Humour Me

October 11 @ the Elgin Theatre


Humour Me is a charity event where a group of committed sponsors, brave CEOs and stand-up comedians come together to raise money for worthy causes. Humour Me applies a twist to the standard stand-up routine by bringing together both professional comedians and influential, high-profile amateurs to perform together.

So far we have raised more than $13 million for some incredible groups who are working hard to make a real difference in the lives of Canadians. This year the net proceeds of Humour Me supported cancer research at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

A Message from David Goodman

As boys growing up in Montreal in the 1970s, my older brother and I loved comedy. Whenever something funny happened in our lives we would look at each other and say, “that’s going in the routine”. We memorized Steve Martin’s A Wild and Crazy Guy routine and became “two crazy Czechoslovakian brothers” in our young imaginations. About 14 years ago on the eve of my 40th birthday “the routine” had still never been performed. I had degrees in law and business, was the CEO of a mutual fund company, father of four children and a husband of 17 years – not exactly a wild and crazy guy. At the encouragement of one of my oldest and best friends, I took a course at Humber College on how to perform stand-up comedy. There were people of all backgrounds developing their comedy chops with the aid of a professional comedian. I went on to perform at open mics around the city ultimately earning my way onto the Yuk Yuk’s roster.

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David Goodman

Humour Me was inspired by the comedic journey I experienced as the CEO of a mutual fund company learning the craft of stand-up, coupled with the fundraising angle of Dancing with the Stars.  Seven years later we have raised over $13 million for some very worthwhile causes.

Over the years I have called in every favour and IOU convincing some of Canada’s finest business leaders to perform a short stand-up routine to raise money for charity.  I must salute this year’s contestants as they are each celebrated in their field and worthy of a night of recognition and awards.  Instead they put themselves on the line to compete in a comedy contest to help those less fortunate.  It is a courageous and admirable deed.  It’s also a lot of fun.

Michael Burns, Jonathan Irish, Nicole Musicco and Jim Nasso competed for the honour of “Funniest Amateur” of the evening.  They got help with their jokes from local comedians Peter Anthony and Ian Sirota, and were judged on-stage by returning panelists Mark Breslin, Amanda Lang and
Jim Slotek.  They were judged on their humour as well as how much money they raised.  Our host,
Shaun Majumder, kept us laughing between acts.

Following the comedy challenge our headliner, the legendary Howie Mandel, took the stage for the second half of the show, in what my mother describes as the “best show ever”.

Special thanks go out to our sponsors from me and our entire team.  Humour Me would not be possible without their generosity.  Thank you for supporting cancer research at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

David Goodman
Founder
Humour Me

Bio

David Goodman, B. Comm, JD (Cum Laude), CFA
Founder
Humour Me

Mr. Goodman left an early career as a litigator in 1994 to become a Partner, Vice President and Portfolio Manager at the investment management firm behind Dynamic Funds.  He became President and Chief Executive Officer of Dynamic Funds in 2001 and of DundeeWealth, Dynamic’s public company parent, in 2007.  Under Mr. Goodman’s leadership, the firm became one of Canada’s best performing and fastest growing investment managers, was recognized as Fund Company of the Year a record seven times at the Canadian Investment Awards, while growing assets under management from approximately $5 billion to $50 billion until its ultimate sale to Scotiabank in 2011. 

In the past Mr. Goodman was a member of the boards of DundeeWealth, Repadre Capital Corporation, Dundee Corporation, SickKids Foundation and a trustee of the Dundee REIT.  Mr. Goodman was previously the head of Global Asset Management for the Bank of Nova Scotia and CEO of Dundee Corporation.  Mr. Goodman is currently a stand-up comedian affiliated with Yuk Yuk's Comedy Clubs.  Mr. Goodman’s passion for performing stand-up comedy extends into his philanthropic activities.  Mr. Goodman is the founder of Humour Me which has to date raised over $13 million in support of some very deserving causes.

