Toronto is one of the premiere places for stand-up comedy. Since the Canadiana of all the hostels in Toronto is located in the heart of the city’s Entertainment District, there are at least five comedy venues within three blocks of our front door.
The most famous would be “The Second City” – a comedy troupe that began in Chicago almost fifty years ago. That Chicago group has spawned such comedy stars such as Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Avery Schreiber, David Steinberg, John Belushi, Bill Murray and Chris Farley.
Second City (meaning not New York) theaters and training centers or traveling troupes have sprung up in several north American Cities such as Toronto, Detroit, Las Vegas, Cleveland, Edmonton and London, Ontario.
Toronto was the second troupe and training center founded in 1973. The training center is one block from the hostels front door and the theater is less than two blocks away.
For turning out comedy superstars, the Toronto troupe has done, at least, as well as Chicago. Comics who started at Second City, Toronto include: Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short and Mike Meyers.
On Wednesday nights the hostels “event” is a trip to the Second City Theater (less than two blocks from our door) at 9:30 PM for drinks and to watch the troupe perform “improv” comedy. There is no cover charge and the show lasts about 45 minutes.
If you want to see the full show the theater’s latest offering is the sketch comedy show “Tazed and Confused” which opened to rave reviews. The show is performed six nights a week at 8:00 PM (except Monday) and tickets are $23? or $28 weekends.