CEO Comedy Classic

October 12, 2017, Elgin Theatre, Toronto at 7:30 pm


Doors open at 7:00 pm
Come early & rock with the Humour Me Band

Humour Me is a charity event where a group of committed sponsors, brave CEOs and Canadian and international stand-up comics come together to raise money for youth-related charities.  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.

The focus of the event is raising funds to support organizations that deliver vital services to young people.  To date we have donated over $8,000,000 to some incredible groups who are working hard to make a real difference in the lives of young Canadians.  This year the net proceeds of Humour Me will support children’s mental health programs at SickKids.

A Message from the Founder

Humour Me gives a concept commonly found on reality TV a comedic twist by inviting high-profile and influential business professionals to perform a short stand-up routine in front of a live audience.  The contestants will compete to be recognized as the “Funniest Amateur” of the evening.  Not only will the CEOs have to write and perform five minutes of original stand-up comedy, they’ll have to juggle comedy classes, everyday business and fundraising.  They will flip through their Rolodexes, strong-arm their business associates and beg for every possible dollar for our charity.  After intense coaching by seasoned local comedians, these movers and shakers will be judged on-stage by a panel of industry veterans.  But most importantly, they’ll be raising money for an important cause.

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David Goodman

The event promises an evening of laughs featuring headliner Gary Gulman and some of
Canada’s leading executives.  This year’s C-suite executives are Paul Godfrey, President
and Chief Executive Officer at Postmedia Network Inc., Blake Hutcheson, President and Chief Executive Officer at Oxford Properties Group, Raj Kothari, Vice Chair, PwC Canada at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sylvia Mantella, Chief Marketing Officer at the Mantella Corporation and Walied Soliman, Chair, Canada at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada.  Past award winners have included Jordy Chilcott, Victor Dodig, Tim Hockey, David Kaufman, Peter Letko, Kevin Sullivan and His Worship John Tory, who have all proven that you can be a successful Canadian executive while maintaining your sense of humour!

As the event evolves we remain focused on raising funds to support organizations that deliver vital services to young people.  To date we have donated over $8,000,000 to some incredible groups who are working hard to make a real difference in the lives of young Canadians.  This year the proceeds will support children’s mental health programs at SickKids.

Special thanks go out to our sponsors from me and our entire team.  Humour Me would not be possible without their generous support.  Please join us in supporting SickKids by sponsoring one, or all, of the comedians and making a donation.

See you at the show!

David Goodman
Founder, Humour Me & David Goodman Youth Community Trust
Chief Executive Officer, Dundee Corporation

Gary Gulman, Guest Star

Gary Gulman is a stand-up comedian who lives in New York City, and is one of only a handful of comedians to perform on every single late-night comedy program.  “Gary will be the next giant ex-Bostonian comic to break huge, CK, Burr, Gulman: You heard it here first” raved the Village Voice.  Gary has four one-hour comedy specials featured on Showtime, Comedy Central and Netflix.  His comedy album “No Can Defend” debuted at #18 on iTunes and his one-hour comedy special "Gary Gulman: In This Economy?" was recognized as one of the five best comedy specials currently airing on Netflix.  His new special "It’s About Time" is now streaming on Netflix.

Gary Gulman

Ben Mulroney, Host

With a history degree from Duke University and a law degree from Laval University, Ben Mulroney is a veteran journalist with more than 17 years of experience at Bell Media.  No stranger to live television, Mulroney got his start on talktv’s THE CHATROOM in 2000 and for six seasons hosted CANADIAN IDOL, at the time the most-watched English language Canadian television show on record.

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Ben Mulroney

Ben Mulroney, Host

Canada's premiere entertainment journalist, Mulroney is host of CTV’s YOUR MORNING and is also in his 16th year with ETALK, a series he has helped develop into Canada's most-watched entertainment newsmagazine.  As anchor, Mulroney delivers entertainment news daily from the ETALK studio in Toronto, but also travels across the globe to interview the world’s leading stars.  He is a veteran of the industry's major red carpet events including the OSCARS®, GOLDEN GLOBES® and THE JUNO AWARDS.