Howie Mandel, Headliner

Howie Mandel has remained a constant force in show business for over 30 years.  Mandel is executive producer of many shows through his production company Alevy Productions, which has produced the series Take It All and Howie Do It for NBC, Deal With It for TBS and Mobbed for FOX, among others.  He can currently be seen on the 13th season of NBC’s competition series America’s Got Talent.  Mandel is also the host and executive producer of Howie Mandel’s Animals Doing Things on Nat Geo Wild, which is based on the popular Instagram account @AnimalsDoingThings showcasing odd animal behaviour.  Each episode features never-before-seen submissions chosen by Mandel then edited to include his comedic references.  Recently Howie, alongside ICM Partners, acquired Montreal’s Just for Laughs Group.  Next Mandel will be seen hosting the reboot of Deal or New Deal on CNBC.  Previously Howie received an Emmy nomination for outstanding host for a reality or reality-competition program for Deal or No Deal and a Daytime Emmy nomination for outstanding game show host for the syndicated version of the show.

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Howie Mandel

Howie Mandel, Headliner

Mandel’s versatile career has encompassed virtually all aspects of the entertainment spectrum including television, film and stage.  From his work on the Emmy Award-winning St. Elsewhere to the international animated children’s series Bobby’s World, Howie has become a mainstay of the American comedy scene.  In 2009 Howie added another title to his resume – author – when he released his frank, funny, no-holds-barred memoir Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me.  The book that revealed his ongoing struggle with OCD and ADHD and how it has shaped his life and career, made the New York Times Best Seller list in its first week and remained on the list for several consecutive weeks.

Howie started his career on a dare in Toronto in 1979.  And then one night during a trip to Los Angeles he was at the legendary Comedy Store on amateur night where Howie was coaxed by his friends to get up and try his luck.  As fate would have it there was a producer in the crowd who immediately hired him to appear on the comedy game show Make Me Laugh.  His appearance on the show led to talk show appearances, a stint as Diana Ross’ opening act and eventually to the television series St. Elsewhere, where Howie spent six seasons as the character Dr. Wayne Fiscus on the award-winning NBC drama.  Howie’s Emmy Award-nominated animated children series Bobby’s World ran eight seasons on FOX and now appears in syndication six days a week in 65 countries.  As the series’ creator and executive producer Howie was closely involved in its writing, as well as providing the voice of Bobby, Bobby’s dad and other characters.  Howie attributes the show’s success to drawing the story lines from real life.

Howie has done countless comedy specials both on cable and network television.  He has also hosted his own syndicated talk show The Howie Mandel Show and continues to be a mainstay on the talk show circuit.  Howie also continues to perform as many as 200 concerts a year throughout the US and Canada. Howie lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Terry, and their three children.

Shaun Majumder, Host

Host and Gemini Award-winning actor/comedian Shaun Majumder hails from Burlington, Newfoundland (population 350).  He starred in the Farrelly brothers Fox comedy Unhitched in 2008 before his Comedy Central Presents special debuted; he’s since appeared on 24, Cedric the Entertainer Presents, and has been one of the lead cast members on This Hours Has 22 Minutes for 14 years.

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Shaun Majumder, Host

Shaun’s documentary series Majumder Manor told the story of his dream to transform his home town into a high-end, sustainable tourist destination and ran for two seasons on the W Network.  Film credits include Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, The Ladies Man, Pushing Tin, Purpose and Bob Funk, and he’s hosted the Just for Laughs comedy festival TV series for three seasons.

Shaun currently splits his time between Los Angeles, Halifax and Newfoundland.

A CEO, a miner, a portfolio manager and a cancer surgeon walk onto a stage …

Congratulations to Jonathan Irish of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre for winning the top fundraiser award AND the competition for best amateur comedian.  Hat’s off to Dr. Jon!

And to fellow contestants Michael Burns, Nicole Musicco and Jim Nasso.

  • Michael Burns

    President & Chief Executive Officer
    The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

    BIO
  • Jonathan Irish

    Surgical Oncologist
    Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

    BIO
  • Nicole Musicco

    Senior Managing Director, Public Equities
    Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

    BIO
  • Jim Nasso

    Chairman of the Board
    Agnico Eagle Mines Limited

    BIO
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Michael Burns

President & Chief Executive Officer
The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

Michael Burns brings his diverse background and skills along with his passion of giving to the community to his role as President & CEO of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.  He joined the organization at the beginning of 2018.

