top of page
  • Writer's pictureDavid Reuben

Jennifer McAuliffe

A Comedy Dynamo

“I’m a big fan of Jen’s. She’s smart, fearless and not afraid to do jokes about dead people.”

-- Steve Patterson

"Jennifer McAuliffe is the hardest working most prolific writer I know. She is funny, kind and very supportive of her peers. She's authentic, raw, unapologetic and stunning on stage. No one puts in their 10,000 hours towards greatness like Jen."

-- Cathryn Naiker

“Jennifer has a real natural charisma, on and offstage, that shines through in her performance and really endears her with the audience. It’s really difficult not to like her immediately. On top of that, she’s genuinely funny and clever, which makes it also easy to envy her.”

-- Ward Anderson

“I met Jen when we were the only two girls in a novel-writing class full of dudes who wanted to write sci-fi and we both wanted to write kicky beach reads. I am SUCH a huge fan, she is the absolute best on Twitter and when we worked at 22 Minutes together, she wrote jokes that were hilarious and unique while also managing to be very angry at men, which is right up my alley.”

-- Heidi Brander

“I’ve been lucky enough to know and work with Jennifer for at least 8 years! Not only is she a multiple time Groovy award winner and co-host, she is also one of the best hosts I’ve ever had! She has the tenacity of a rabid meth addicted racoon, she laughs defiantly in the face of the light, comics get 5-7 minutes, but Jenn will take 10 and there’s nothing you can do about it! She’s amazing and has managed to stay the same level of paleness the whole time I’ve known her! Jennifer is the best and hopefully this helps with her parole hearing!”

-- Adrian Sawyer

“A great comic who will only get better. I hope to play her asshole neighbour one day. Or perhaps a pathetic sugar daddy.”

-- Mike Wilmot

David Reuben, the author, went to a Saturday Night Open-Mic about eight and a half years ago in a small independent coffee shop in the Dundas and Dufferin area of Toronto. Like most open mic shows in any city there were some experience comics and some newbies. One of the newbies was a young female comic who had great stage presence and was starting to get some heat in the open-mic circuit in Toronto. After talking to Jennifer McAuliffe, I found out she worked very hard and loved the art form of comedy.

The author invited Ms. McAuliffe to come down to Ein-Stein’s Bier Halle’s Sunday Night Comedy show in the College and Spadina area of Toronto. Einstein’s is a very tough comedy room that has been running for 23 years and has a regular audience following. Many young comics will try the room and find it to difficult because of the room’s setup and the free pool on Sundays.

However, Jennifer McAuliffe is one tough young lady and took the challenge of winning over the Ein-Stein’s crowd and forcing the pool players to stop playing and listening to her set. During the next 7 years Jennifer went from a short set of 5 minutes to becoming the shows closer for 25 minutes and a regular rotating host of the show.

Ms. Jennifer McAuliffe took the advantage of weekly spots to hone a stage persona and improved the writing in her act. Jennifer became a fixture on the Toronto Comedy Scene and hit the stage almost every night of the week. In the last few years, Ms. McAuliffe has broadened her horizons into the rest of Canada and started to get exposure in the USA. In fact, Jennifer now divides her time between living in Toronto and New York City. Hogtown’s loss is the Big Apples gain.

2018 was a big year for this talented comic, writer and actress. Jennifer wrote for “Just For Laughs” in the summer of 2018, followed that up with writing for “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” and recorded her first comedy album.

Ms. Jennifer McAuliffe was born and raised in downtown Toronto. She states; “I have a large Irish Catholic family and my parents had the attitude that if one of us took Piano Lessons, we all took piano lessons.” Jennifer gets her wit and humour from her parents. Ms. McAuliffe reminisces about her childhood; My whole family is very smart and acerbic. My dad is particularly funny, he has a spicy retort and an exaggerated look for everything. My mom is pretty farcical, she’s always getting into scrapes, it was like having Lucy Ball in the minivan. A high school teacher told me that she’d love to come over to dinner at our house and hear the conversation, it must be like an episode of Frasier. I think you always think your own family is the standard.”

After high school, Jennifer got a “real job” saved her money and bought a Condo in downtown Toronto. A few years later this painfully shy young lady was looking for a way to get out for her shell and decided to take Dawn Witwells Comedy Girl class, at the Comedy Bar in Toronto. Jennifer McAuliffe’s comedy journey officially started on December 9, 2010 with her first set as part of the graduation ceremony for the Comedy Girl class and her first open mic was at Sportsters Bar on the Danforth in the heart of Greetown in Toronto.

