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Comedy: Writing and Performance

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Program Code: 12211
Credential: Diploma
Start Dates: September
Program Length: 4 semesters

Program Overview

Humber’s Comedy: Writing and Performance diploma program helps you develop your craft while gaining an understanding of the commercial side of the industry. Our faculty is comprised of skilled, award-winning professionals who are active in the comedy industry. You’ll learn stand-up, improvisation, scriptwriting, sketch comedy and other aspects of the craft. In addition, the program’s strong alumni network supports you through reunion shows, business opportunities and continued coaching. The program features many mainstage class shows, weekly Humber student shows at local comedy clubs and an organized end-of-year showcase for students. Upon graduation, you will have the tools you need to embark on an exciting career in one of North America’s fastest growing industries: comedy. 

Courses Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, a graduate will:

  1. Produce a variety of comedic materials including sketches, screenplays, sitcoms and variety shows.

  2. Prepare and perform stand-up comedy routines.

  3. Discover their comedic voices and create materials that stem from these voices.

  4. Study both dramatic and comedic performance techniques, and apply those techniques to their own work.

  5. Prepare written humorous materials for magazines and newspapers as well as for radio broadcasts.

  6. Practice individual and ensemble comedic performances both in the classroom and in comedy centres.

  7. Apply the technical requirements of all genres of comedic writing.

  8. Respond to improvisation demands and create characters quickly on stage.

  9. Evaluate the business of comedy and develop career strategies and contacts.

  10. Learn from well-known North American comedic writers and performers and network with those individuals.

  11. Develop team-building and communication skills and engage in exercises that encourage self-understanding, peer respect and professional behaviours.


The Humber Advantage


Kids In the Hall's Kevin McDonald spent a week with our 2nd-year Comedy Students, helping them perfect their sketches and writing for the Monday Night Comedy Bar Show.

We are proud to partner with one of Toronto's premier comedy venues, Yuk Yuk's.

Students also get access to top level comedians from across Canada and the US in our PrimeTime speaker series, featuring guests such as Bruce McCulloch and Kevin McDonald of Kids in the Hall, Maria Bamford and Tom Green.

Expert Faculty

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Andrew Clark

Andrew Clark is an award-winning author and humourist. He writes the weekly Road Sage column for The Globe and Mail. He is the co-ordinator of the Humber College Comedy program in Toronto.

He has won a gold award and been nominated several times for his writing at the National Magazine Awards, and was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award in the English-language non-fiction category for his most recent book, A Keen Soldier: The Execution of Second World War Private Harold Pringle. In the 1990s, he became Canada’s first full-time comedy critic and his first book, Stand and Deliver: Inside Canadian Comedy, remains the standard for writing critically about comedy. As a freelance journalist, he has written for publications including The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, McSweeney's, Maclean’s and The New York Times Magazine.

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Anne Fenn

Anne Fenn is an experienced TV writer and former development executive with over 25 years' experience writing for film, TV, radio, print and stage. Anne loves to teach and has been teaching Sitcom Writing in the Comedy program since 2010 and also teaches in the TV Writing & Producing post-graduate program. She has been nominated for numerous awards for her writing, some of which she won! Anne recently earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction (King’s/Dalhousie), holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto, and is a graduate of Norman Jewison's Canadian Film Centre. For more information about Anne, please go to

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Kyle Woolven

Kyle Woolven is a writer, performer, director, editor, musician -- it's easier to just say comedian. Born and raised in Belleville, he struck a chord with his hometown when his satirical video "Welcome to Belleville" quickly went viral. His YouTube channel has continued to gain popularity, as his music video "Buys Houses" recently won first place in the Toronto Sketch Competition and was nominated for the Toronto Sketch Festival's Outstanding Comedy Short award.

Aside from performing, Kyle is also an advocate of comedy. He is the creator of the mental wellness initiative Finding Your Funny, teaching elementary students how to write and perform stand-up comedy to relieve stress and build confidence. He is also a professor at Durham College and creator of the course Funny Bone: The Canadian Comedy Identity.

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Lisa Merchant

Lisa Merchant is an award-winning improvisor. She has performed and taught improvisation nationally and internationally for 30-plus years. She is a senior faculty member with The Second City Training Centre and The Second City Works division, and an ongoing program director with York University Osgoode Law Professional Development. She created, produced and performed March of Dames, a weeklong all-female comedy festival that ran for 10 years.

