Comedy did not appear out of nowhere. There were greats who came and changed the landscape forever. This page was created to pay tribute to these greats, and to pay tribute to their contributions to our industry. If you would like to learn more about them, we welcome you to read the page below.


1947 - 1999

  • The British Columbia Comedy Guide proudly pays tribute to a Canadian Sketch Comedy pioneer, Paul Kenneth Willis.
  • Willis grew up in Vancouver with his La Troupe Grotesque partner Michael Boncoeur.
  • They performed sketch comedy throughout North America and Paul K. Willis wrote most of the material.
  • Their performances were quite edgy. A good example of this was in 1978, after the Jonestown Massacre, they gave out cups of Kool-Aid to the audience.
  • They received ACTRA nominations for writing in 1980 for This Hour Has 17 Programs and in 1986 for The Year of Living Obnoxiously.
  • Without Boncouer, Willis created the radio special in 1985 If You Love This Government which was nominated for best performance at the ACTRA Awards.
  • Willis also created the CBC sitcom Mosquito Lake in 1989.
  • His ex-wife Leatrice Speck, discovered Jim Carrey.
  • Sadly in 1991, his long time comedy partner, Boncouer passed away. This took a huge emotional toll on Willis.
  • He died on November 24, 1999 from pancreatic cancer.
  • Willis was a tremendous unique talent that created and nurtured comedy in Canada. Most Canadians that find success in comedy move to the United States to grow their own stardom. Willis focused on Canadian content and was inspirational to many other Canadian sketch comedy writers and performers.


1919 - 2016

alan young

Alan Young was a well-known actor, comedian, and voice actor. He was born on November 19, 1919, in North Shields, Northumberland, England. Young moved to Vancouver when he was six years old. By the time he was in high school, he had his own radio show on the CBC which he left during World War II to join the navy.

In 1951 he earned two Emmy Awards for his variety-sketch program The Alan Young Show on NBC. He then appeared in many feature films including Tom Thumb and The Time Machine. Young is perhaps best known for the popular 1960s TV series Mr. Ed, in which he played Wilbur Post, the owner of the talking horse.

  • He has many credits for television guest starring roles and voice overs. TV Guide referred to his as the “Charlie Chaplin” of television. Perhaps least known for, because no one knew he performerd the role, he voiced the lovable character of Scrooge McDuck in the animated series DuckTales, which aired in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
  • Apart from his acting career, he was an accomplished painter, author, and musician.
  • Young passed away on May 19, 2016, at the age of 96, leaving behind a legacy of entertaining performances and memorable characters.
  • Alan Young was a warm and charismatic person that loved to help others laugh. His work will continue to bring a smile to audiences of all ages for years to come.


We remember those who have helped to make the comedy landscape what it is today.

Improv Comedy


Improvisational comedy has been a great way for people to bond and to see something that only the people in the room can share. The show couldn't be repeated even if the performers tried to.

Stand-up Comedy


The traditional form of comedy where someone literally stand-up before an audience. The comedian tells stories and jokes to entertain while possibly speaking towards a specific theme.



Find locations around the province where you might find comedy. This can include cities, towns, and areas in various regions. These can include public shows and private parties.



Learn a bit of the vocabulary used by comedians to communicate with one another. It can help you understand the process and the people who have chosen comedy as a vocation.