Mulroney has also appeared on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, guest hosted LIVE! WITH KELLY and was a member of the broadcast team for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.  Mulroney works closely with several charitable organizations including The Brain Project and Cystic Fibrosis Canada.  He is most proud of his family: his wife Jessica and his twin boys and young daughter.

5 CEOs Perform a Stand-up Comedy Routine

Not only will the CEOs have to perform five minutes of original stand-up comedy, they’ll have to juggle comedy classes, everyday business and fundraising.  They will flip through their Rolodexes, strong-arm their business associates and beg for every possible dollar for SickKids.  After intense coaching by seasoned local comedians, these movers and shakers will be judged on-stage by a panel of industry veterans.  But, most importantly, they’ll be raising money for an important cause.

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Paul Godfrey

President & Chief Executive Officer
Postmedia Network Inc.

Paul Godfrey is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Postmedia Network Inc.  He was appointed to this position in July 2010 after he led a successful buyout of Canwest Global Communications Inc.’s newspaper and online digital media assets.  This new media company is Canada’s largest publisher of paid English-language daily newspapers. 

Prior to Postmedia Network, Mr. Godfrey served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Post, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club and spent 16 years with Sun Media Corporation, eventually taking the role of President and Chief Executive Officer.  Mr. Godfrey has a proud record of public service including a record four terms (11 years) as the Chairman of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto.

Mr. Godfrey is the Chairman of the Board of RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust.  He also serves on the board of Cargojet Income Fund and is Vice Chair of Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. 

Mr. Godfrey has received many honours.  In 1990 he received the City of Toronto’s Civic Award of Merit.  In 1998 Mr. Godfrey received the Award of Merit from B’nai Brith Canada.  In 1999 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.  In 2001 he received an Honorary Doctorate (Hon.D.Eng). from Ryerson University.  In 2004 Mr. Godfrey was honoured to receive the University of Toronto’s Engineering Alumni Medal.  In 2010 Mr. Godfrey received Ontario’s highest honour – the Order of Ontario.

Mr. Godfrey is a life-long Torontonian.  He attended Bathurst Heights Collegiate and graduated from the University of Toronto in 1962 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering.  He is a great fan of the National Football League and continues to pursue, on behalf of Toronto, an NFL franchise for this wonderful city.

Mr. Godfrey and his wife, Gina, have three sons – Rob, Noah and Jay – three daughters-in-law, eight granddaughters and one grandson.

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Blake Hutcheson

President & Chief Executive Officer, Oxford Properties Group
Chief Investment Officer, Real Estate & Platform Investments, OMERS

Blake Hutcheson is the Chief Investment Officer of Real Estate and Platform Investments at OMERS, overseeing approximately 20% of the OMERS investment portfolio covering the pension fund’s real estate holdings, as well as its direct energy investments, ventures portfolio and other new platform investments.   In his capacity as President and Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Properties Group, Mr. Hutcheson is responsible for overseeing the global business consisting of approximately $47 billion of assets under management and 2,200 employees in Canada, Europe and the USA.  The portfolio includes 58 office, 24 retail, 19 residential and 50 industrial properties, as well as 6 hotels.

Prior to taking this appointment, Mr. Hutcheson was based in New York as the Head of Global Real Estate Investing for a multi-strategy private equity firm with offices in New York, London, Hong Kong and Mumbai.  Prior to that, Mr. Hutcheson was the Chairman and President of CB Richard Ellis Canada (1999-2008) and Latin America (2001-2008), overseeing all operations in multiple countries with over 2,500 employees.

Mr. Hutcheson has also served on several boards and committees including:  The Executive Committee and Transaction Advisory Committee of OMERS; Director of Algoma Central Corporation (listed on the TSE); Member of the Toronto Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing (2015); Chair of Build Toronto (2010-2012); Member of the Premier’s Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel (2013); Chair of the Mayor of Toronto’s Fiscal Advisory Committee (2008); President of the University Club of Toronto; Director of RealNet Canada; Director of REALpac and Chair of the Canadian Real Estate Forum (2005 and 2016).