She is a multiple nominee and winner of four Canadian Comedy Awards, three for Best Female Improvisor. Lisa was a cast member of the Gemini-nominated Joe Blow Show. When not improvising, she shows up on various television programming, Murdoch Mysteries, American Gods, Degrassi XV, Train 48... In addition to performing numerous improv shows around Toronto and across Canada, she performs monthly in the award-winning Monkey Toast, the live improvised talk show, now in its 19th year.

She delivered improv-focused workshops to some of the Canadian Olympic Team hopefuls for the London 2012 Summer Games as well as Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

“Taking improv with Lisa Merchant was a game changer for me. It not only helped me be a better communicator, it made me a better person. I learned fundamental ideas that I still apply to this day. Over ten years after taking that original class, I invited Lisa to come and speak to the 2012 Canadian Olympic team to give them a competitive advantage. Such is the value of what she has to teach.”

- Mark Tewksbury, Olympic Champion and 2012 Canadian Olympic Team Chef de Mission

Award Highlights

  • Platinum Winner of The Toronto Star 2020 and 2019 Reader's Choice Award for Best Theatre Instructor
  • Awarded by The Second City 2019 Frank McAnulty Faculty Award
  • Winner of the 2019 World's Biggest Improv Tournament surviving 126 teams
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Martha Chaves

Martha Chaves is an award-winning comedian, writer, and actor whose career spans over two decades. NOW Magazine describes her as "smart, sassy, provocative, and very funny."

She's also a stand-up comedy instructor at Humber College in the Comedy: Writing and Performance program.

Martha has appeared multiple times at the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival, the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, and the We Are Funny That Way Festival, to name a few. Martha describes herself as the "most famous Nicaraguan-Canadian LGBTQ+ stand-up comedian in the world." Still, despite being an act of such a unique nature, she's hilariously relatable, universally funny and accessible. She tours from coast to coast as a headliner for Yuk-Yuk's (Canada's premiere chain of comedy clubs) and is also in high demand for corporate performances, conferences, and speaking engagements. She can frequently be heard on CBC's The Debaters and Laugh Out Loud. She is a regular panellist on the popular CBC show Because News. Martha also starred in two TV specials broadcast nationally: Comics! on CBC and Something About Martha on CTV and the Comedy Network.

Martha was named 2018's Stand-up Comic of the Year by the Canadian Comedy Awards after being nominated seven years in a row. Her debut album, Chunky Salsa, was included in a list of 2019's best comedy records in Interrobang Magazine.

Martha has written and acted in several successful one-woman shows. Staying Alive and In Times of Trouble were featured in the Soulo Festival and the Aluna Theatre Festival in Toronto, respectively. The Diaries of a Young Lezbo premiered at SOLOCOM in New York City.

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Melody Johnson

An accomplished creator, Melody has enjoyed a career of moving between the worlds of comedy and drama.  

Since 2010, Melody has successfully toured and produced the self-penned Miss Caledonia throughout Canada (premiering at the prestigious Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, and National Arts Centre in Ottawa) and internationally to the United Kingdom. The play garnered two Toronto Dora nominations (Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Performance 2013), and Calgary’s Betty Mitchell honour was awarded to actor Jamie Konchak for her portrayal of the titular character. Melody was recognized by Ontario Contact with the 2014 Touring Artist of the Year award, and has since passed the baton to many performers and theatres. The play was recently produced in in 2021 at Gananoque’s Thousand Islands Playhouse and Regina's Globe Theatre, and it makes its 2023 return to Ontario at Bancroft’s The Mac Theatre.

Melody’s solo comedy Person of Interest is a light, topical, take on neighbourly warfare that has delighted critics and audiences coast to coast. She also tours with composer Allen Cole in Leftovers and the Lottery - the Writing of Shirley Jackson, a show of readings, performance and song celebrating the American writer. 

