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Canadian humour is an integral part of the Canadian Identity. There are several traditions in Canadian humour in both English and French. While these traditions are distinct and at times very different, there are common themes that relate to Canadians' shared history and geopolitical situation in North America and the world. Though neither universally kind nor moderate, humorous Canadian literature has often been branded by author Dick Bourgeois-Doyle as "gentle satire," evoking the notion embedded in humorist Stephen Leacock's definition of humour as "the kindly contemplation of the incongruities of life and the artistic expression thereof."

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  • Canadian humour is an integral part of the Canadian Identity. There are several traditions in Canadian humour in both English and French. While these traditions are distinct and at times very different, there are common themes that relate to Canadians' shared history and geopolitical situation in North America and the world. Though neither universally kind nor moderate, humorous Canadian literature has often been branded by author Dick Bourgeois-Doyle as "gentle satire," evoking the notion embedded in humorist Stephen Leacock's definition of humour as "the kindly contemplation of the incongruities of life and the artistic expression thereof."
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  • Canadian humour
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  • Canadian humour is an integral part of the Canadian Identity. There are several traditions in Canadian humour in both English and French. While these traditions are distinct and at times very different, there are common themes that relate to Canadians' shared history and geopolitical situation in North America and the world. Though neither universally kind nor moderate, humorous Canadian literature has often been branded by author Dick Bourgeois-Doyle as "gentle satire," evoking the notion embedded in humorist Stephen Leacock's definition of humour as "the kindly contemplation of the incongruities of life and the artistic expression thereof." The primary characteristics of Canadian humour are irony, parody, and satire. Various trends can be noted in Canadian comedy. One thread is the portrayal of a "typical" Canadian family in an ongoing radio or television series. Examples include La famille Plouffe, with its mix of drama, humour, politics and religion and sitcoms such as King of Kensington and La Petite Vie. Another major thread tends to be political and cultural satire: television shows such as CODCO, Royal Canadian Air Farce, La Fin du monde est à 7 heures and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, monologuists such as Yvon Deschamps and Rick Mercer and writers, including Michel Tremblay, Will Ferguson and Eric Nicol draw their material from Canadian and Québécois society and politics. Other comedians portray absurdity; these include the television series The Kids in the Hall and The Frantics, and musician-comedians such as The Arrogant Worms, Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie and Bowser and Blue. Elements of satire are to be found throughout Canadian humour, evident in each of these threads, and uniting various genres and regional cultural differences. As with other countries, humour at the expense of regional and ethnic stereotypes can be found in Canada. Examples are 'Newfie' jokes (with 'Newfie' being a colloquial term for a person from the island of Newfoundland) and jokes revolving around English-speaking Canadians' stereotype of French Canadians, and vice versa. Humber College in Toronto and the École nationale de l'humour in Montreal offer post-secondary programs in comedy writing and performance. Montreal is also home to the bilingual (English and French) Just for Laughs festival and to the Just for Laughs museum, a bilingual, international museum of comedy.
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