A Woman’s Guide to Toronto Comedy Clubs

Career comic Carly Heffernan shares her picks for the best comedy clubs in Toronto

Carly Heffernan knows her comedy—for the last decade she’s been killing it as comedy writer, director and actor in Toronto and beyond. Here are her favourite comedy clubs in Toronto.

Second City Toronto (known for comedy revues)
I absolutely have to recommend going to Second City. I’m the director of two shows currently on those stages: The Best is Yet to Come Undone, and She the People: The Girlfriends’ Guide to Sisters Doing It For Themselves. She the People is our first all-female cast, and it’s such a hilarious, smart, compassionate show. (It’s also running in Chicago right now and it’s going to Washington D.C soon.) I watch the audience and a lot of nights it’s mainly women, and the energy is electric. We are holding up a mirror to their lives and their experiences, and for the first time those experiences are written by women and directed by women and creatively strung together by women in the crew. It’s authentic. Finally the voice is authentic and it just feels right.

Comedy Bar (known for sketch, standup and improv)

And then of course I love Comedy Bar. They do such an incredible job of keeping a hand on the pulse of what is going on right now—in comedy, people are trying new things, they’re experimenting and the calibre of talent is amazing. Watching hilarious and amazingly talented people try new things…it doesn’t get any better than that.

Bad Dog Theatre (known for improv)

I also really love Bad Dog Theatre. They’ve got a lot of really cool shows there. They have an amazing inclusion program, so they are getting a lot of really cool, diverse voices that have traditionally not been on our stages and in the comedy scene. Those voices are hilarious and I can’t wait to see more of them.


Carly Heffernan, Toronto, Writer, director, actor