34 Quotes from Famous Canadians That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

What makes Canadians so hilarious? We searched far and wide for the answer— check out this collection of wisecracks and judge for yourself!

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Lilly Singh
Photo: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

The Great Canadian One-Liner

1. “I went swimming in the mall fountain. Good money in that.”—Jim McAleese

2. “I was on the bus the other day and I saw a guy sit down on his glasses. I guess hindsight is not 20/20.”—Ed Pollack

3. “My daughter was planned. Poorly. So poorly.”—Katherine Ryan

4. “One day I hope to have the confidence it takes to give my opinion of the movie first after leaving the theatre.”—Nathan Fielder

5. “I wonder if customs agents practise being rude in the mirror.”—Lilly Singh

6. “I used to live with my ex-girlfriend and I thought we’d be together for the rest of our lease.”—Phil Hanley

7. “Airlines should use death metal as their ‘on hold’ music, to better reflect the mood of their customers.”—Samantha Bee

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Pierre Trudeau
Photo: Paul Chiasson

Politically Correct… and Incorrect

8. “I’ve been called worse things by better people.”—Pierre Trudeau, responding to former U.S. president Richard Nixon, who called him a “clever son of a b****.”

9. “The difference between being prime minister and not being prime minister is that people actually applaud you for barbecuing.”—Former prime minister Kim Campbell, while grilling at an event in Scarborough.

10. “It’s very difficult for me to look handsome on English TV.”—Former Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard, to Mary Walsh on This Hour Has 22 Minutes after she told him that he was more handsome in person than on English TV.

11. “The Right Honorable William Lyon Mackenzie King, who was my member for years, only made two speeches in French in his entire life. Once he said ‘Oui,’ and the second time he said ‘Oui, oui.’—Former prime minister John G. Diefenbaker on King’s lack of French-speaking skills.

12. “You know, my science is limited to the fact that I know that eons ago there was an ice age … I know that for sure. I know that at one time, the Arctic was the tropics. And I guess I wonder what caused that. Was it dinosaur farts? I don’t know.”—Ralph Klein, with his take on climate change at a 2002 fundraiser.

13. “Mr. Speaker, it is positively negligent that the government is shutting down debate on this topic. We have already established that this legislation would put marijuana in the hands of children, not just with the 15 joints that 12-year-olds can have but with the four plants per household, so little Johnny can put some in the toaster oven and smoke it up.”—Tory MP Marilyn Gladu, in a debate on Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, in the House of Commons in 2017.

14. “I don’t know. A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It’s a proof. A proof is a proof, and when you have a good proof, it’s because it’s proven.”—Jean Chrétien discussing the standard of proof of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in 2002.

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Wayne and Shuster
Photo: CBC Still Photo Collection

Oldies But Goodies

15. Ordering a drink

“Gimme a martinus.”

“You mean a martini?” says the bartender.

“If I want two, I’ll ask for them.”—Comedy duo Wayne and Shuster, from their classic 1955 skit “Rinse the Blood Off My Toga”

16. An unwanted gift 

“In a touching Valentine’s Day gesture, a man gave his wife one of his own kidneys. Terrified, she dropped the kidney and ran out of the restaurant screaming.”—Norm MacDonald, as the host of “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live

17. A look into the future 

“I’ve seen 50 years into the future and I took notes … I saw Quebeckers vote to rejoin Canada when they got a promise that we’d stop mispronoun­cing their names. As hockey star Mario Lemieux puts it, ‘In French I’m called Lemieux, which means ‘the best.’ In English I’m called Lemew—‘a can of cat food.’”—Dave Broadfoot, playing a member of Parliament from Kicking Horse Pass on Royal Canadian Air Farce

18. Immortality 

“I detest life-insurance agents: they always argue that I shall someday die, which is not so.” —Stephen Leacock, in his book Literary Lapses

Check out this hilarious cartoon series from the pages of Our Canada.

