SOURCE: Yuk Yuk's

Yuk Yuk's

April 14, 2016 10:30 ET

Yuk Yuk's Celebrates 40 Years of Breaking Comedy Rules and Making Canadians Laugh

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - April 14, 2016) -  40 years ago Canada was a much quieter and more sedate place. Until Mark Breslin, a witty and brash young entrepreneur, decided to shake up the entertainment scene with a Canadian comedy revolution. He had the audacity to create an open mic standup comedy night in the basement of the Church Street Community Centre. And Yuk Yuk's was born -- kicking and screaming hysterically all the way.

The history of standup in Canada is the history of Yuk Yuk's

What started as a weekly fix of edgy jokes mixed with high and low performance art soon became a full-time force in the then trendy Yorkville area in Toronto. Yuk Yuk's quickly grew into an overnight sensation with a chain of clubs across the country, an exclusive talent agency, touring shows, festivals and television productions.

The mission then, as it is now, is giving stage time to funny Canadians who wanted to develop and share their slanted take on life. Notable alumni include Rick Moranis, Howie Mandel, Jim Carrey, Norm Macdonald, Russell Peters, Harland Williams, Shaun Majumder, Carla Collins, Gerry Dee, Gerry Bednob, The Bullard Brothers (Mike and Pat), Mike MacDonald, Elvira Kurt and voice animation star Maurice Lamarche.

While Yuk Yuk's talent is 99% Canadian pure, the other 1% reads like a comedy hall of fame. Pretty much any comedian worth their bit played Yuk Yuk's stages long before they were stars, including Robin Williams, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Sam Kinison, Bob Saget, Gilbert Gottfried, Margaret Cho, Eddie Izzard, Mort Sahl and even 60s guru Timothy Leary who was performing his own brand of standup philosophy. Breslin always had an eye for talent.

Yuk Yuk's by the numbers

In addition to its creative contributions to the Canadian arts and entertainment scene, Yuk Yuk's has paid Canadian comics nearly $50 million dollars in performance fees over the past 40 years. It's hosted 12 million customers in its clubs and nearly five million more have enjoyed its touring shows. Yuk Yuk's has produced three standup comedy TV series including one starring Jim Carrey, started the Canadian Comedy Awards, created and ran the Toronto Comedy Festival for several years, produced an international comedy documentary film and opened over 17 clubs coast to coast. Under Breslin's leadership, the clubs continue to grow with three more planned by the end of the year: Victoria BC, Saint John NB and Stratford ON.

"I wanted Yuk Yuk's to be a part of Canadian showbiz that was very un-Canadian," Breslin says. "We're loud, in your face and speak our mind. We've always encouraged our comics to push the boundaries of polite humour. As long as they get a laugh, anything goes." That's the mantra that keeps the chain growing.

Special 40th Birthday Celebration Promo

Yuk Yuk's wants Canadians to celebrate their birthdays this year in comedy style. Throughout 2016, SiriusXM's Canada Laughs (Canadian comedy uncensored, 24/7, channel 168) invites you to get in FREE the week of your birthday. All information can be found at yukyuks.com.

About Yuk Yuk's

Yuk Yuk's is Canada's national chain of comedy clubs with 17 locations from coast to coast. Founded by Mark Breslin in 1976, the company discovers, provides a stage, and promotes Canadian comedy through its clubs, live shows, agency and TV. For more information, visit yukyuks.com.

Social Media:

Blog - http://blog.yukyuks.com

Twitter - @yukyuks

Instagram - @yukyukscomedy

Facebook - facebook.com/yukyuks

Hashtag - #yuks40

Listen to the Yuk Yuk's Comedy Podcast -- soundcloud.com/yycp or subscribe to Yuk Yuk's Comedy Podcast on iTunes

Mark Breslin, founder & CEO, and Jeff Silverman, president, are available for interviews.

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Embedded Video Available: https://youtu.be/x4xOFMgN-i4

Contact Information

  • For more information or to book an interview, contact:
    Martin Waxman 
    c: 416-569-0501
    e: martinwaxman@gmail.com