An alumna of The Toronto Second City and Stratford Festival, Melody has appeared on stages throughout the country specializing in comedic performance. Her comedic performances have ranged from Shakespeare to Noel Coward to improv and musicals, and she's voiced numerous animations. She recently recorded her third season of Treehouse TV’s Agent Binky: Pets of the Universe for which she received a 2023 Canadian Screen Award nomination for her work as Agent Nola. She is thrilled to be part of the new comedy pilot The Trades in addition to the podcast Earth Rangers Underground voicing an enthusiastic leopard Gecko named Pheobe! For many years, Melody has enjoyed sharing her on-stage/set experiences with her students in Humber's Comedy program. Please visit

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Melody A. Johnson

An accomplished, award-winning member of Canada's theatre and film/TV scenes, Melody's work as performer, writer and director is recognized coast to coast to coast at such prestigious institutions as the Stratford Festival, Tarragon Theatre, and Second City (Toronto and Chicago). Melody is also a voice actor on seasons one and two of Treehouse TV's Agent Binky and the award-winning Ketterkenny, among other commercial work. Selected TV: Slings & Arrows, Michael Tuesdays and Thursdays, in addition to originating many roles in Canadian theatre (with over ten Dora nominations and one win). Melody's play Miss Caledonia has toured extensively across Canada and the UK, and will enjoy productions at two other major Canadian theatres for the 2021/22 season. For more information visit

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Paul Bellini

I was a television comedy writer who turned his attention towards teaching 10 years ago. 

Study Abroad

We offer many global opportunities for you to explore during your time at Humber! We live in a very interconnected world and by participating in a global opportunity, not only will you gain new skills, but you may also be eligible for academic credits and/or co-curricular record (CCR). Some of the global opportunities at Humber includes Summer Abroad, Semester Exchange, faculty-led trips, Humber Global Summer School, and many others! To learn more, please visit Humber Global Opportunities.

Your Career

Comedy is an art and a business, one at which many Canadians excel. You may join their illustrious ranks with opportunities to work in stand-up comedy, sitcom/film performance, production, broadcasting, advertising and voiceovers, sketch comedy, and writing. Humber comedy graduates have found work on stage at Yuk Yuk’s, Second City and Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival; on major television networks such as Comedy Central, CBC and CTV; and in many major television commercials. Other grads have branched into advertising, journalism, public relations and related fields. 

Program Availability

Start dates between Sept 2024 - Aug 2025
September 2024 Lakeshore Opening Soon
Start dates between Sept 2024 - Aug 2025
September 2024 Lakeshore Opening Soon

Comedy: Writing and Performance Program

Comedy Writing Video

Watch the video to see how the Humber’s Comedy: Writing and Performance diploma program helps you hone your craft while gaining an understanding of the commercial side of the industry.

Humber Students Benefit from Five Centres of Innovation (COIs)

The Humber Centres of Innovation Network demonstrates our strong commitment to providing an experiential learning environment for students. Students and faculty work with industry partners on real-world challenges to prepare them to become the innovative and strategic problem-solvers of tomorrow. Come to Humber and experience interdisciplinary learning across five COIs.

About the COIs  

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Contact Us

Admissions Questions

General Enquiries

Call 416-675-3111 or email If you have already applied, be sure to check your application status on

Domestic Applicants Enquiries

Domestic applicants can book a one-on-one advising appointment with an admissions representative.

International Applicants Enquiries

Contact the International Centre for information about full-time programs (including the International Graduate School), how to apply and to follow up on your submitted application.

Program-Specific Questions

Speak to the Program Co-ordinator about the course curriculum, projects and career options.

Andrew Clark, program co-ordinator
416.675.6622 ext. 75486

Campus Information

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How To Become An Apprentice

Becoming an Apprentice

Find an employer willing to sponsor you as an apprentice.

Contact the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development to register as an apprentice.

Work with your employer approximately one year before attending Humber.

View Instructions 

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

If you’re in high school – grade 11 or 12 – you can earn co-op education credits through work placements in some skilled trades.

Visit OYAP 

How to Apply

Domestic Students

Applications to Humber are made through Be sure to submit your application by the equal consideration deadline of February 1. You may apply after February 1, however, post-February 1 applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis depending on the availability of the space in the program.

To check program availability refer to the Campus/Availability listing on Humber’s program pages, search by availability, or

To see where you are in the admissions process, visit the Admissions Road Map.

International Students

If you’re an international student, you can apply directly to Humber via our International Centre.

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Program Advising Appointments

Get help narrowing down your program options or book a one-on-one pre-enrolment advising appointment with one of our Recruitment Officers.

