada, Rosemond has created, produced, written and directed international television for more than 40 years. His efforts, notably Royal Canadian Air Farce and King of Kensington, have been rewarded with the Order of Canada in his home country, and the George Foster Peabody Award in the United States. Most recently, he executive-produced When Jews Were Funny, which was named ‘Best Canadian Feature Film’ at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Joe Bodolai (May 11, 1948 - Dec 26, 2011)

Although born in the US, Joe moved to Canada to avoid the Vietnam draft.

His show Comics! was instrumental in launching and showcasing the careers of the best in Canadian comedy : Brent Butt, Mike MacDonald, Harland Williams, Shaun Majumder and Irwin Barker

He is best known for producing such television shows as It's Only Rock & RollComics!, and The Kids in the Hall and helping to launch the careers of the young talent featured on those shows. He also co-wrote the first draft of the film Wayne's World with Mike Myers.

Bodolai was a founder of The Comedy Network, helping the new channel secure its licence from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in 1996.

Performer Nominees

The Cast of SCTV (1976-1983)

The television show and its characters that we all fell in love with evolved from the stage show and improv phenomenon The second City.  It featured a cast that had spent time honing their craft on Lombard St at the old Firehall.  Created as its own network, SCTV had a station manager Guy Caballero, and a stable of ‘stars’ including Bobby Bittman, Johnny LaRue and Lola Heatherton to name a few. SCTV launched the careers of John Candy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Joe Flaherty, Andrea Martin, Martin Short, Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas.   The show also featured recurring characters played by Tony Rosato, John Hemphill, Robin Duke, Harold Ramis and Jayne Eastwood as well as many special guest appearances.

The Cast of CODCO 1973-1993

It’s hard to believe that so many influential comedy ideas and comedy greats came from the east coast and Codco was the main reason.  Formed from a 1973 stage show about Newfoundland stereotypes written by Tommy Sexton and Diane Olsen, Codco was performed by: Sexton, Olsen, Cathy Jones, Mary Walsh, Greg Malone and Paul Sametz. By 1974 Andy Jones had joined the cast and in 1976 Olsen left the cast. CODCO continued to grow in popularity with new shows like “The Root Seller” and “The S & M Comic book”.

Steve Smith (Toronto Dec 24, 1945)

A writer, actor and comedian, Steve Smith, created the iconic character Red Green.  Smith began in a rock band with his wife Morag. They left the band to form the duo Smith & Smith.  Hamilton station CHCH gave the Smiths their own show which ran from 1979-1985.  At that time, they took a year off to do a family sitcom, Me & Max.  They recreated Smith & Smith as The Comedy Mill which ran till 1991.  The Comedy Mill also featured Linda Kash, Meg Ruffman and Peter Keleghan.  At this point Morag decided to focus on the family so Steve focused on the character Red Green.   Red Green got its TV debut in 1991 and it ran until 2006.  During this time Smith also wrote the television show Laughing Matters and a full-length feature Duct Tape Forever.  When the TV show ended Steve toured Canada and the US with his one man shows both in character as Red Green and as himself. He received the order of Canada in 2006.

Elvira Kurt (Toronto Dec 9, 1961)

Funny and a trailblazer that’s Elvira Kurt.  The first openly lesbian performer on Canadian television, Elvira was the first winner of the Best Stand up Female at The Canadian Comedy Awards. As a stand-up she blazed a trail for LGBTQ rights and created the term “fellagirlly” describing a blend of feminine and masculine traits.  She hosted the game show Spin Off and had her own social commentary show called Popcultured that ran for two years on the Comedy Network.  She has written and performed on numerous television shows but is known as one of the funniest stand-up comics in Canada.

Al Waxman (Toronto March 2, 1935 – Jan 18, 2001)

Al Waxman was the pioneer of the Canadian comedy sitcom and best known for the character The King of Kensington. Larry King was his character, and the show drew over one million viewers an episode for its run 1976-1980.  Al was multidimensional, appearing in Shakespeare in Stratford, the US series’ Cagney and Lacey and Twice in a lifetime.  He was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2016 and has a statue in Toronto’s Kensington market with the inscription “There’s a lot to do down the road, there’s always more.  Trust your gut instincts. In small matters trust your mind, but in the important decisions in life – trust your heart.

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey is an award-winning actor and New York Times bestselling author who has been honored for both his dramatic and comedic work. He won a Golden Globe Award, for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, for the title role in Peter Weir’s The Truman Show. Jim won his second Golden Globe, for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, for his portrayal of comedian Andy Kaufman in Milos Forman’s Man on the Moon.

Eugene Levy

Levy started his career writing and acting in the Canadian television sketch series SCTV (1976–1984), earning two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series. He also appeared in the films National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), Splash (1984), and Multiplicity (1996). He also became known for co-writing and appearances in a string of improvised-dialogue films with Christopher Guest, including Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), and For Your Consideration (2006). He also appeared in the American Pie series of films.

Martin Short

He is known for his work on the television programs SCTV and Saturday Night Live. Short created the characters Jiminy Glick and Ed Grimley. He also acted in the sitcom Mulaney (2014–2015), the variety series Maya & Marty (2016), and The Morning Show (2019). He has also had an active career on stage, starring in Broadway productions including Neil Simon's musicals The Goodbye Girl (1993) and Little Me (1998–1999). The latter earned him a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical and the former a nomination in the same category.

Billy Van

As a comedian, Van gained national attention in 1963 as a performer on CBC Television's late-night satire programme Nightcap. In the United States he appeared in many commercials for Colt 45 Malt Liquor as a man sitting at a table waiting for a drink, unfazed by everything going on around him; Van starred in these commercials throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, and won a Clio Award for one of these commercials in 1975.[5]

Mary Walsh

Walsh studied theatre in Toronto at Ryerson University, but dropped out to work with Newfoundland’s CODCO comedy troupe on a series of stage shows, which eventually evolved into a sketch comedy series.[5] CODCO ran from 1988 to 1993 on CBC Television.

She then was part of the cast that created This Hour has 22 Minutes.