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Canadian celebrities
Photo: Scott MacLean, Alexander Tang/Harper Collins Canada, Alamy, Helen Tansey of Sundari Photography and Howie Miller Entertainment

Fan Favourites

On clap backs

19. “I went for a job interview recently and the guy was like, ‘Oh, Nour. That’s such a pretty name.’ I said, ‘Thank you so much. It’s Arab.’ He said, ‘Oh, you don’t sound Arab.’ I was like, ‘It’s okay, because you don’t look racist.’”—Nour Hadidi

On the cult of celebrity

20. “At @MapleLeafs game. Loved it! And got a free wine from someone who thought I was Peter Mansbridge. Film at 11.”—Colin Mochrie

On hockey

21. “I don’t like going to sporting events with men. Men take sports way too seriously. First of all you like to show up dressed like your favourite player. What is this, in case someone gets hurt they’re gonna ask you to come in and help out?”—Lisa-Gay Tremblay

On working wages

22. “I once saw a pigeon on the subway get off at the financial district, and all I could think was, ‘Cool, that bird makes more money than me.'”—Jonny Sun

On good reputations

23. “Wherever you go in the world, you just have to say you’re a Canadian and people laugh.”—John Candy

On staying humble

24. “I’m so happy to be [home from Los Angeles]. I like going back to Canada, where I’m good-looking again.”—Tracey MacDonald

On pop culture

25. “What does tick me off about being Native is Survivor. I can’t stand that show. I’ll tell you why, no Indians … It’s probably a good idea because they’re not going to vote me off the island; they’re just going to vote me to the crappy part of the island and leave me there for 200 years.”—Howie Miller

On privacy

26. “Tonight, while on my phone, I thought I might be having a heart attack and the first thing I did was clear my search history.”—Kelly Oxford

Have a good laugh with these hilarious Canadian school stories.

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Canadian comedians
Photo: Julie Kim/Leigh Righton/Jessica Rae/Vancouver Talent Management/Rhonda Dent Photography/Matt Wright/Dave Hemstad/David Leyes


Personal trainers vs. self-guidance

27. “Trainers are great because they motivate people to work their hardest. That would never happen otherwise … And they teach you. Previously all I knew was interval training. That’s where I would go to the gym for one year and then not go the next year.”—Julie Kim on CBC’s The Debaters

28. “What is so complicated about going to the gym that you need a trainer? Pick that thing up. Put it down. Do that again 10 times.”—Ivan Decker on CBC’s The Debaters

The aisle seat vs. the window seat

29. “Aisle people are selfless heroes who inconvenience no one. Window people force everyone else to put away their laptops, balance their wine and then their spare wine.”—Erica Sigurdson on CBC’s The Debaters

30. “Window people embody tolerance and consideration for those in need. Window people are Justin Trudeau. Yes, gazing ever outward even as they admire their own reflection.”—David Pryde on CBC’s The Debaters

The dentist vs. tooth loss

31. “Going to the dentist lets you keep your teeth. Have you ever talked to a guy who’s missing teeth and thought, ‘What a charming man. I trust this guy.'”—Mayce Galoni on CBC’s The Debaters

32. “Dentists are the only service that you get where they criticize the job you’ve done at their job before they do their job … If my teeth fall out, who cares? This is Canada. People will just assume I play hockey.”—Matt Wright on CBC’s The Debaters

Worst condiment: jam vs. peanut butter

33. “Jam is made of nasty fruit, low-hanging fruit. Maybe they were good fruits once, but they fell in with the wrong crowd.”—Dave Hemstad on CBC’s The Debaters

34. “Peanut butter. Even the name is a lie. Though it calls itself a nut, the peanut is no nut; it is a BEAN. Strike one, peanut butter!”—Seán Cullen on CBC’s The Debaters

Next, make sure you check out these hilarious quotes from kids.

A previous version of this story failed to mention that the CBC quotes in our Point/Counterpoint section originally came from the radio program The Debaters. Reader’s Digest regrets the error. 

Reader's Digest Canada
Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada

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