Transfer & Pathway Advising

Book a virtual appointment with a Student Mobility Advisor learn more about getting Transfer Credit(s) for previous post-secondary experience, Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR), and Pathways options.

Admission Requirements

Admission selection is based on the academic criteria indicated. Meeting minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission.

Admission selection is based on the following four requirements:

  • Academic

    To be eligible for admission, you must possess the following:

    • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent including these required courses:
      • Grade 12 English (ENG4C or ENG4U or equivalent)
      • Three Grade 11 or Grade 12 C, M or U courses in addition to those listed above



    Mature Applicants

    Diplomas and Certificates

    An applicant is considered a mature applicant if they have not completed secondary school or other postsecondary school, and will be 19 or older as of the first day of classes. Humber will invite you for testing to demonstrate that you meet all listed course requirements.


    An applicant is considered a mature applicant if they have not completed secondary school or attended postsecondary studies, and will be 21 or older as of the first day of classes. Mature applicants for degree programs will be required to meet course requirements at the U/M level or equivalent.

    College Transfer Applicants

    Diplomas and Certificates

    An applicant is considered a college transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a college-level credential. Humber may use a combination of secondary school and/or college courses and grades to determine program eligibility.


    An applicant is considered a college transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a college-level credential. Humber may use a combination of secondary school and/or college courses and grades to determine program eligibility. Applicants must have an overall minimum grade point average (GPA) of 65 per cent in the program. Applicants are required to disclose and provide academic transcripts for all course work completed at the postsecondary level.

    University Transfer Applicants

    Diplomas and Certificates

    An applicant is considered a university transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a university-level credential. Humber may use a combination of secondary school and/or university courses and grades to determine program eligibility.


    An applicant is considered a university transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a university-level credential. Humber may use a combination of secondary school and/or university courses and grades to determine program eligibility. Applicants are required to disclose and provide academic transcripts for all course work completed at the postsecondary level.

  • Applicants can choose ONE of the following:

    • Theatrical Monologue

    Applicants will perform a short theatrical monologue.

    • Standup Routine

    Applicants will perform two minutes of original standup comedy. There are no restrictions on topics or language.

    • Comic Writing Sample

    Applicants can submit a comic writing sample.  The writing sample may be a sketch (2-5 pages), scene (2-5 pages) or short story (400-1000 words).


    Submission Instructions

  • English Language Proficiency

    All applicants whose first language is not English must meet Humber’s English Language Proficiency Policy.

  • International Credit Evaluation

    Canadian citizens or permanent residents with international education are required to provide a credential evaluation. Note, for international High school education course by course evaluations, ICAS must be used. For international post-secondary education, a WES evaluation must be provided. In situations where you expect to apply for transfer credit, it is recommended that a course by course WES evaluation is completed.

International Academic Equivalency

Admission equivalencies for Humber depend on your country of study. Please enter your location or choose detect my location to see the requirements for your country below.

Post-Admission Requirements

Once you have been accepted, and have confirmed your offer, you may need to complete a further set of requirements related to your program (Post-Admission Requirements).


Equipment & Device Requirements

Fees & Financial Aid

The 2023/2024 fee for two semesters was:

  • domestic: $6,441.74
  • international: $16,803.00

Fees are subject to change.

Fees by Semester

Domestic Fees International Fees

Financial Aid, Scholarships and Bursaries

Understand the costs associated with coming to Humber and explore resources available from first year to your final year on Student Fees and Financial Resources.


Humber Scholarships

Find out more about scholarships and bursaries that you may be eligible for, visit Student Scholarships. International students can visit International Student Scholarships.

Humber Bursaries

Bursaries are available for Certificate, Diploma and Degree programs primarily based on financial need, visit Humber Bursaries.

External Awards, Bursaries & Scholarships

Find out more information about external scholarships and bursaries, visit External Awards.

Indigenous Student Awards, Bursaries & Scholarships

Humber offers a variety of bursaries and scholarships for Indigenous students, visit Indigenous Student Awards.

Explore Opportunities through Humber Pathways

Humber Pathways include:

  • Opportunities to build on your college education and complete your diploma or degree at Humber.
  • Degree and graduate study opportunities at other institutions in Ontario, Canada and abroad.
View Transfer Out Opportunities From This Program  
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