Michael has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, financial services, technology and entrepreneurship.  Most recently he was CEO of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017, the largest international adaptive sport competition in the world, featuring ill and injured soldiers and veterans.  Michael led the execution of the games in Toronto, building the organization from the ground up over two years.  Under his leadership the games secured support from all three levels of government, more than 100 corporate and community partners and recruited more than 1,800 volunteers.

Michael is also co-founder of the True Patriot Love Foundation which supports Canada's military, veterans and their families by funding programs for mental health, physical rehabilitation, career transition and family services.

He is past chair of the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation (formerly the Toronto East General Hospital Foundation) board where he successfully led the team that secured the Garrons' $50 million donation.  He is also on the boards of the Canadian Institute for Military & Veteran Health Research and two world-class entertainment venues in Toronto:  Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall.

In 2017 Michael received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Dalhousie University.  In 2016 Canada's governor general, on behalf of the Queen, awarded him the Meritorious Service Cross for his work with military families.  In 2012 he was awarded the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service, the military's highest honour for a civilian.  That year he was also awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal honouring significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.  In 2010 he was named one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40.

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Jonathan Irish

Surgical Oncologist
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Dr. Irish graduated with his medical degree in 1984 from the University of Toronto and completed his residency training in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at UCLA and at the University of Toronto.  He completed both his Master of Science degree in molecular biology and the American Head and Neck Society fellowship in head and neck oncology in 1991.  He joined the staff of the Toronto General Hospital and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in 1992.  He is currently Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and leads the Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery division at the University of Toronto.  Dr. Irish served as the president of the American Head and Neck Society in 2017 and 2018. 

Dr. Irish was the chief of Surgical Oncology at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre from 2000 to 2016.  Since 2004 Dr. Irish has been a major health policy advisor and responsible for access to care, quality improvement and health care funding for the Surgical Oncology Program at Cancer Care Ontario, which oversees the delivery of cancer services for 13.8 million people in Ontario. 

As the Kevin and Sandra Sullivan Chair in Surgical Oncology at the University of Toronto he has led a multidisciplinary program in guided therapeutics at University Health Network (UHN) and is the director of clinical faculty at UHN’s Techna Institute.  In that capacity Dr. Irish heads a team of surgeons, engineers, physicists and nanoparticle biochemists working together to create innovative solutions for minimal access surgical approaches in cancer therapy.

Jon is married to Rosemary Martino who is a clinical epidemiologist and speech language pathologist and the Canada research chair in dysphagia.  Jon and Rosemary are extremely proud of their three children Matthew, Brendan and Elizabeth.

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Nicole Musicco

Senior Managing Director, Public Equities
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

Nicole Musicco joined Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan in 2002 in Private Capital where she has held positions of increasing responsibility on the Private Equity team.  She was instrumental in establishing the Hong Kong office which opened in 2013.  Nicole relocated there as managing director in 2015 where she managed the full cycle of opportunity in origination, analysis, value creation and execution of investment activities in Asia Pacific on behalf of the fund.  In 2017 Nicole returned to Toronto and is currently responsible for the Public Equities portfolio.

Nicole holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration from Western University.

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Jim Nasso

Chairman of the Board Agnico Eagle Mines Limited

Jim Nasso has been Chairman of Agnico Eagle Mines’ board of directors since 2002 and has been a member of the board since 1986.  Jim was born and raised in Ottawa but now calls Toronto his home.

He is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University (B.Comm.) and is a certified director of the Institute of Corporate Directors.  Jim has a long and successful career in business where he founded and ran his own company for more than 37 years.

Although retired from business, Jim remains very actively involved in many different projects and initiatives.

The Judges

Mark Breslin

CEO & Founder, Yuk Yuk’s

Mark Breslin is the CEO and founder of Yuk Yuk’s comedy clubs – with 12 comedy clubs across Canada, the founder and artistic director for the Humber College Comedy program and a founding member of the Canadian comedy awards.

He has acted as producer, executive producer and story consultant for numerous television programs such as Late Night with Joan Rivers, Friday Night with Ralph Benmergui and Kenny vs Spenny among others.  He is an author and columnist and worked in radio as the program director for Laugh Attack on SiriusXM Canada.