Jennifer remembers; “I did my first set as part of Dawn Witwells Comedy Girl class, at Comedy Bar. It went well but I blacked out with stage fright. All I remember is the bright white light and the laughter.” Her large Irish Catholic family support her unconventional career choice even as Jenner says; “Although at first, they thought I would only talk about them and expose their secrets to outsiders. Keeping secrets and being ashamed is very important to Irish people.”

The road to Canadian Comedy success is long and winding and many long nights at open mics, terrible car trips, gas station food and as Jennifer says in her act “being paid in Ginger Ale”. Yet, Ms. Jennifer McAuliffe has persisted and paid her dues. The day job and Condo are long gone being replace by an unliveable ex-crack house in Hamilton ON. Home is a basement room in her father’s house, but sacrifices have to be made to follow your dream.

“I get to live at my Dad’s for free, which, as a woman of an undisclosable age, isn’t great for my self esteem but is a way to save the energy I’d otherwise have to spend working a day job to pay rent. I can hustle how I do, and I do, cause my 70-year-old dad will act like he loves the company of me living in his basement and never retire. He better not.”

Ms. Jennifer McAuliffe is starting to succeed in a very tough profession, and she has performed at comedy festivals through out the world including the Edinburgh Fringe, which is the biggest comedy Festival in the world. Performed at Accidental Comedy Festival, and SheDevil in New York City. Not surprisingly, Jennifer holds Guinness book of world record for the Broken Record Festival in Nashville Tennessee.

Through all this hard-earned success, Ms. Jennifer McAuliffe has maintained her sharp self-deprecating wit. “I used to be painfully shy. I’m sure if I wasn't a comedian with late nights and all this travel and uncertainty I’d be married and have children and a dog. I wouldn't be sleeping on my dads couch tonight, battling pneumonia for the third time this year. Bet you thought I’d say something nice, huh?”

Jennifer McAuliffe has become a Social Media Influencer; she states “Social media is a 24 hour a day, global, open mic. You can try jokes, get seen by the right people, get death threats, indecent photos, and job offers. What a world! I would guess I spend at least 10 minutes every hour I am awake on the internet. It's how I’ve been scouted and its how people know I’m a good joke writer. I wrote 5-10 jokes a day until people started to notice. You have to let people find you for what you want to be known for.”

Ms. McAuliffe was scouted on Social Media for two of the biggest comedy jewels in Canadian Show Business.” Being a Writer for JFL and This Hour Has 22 minutes has been nothing short of a dream come true. To have all the structure of a job, with the long creative leash of those two particular shows was honestly something I hold dear to my heart. It has validated me in a way I can explain to people outside the business.”

As any workaholic knows sometimes your passion takes over your life and Jenner work’s 20 hours a day as a comic, writer and actress. “I have very poor work-life balance. I get up and write, and don’t stop. I have half a million unfinished scripts and assignments and I play Russian Roulette with deadlines. If it’s on my calendar, I’ll figure out a way to finish it. Sometimes I’ll put my head down too much and my stand up will suffer. I need to do it all, every day, or I get rusty. Right now, I’m still sick, so I’m rusty, but I’m writing.” Getting run down is a theme in Canadian Comedy as we all try to grab the brass ring and it takes it tole. As Jennifer commented at our recent coffee meeting; You can’t put make-up on lungs.”

This comedy dynamo tries to be on the road at least 6 months a year and she is a fan of anarchist British comedy, but her style is more point of view, slice of life, wordplay stuff mixed in with a dose of self-depreciation. Jennifer comments on touring; “I’ve performed for the Troops, opened for Liza Treyger, and worked with all the best in Canada. I think I was most impressed with Laurie Kilmartin and Deb DiGiovani. The amount of punchlines they can squeeze in a set—you’d think it would collapse under its own weight.”

These days Jennifer has a full schedule of comedy shows, a couple of independent movies in the can and her million unfinished scripts and assignments on the go. Her first comedy album will be out in late 2019 or early 2020.

The author, David Reuben, could not be prouder of Ms. Jennifer McAuliffe if she was his own daughter. In fact, I guess she is my comedy daughter.

To find out more about this Comedy Dynamo visit her on Facebook

Mention you found out about Ms. Jennifer McAuliffe on

57 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page