Get ready to laugh at the Simcoe Street Theatre later this month.
On July 29, six Canadian comedians will be bringing their stand-up sets to Collingwood as part of a monthly Collingwood Laughs series, which include headliner Marc-Anthony Sinagoga as well as comedians Mark Edwards, Sam Burns, Jessica Besser-Rosenberg, James Godfrey and Kevin Finn.
Finn, who grew up in New Lowell and Wasaga Beach, has made stops throughout the Toronto comedy scene, and has amassed a TikTok following of 250,000 subscribers throughout the pandemic.
The Jean Vanier Catholic High School (now Our Lady of the Bay) graduate says he’s delighted to return home to share his brand of funny through accents and impressions.
“Every time I go back, I think that I’d love to retire there. It’s so nice. I felt like I needed to move out of there to fulfill some dreams, but every time I come back, it’s like a warm hug,” Finn told CollingwoodToday.ca this week. “I loved growing up in (the South Georgian Bay) area. I have a lot of friends and family who live in the city, and I’m very grateful for the upbringing I had in a small community.”
While Finn grew up in Wasaga Beach and New Lowell, when he was 11 years old his family moved to Ireland for a year and a half to connect with their roots. Finn’s mother grew up in Dublin, Ireland, while his father grew up in Liverpool. His parents immigrated to Canada in the 1980s.
Finn’s Irish and English roots inspire his comedy, which is impression-based with a focus on U.K. dialects.
“All of the Irish and English comedy was always forced down my throat,” said Finn.
As a teenager, Finn recalls he did accent work to impersonate his mother to get excused from school.
“I was a little troublemaker,” he said. “I used to call in and pretend to be my mom because I didn’t hit puberty until I was like 17. I would do a little Irish voice to get out of school. I got caught.”
“I never really thought I was funny, but I loved Austin Powers when I was growing up. It was like my favourite movie,” said Finn. “I was really shy growing up, but now, I can’t shut up.”
Post-secondary, Finn attended Humber College’s comedy program and has performed with SCTV.
“I performed with Dave Thomas. I did a sketch with him where we were two Scotsmen yelling at each other on a bench,” said Finn. “It was performed on the Second City main stage in Toronto. It was cool.”
Finn also won a Colin Mochrie Best Improviser Award while he was in the program.
Throughout the pandemic, Finn started making videos on TikTok. In addition to creating sketch videos showcasing different U.K. accents, he has also dabbled in creating parody content. This week, his follower count reached 250,000 with a combined 6.3 million views on TikTok alone.
“People on TikTok don’t believe I’m from Canada. They think I'm pranking them,” he said.
Looking forward, Finn is planning to move with his fiancee to England in January, and has booked a few gigs there. He says he finds his style of comedy more closely aligns with U.K. tastes.
“I would love to be able to live in England with my wife full-time, have a few kids and sell out stadiums in England. It seems more realistic than here in Canada. I find (here)... I have to explain the differences between Irish, Scottish and U.K. accents before I can get into the jokes. There, I can just hop right into it,” said Finn.
“The comedy here is very deadpan, which is not bad, that’s just the North American style,” he said. “I find in England, Ireland and the U.K., it’s all about silly. I love silly.”
“I’m slowly finding my voice now,” said Finn.
Overall, Finn says the one theme that runs through all the comedic acts that will be performing in Collingwood at the end of the month, is family.
“It’s not family-friendly, but... it’s all relatability,” said Finn. “We’re hoping to bring this every month to Collingwood.”
The Collingwood Laughs event is on July 29 at 8 p.m. at the Simcoe Street Theatre. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.