Mr. Hutcheson is also the recipient of the ICONS of the Industry Award through BOMA, Ottawa and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Columbia University Masters Real Estate Development Program.  He has been named as one of the 100 Most Powerful Real Estate Executives in New York City for 2013 to 2017.  Mr. Hutcheson is a long-time member of YPO and WPO and was selected as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40.  He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, the London School of Economics, England (with distinction) and has an MSc in Real Estate Development from Columbia University, New York.  He is married and has two children.

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Raj Kothari

Vice Chair, PwC Canada
Managing Partner, Greater Toronto Area
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Raj Kothari is the Vice Chair of PwC Canada, as well as the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Managing Partner. Raj is also a member of PwC Canada’s Extended Leadership Team. Raj recently served as the National Asset and Wealth Management Leader, Global Transformation Leader for Asset and Wealth Management Assurance Practice and as a board member of PwC’s Global Service Delivery Centre in India.

Raj’s professional and business experience spans Canada, the UK and India in the areas of business assurance and advisory services, transaction support services, valuation services to asset management companies and advisory services to small and large clients in a variety of businesses. Raj specializes in advising clients in the asset management and fund industry including mutual funds, pooled funds, hedge funds, structured products, venture capital funds, investment management companies, service providers and special purpose investment vehicles. Raj graduated from the Advanced Management Program (AMP) at Harvard Business School and obtained an MBA from CASS Business School at the City, University of London. He also qualified as a chartered accountant in both Canada and the UK.

Active within the community Raj has served as President of the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, chaired the Stratford Shakespearean Festival Endowment Foundation and served on various boards including Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship / Students in Free Enterprise-Canada (ENACTUS), Duke of Edinburgh Awards–Ontario, Harvard Business School Club Toronto, Pearson College of the Pacific, Artscape and the Stratford Festival.

In 2008 and 2009 Raj chaired Stratford Express, the Stratford Festival’s single largest fundraising event, and was chair of the campaign to raise funds for the India, The Living Arts exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. Raj also chaired Diwali, A Night to Shine from 2012 to 2014, helping raise over $10 million for the University Heath Network. In 2016 and 2017 Raj co-chaired Soulpepper at Play supporting the Soulpepper Theatre Company.

He currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Toronto General Western Hospital Foundation, the Toronto Region Board of Trade and the Soulpepper Theatre Company. Raj is also a member of the International Advisory Council of the Dean of the Schulich School of Business and a member of the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) President’s Advisory Council.

Raj has received many awards including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for contributions to the community, the profession and industry (2012), the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce’s Professional Male of the Year (2013), The Empire Club of Canada’s Community Service Award (2013) and the Transformation Award for Professional Excellence (2017).

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Sylvia Mantella

Chief Marketing Officer
Mantella Corporation

Sylvia Mantella was born in Toronto.  She is a first generation born Canadian and only child to parents who emigrated from The Czech Republic in the late 1960s.  Her passion and genuine desire to “give back” has been the catalyst to the success of her several ventures and many charitable causes both personally and corporately.

In 2010 Sylvia became the Chief Marketing Officer at the Mantella Corporation, a family-owned and operated real estate development company established more than 60 years ago.  Under Sylvia’s philanthropic leadership the Mantella Corporation is a significant contributor to their community, local charities and charities on a global level.

Sylvia is a committed volunteer and philanthropic leader joining various boards and committees benefitting both youth and the arts including:  Committee Member at the Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre (since 2014); Co-Chair for Artists for Peace and Justice (2014 and 2015); Nominating Committee Chair for the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards (2014 and 2015); Board Member for ONEXONE and Co-Chair for Bloor Street Entertains.  In 2010 Sylvia joined the Scrubs in the City committee benefitting SickKids – to date the event has raised $5 million.  As well, Sylvia sat on various committees and boards at The Country Day School (2009 to 2014).  Proceeds raised provided extensive educational advancement and continued expansion of the school.

