Mike MacDonald (comedian)

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Mike MacDonald
Born (1954-06-21) June 21, 1954 (age 63)
Metz, France
Medium Stand-up
Nationality Canadian
Genres Satire, Observational comedy
Spouse Bonnie
Notable works and roles Mike MacDonald; On Target
My House! My Rules!
Happy As I Can Be

Mike MacDonald (born June 21, 1954) is a Canadian stand-up comedian and actor. He has written and/or starred in many movies, including Mr. Nice Guy. In addition to his successful and well received live performances all over North America, MacDonald has appeared in such TV shows as the Late Show with David Letterman and The Arsenio Hall Show.[1]

Early life[edit]

As the son of a career Canadian Air Force officer, MacDonald spent the first 15 years of his life on military bases throughout France, West Germany and Canada.[1] He was born in Metz, France. He learned at an early age that humor would make him popular.[1] When his father retired from the military, his family settled in Ottawa, where Mike attended Brookfield High School.[1]

Starting out[edit]

After high school, MacDonald, who was an accomplished drummer, toured Canada with a rock group sponsored by the Canadian government.[1] The tour ended and he returned to Ottawa. MacDonald spent the next few years in various jobs including drive-in restaurant employee, ballroom dance instructor, and teacher's aide for mentally challenged children. Finally, in 1978 at the age of 24, MacDonald began to frequent clubs where he could try his own kind of stand-up comedy.[1] MacDonald later moved to Toronto, where he began to perform throughout the city on a regular basis.[1] As his reputation grew, job offers did as well. MacDonald quit his day job so he could make comedy his sole living. He began to perform throughout Canada and made frequent forays into the United States.[1]

Standup comedy career[edit]

MacDonald has had many successful and well received live performances all over North America. In addition, he has appeared on numerous TV shows including Late Night with David Letterman, The Arsenio Hall Show, Just For Laughs, Showtime's Comedy Club All-Star Show, A&E's An Evening at the Improv, and Comedy Central's The A List.[1][2][3] His popularity continues to soar in both the US and Canada. He has hosted both the Gemini Awards and the Just For Laughs 10th Anniversary Special[1] for the CBC.[3] MacDonald also holds the distinction of being the only comedian to perform at each and every Just For Laughs gala show.[2]

MacDonald has starred in three well received specials for the CBC in Canada and for Showtime in the US.[1] His first special, Mike MacDonald; On Target was the very first one-hour prime time special by a stand-up comic in the history of the CBC.[1][3] This success led to MacDonald’s next special, "My House! My Rules!" This special won its prime time slot when it aired in Canada.[1][3] It also was nominated for two Gemini Awards.[1] The Showtime version of "My House! My Rules!" was nominated for two CableACE Awards, "Best Comedy Special" and "Best Writing in a Comedy Special".[1] His third Showtime special, called “Happy As I Can Be”, was originally slated as a half-hour show. When executives saw the footage, they immediately expanded it to an hour.[1] “Happy As I Can Be” in its one-hour format also achieved a number 1 rating when it aired in prime time in Canada on the CBC.[1][3]

He also starred in the short-lived CBC sitcom Mosquito Lake in 1989.

Personal life[edit]

MacDonald has disclosed that he has Bipolar disorder, and he has supported the advocacy group Standup for Mental Health.[4]

In 2011, MacDonald was diagnosed with hepatitis C, and he moved back to Ottawa from Glendale CA, where his wife Bonnie is hoping to sell their house. In April 2012, his illness progressed to the point where his liver and his kidneys shut down. He was put on the list waiting for a liver transplant. Friends organized a campaign to collect donations to support MacDonald and to help cover his medical expenses.[5][6] On March 17, 2013 MacDonald underwent a successful seven-hour liver transplant operation.[7] He was being moved out of the ICU department the next day.[8] He has since returned to performing.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Mike MacDonald (Stand Up Comedian)". Mike MacDonald (Stand Up Comedian). Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Mike MacDonald". Mike MacDonald. Archived from the original on 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Mike MacDonald Award-Winning Comedian". Mike MacDonald Award-Winning Comedian. Archived from the original on 2006-06-18. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  4. ^ "About Mike". Standup for Mental Health. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  5. ^ "Canadian Comedy Legend Mike MacDonald Get Healthy". GoFundMe. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  6. ^ "Ottawa comedian's kidneys, liver shut down". CBC News Ottawa. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  7. ^ Patrick O'Rourke (March 16, 2013). "Comedian Mike MacDonald undergoes seven-hour liver transplant". Canada.com. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Comedian Mike MacDonald Saved by Timely Liver Transplant". AmericasComedy.com. March 16, 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Kim Nursall (December 30, 2013). "No plans this New Year's Eve? Five things to do around Toronto". TheStar.com. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 

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