Breslin is also a much sought-after public speaker.  Selected speaking engagements have included the American Comedy Institute in NYC, the Big Bear Comedy Workshop in L.A., Association for Campus Entrepreneurs (Toronto keynote address), universities, colleges and many more.

In 2014 Breslin was named one of the 180 most influential people ever to be born and raised in Toronto.  In 2017 he was awarded the Order of Canada – the second highest honour for merit in the system of orders, decorations and medals of Canada.

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Amanda Lang

Anchor, BNN Bloomberg

Award-winning business journalist Amanda Lang has been covering business in North America for 20 years.  Lang is the host of Bloomberg Markets for BNN Bloomberg, a global program airing daily from Toronto and New York.  Previously Lang was CBC’s senior business correspondent reporting for its flagship nightly news program, The National, and host of The Exchange with Amanda Lang, a daily business program airing on CBC News Network.  For five years before that Lang hosted The Lang and O’Leary Exchange with Kevin O’Leary.  And prior to that the pair co-hosted SqueezePlay on BNN for six years.

Lang studied architecture at the University of Manitoba before becoming a journalist.  Her first job in journalism was for the Globe and Mail, and subsequently Lang joined the Financial Post newspaper where she became the paper’s New York correspondent.  In New York she made the leap to television where she first was part of the team that launched BNN and, before long, wound up at CNN as a reporter and anchor.  Lang is also a best-selling author.  The Power of Why (HarperCollins, October 2012) explores the connection between curiosity and success.  The Beauty of Discomfort (HarperCollins, April 2017) examines how difficult change can be and sets out strategies for how to achieve it.

Jim Slotek

Movie Critic

Jim Slotek is a former Toronto Sun columnist, movie critic, TV critic and comedy beat reporter who covered Montreal’s Just for Laughs festival for 20 straight years.  He’s been a scriptwriter for the NHL Awards, Gemini Awards and documentaries, and was nominated for a Gemini Award for comedy writing on a special (the NHL Awards). 

Slotek currently writes for Zoomer and Movie Entertainment magazines, northernstars.ca and he freelances travel pieces for the Toronto Sun.  He also started the movie site original-cin.ca which features the work of veteran print movie critics.

Coaches

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Peter Anthony

Peter Anthony is a Canadian Comedy Award winner (breakout artist 2008) and nominee (best male stand-up 2013) originally from the small town of Pictou, Nova Scotia.  He has established himself as one of the most passionate comedians in the country – constantly pushing the envelope and developing his distinctive, hilarious point of view.

Some of Peter’s credits include:  Montreal’s Just for Laughs festival, CBC’s Halifax ComedyFest, Toronto’s North by Northeast (NXNE) festival, CBC Radio’s The Debaters and television appearances on The Comedy Network, MTV and CTV’s Comedy Now!

Outside of the club and festival circuit Peter also performs as a corporate entertainer.  Some of his past clients include Tim Hortons, Procter & Gamble, Bell Mobility and SickKids hospital.  Peter is constantly requested to MC corporate events and fundraisers and continues to enjoy meeting and interacting with business leaders from across Canada.

For more information about Peter be sure to visit peterisfunny.com.

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Ian Sirota

Ian Sirota has shared the stage with Jim Gaffigan, Dennis Miller, Robin Williams, Dana Carvey and Jerry Seinfeld, and headlines comedy clubs across North America.  Ian was a regular cast member and writer for Comedy Inc., Comedy Now!, Gutterball Alley and many more.  Ian has been nominated for not one, but two Gemini Awards, including best comedy performance.

This sharp-tongued, take-no-prisoners comic can also blend in observational humour with a family focus, all the while mastering the audience with lightening crowd work.  A perfect fit for any fundraiser or corporate event, Ian continues to be a regular contributor to Humour Me.

Over $13 million

Raised in support of some incredible causes including Blessings in a Backpack, CAMH, Covenant House, Dixon Hall, Eva’s Initiatives, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada, SickKids, Sinai Health Foundation, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Trails Youth Initiatives