In 2009 Sylvia co-founded the Mantella Exotic Animal Sanctuary and Conservation.  It is a not-for-profit organization funded by Sylvia and Robert Mantella that rescues, adopts and rehabilitates exotic animals.  The sanctuary has saved more than 200 animals from neglect and abuse including big cats such as African white lions and tigers and various species of primates.  This state-of-the-art facility shares genetic research with prestigious universities across the United States. 

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Walied Soliman

Chair, Canada
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Walied Soliman is Chair of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada and Co-chair of the Canadian Special Situations Team which encompasses Canada’s leading hostile M&A, shareholder activism and complex reorganization transactions. Over the past several years Mr. Soliman has been involved in almost every major proxy battle in Canada acting for both issuers and activists. He is widely regarded as one of the leading special situations practitioners in Canada. In addition, his practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, financings, corporate governance and structured products.

Mr. Soliman was the only lawyer recognized in The Globe and Mail's Report On Business Magazine’s Power 50 list for 2017; designated as a “Star Lawyer” by Acritas in 2017 for ranking in the top 28 lawyers globally (over 5,000 lawyers) as selected by a panel of over 3,000 senior in-house counsel; was ranked as a leading Canadian corporate lawyer by both Chambers Canada and Lexpert Canada since 2016; was named one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada by Canadian Lawyer magazine in 2014; ranked by Best Lawyers in Canada since 2013; and was ranked as one of the Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 in Canada by Lexpert magazine in 2009.

Among other philanthropic endeavours, Mr. Soliman is a board member of the Toronto SickKids Hospital Foundation. ‎ Mr. Soliman is also actively involved in provincial and federal politics in Canada.

The Judges

  • Mark Breslin

    Mark Breslin

  • Amanda Lang

    Amanda Lang

  • Jim Slotek

    Jim Slotek

Mark Breslin

CEO & Founder, Yuk Yuk’s

Mark Breslin was born and raised in Toronto and graduated York University with a B.A. (Hons) in English Literature in 1974.  Soon after graduating, Breslin became Director of Theatre and Music for the Harbourfront Corporation, an innovative cultural organization that produces events and activities at numerous venues on Toronto's waterfront.

In 1976 Breslin opened the first Yuk Yuk's comedy club in the basement of Toronto's Church Street Community Centre.  Four years and many sweaty shows later, the Yuk Yuk's flagship was moved to the trendy Yorkville district.  Over the years, Yuk Yuk's expanded to its present reach with 13 clubs across Canada.   

In 1998 he co-founded the Humber College Comedy Program and was chosen as Artistic Director.  He currently sits as Advisory Board Chairman and Producer in Residence.  He is a founding board member of the Canadian Comedy Awards and was a comedy mentor for the B.C. Festival of the Arts. 

He has acted as producer, executive producer and story consultant for numerous television programs such as “Late Night with Joan Rivers”, “Yuk Yuk's - the TV Show”, “Friday Night with Ralph Benmergui” and “Kenny vs Spenny” among others.  He is an author and columnist, and also worked in radio as the Program Director for “Laugh Attack” on XM Canada – the only 24-hour Canadian comedy channel.

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.

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Amanda Lang

Business Journalist, Author

Award-winning business journalist Amanda Lang has been covering business in North America for 20 years.  Lang was an anchor for Bloomberg Television Canada, on Bloomberg North with Amanda Lang. 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.  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.  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).  Prior to the Sun he worked at the Ottawa Citizen as an entertainment reporter.

Slotek has covered Montreal's Just for Laughs comedy festival on a regular basis since 1985.  He has been honoured for critical writing eight times at the Dunlop Awards – the Sun Media chain awards of excellence – with three wins and five honourable mentions.

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Coaches

  • Peter Anthony

    Peter Anthony

  • Ian Sirota

    Ian Sirota

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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.

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Raising Money for SickKids

The proceeds of Humour Me will support children’s mental health programs at SickKids

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Over $8,000,000

Previously raised for some incredible groups who are working hard to make a real difference in the lives of young Canadians including Blessings in a Backpack, CAMH, Covenant House, Dixon Hall, Eva’s Initiatives, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada, SickKids, Sinai Health Foundation, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Trails Youth Initiatives.

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Elgin Theatre
189 Yonge Street, Toronto

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