Tuesday, October 17 · 7 – 8:30pm EDT
Prosserman Jewish Community Centre 4588 Bathurst Street Toronto, ON M2R 1W6
Discover the inner lives of public Canadians with award-winning broadcaster Ralph Benmergui on his long-running podcast Not That Kind of Rabbi, now produced by The CJN.
In this special live discussion, guest Mark Breslin joins to explain how his own personal Jewish journey influenced his expansive career, including founding the renowned Yuk Yuk’s comedy club.
Not That Kind of Rabbi is the podcast that goes behind the spiritual curtain of prominent Jewish Canadians. In past episodes it’s been more interfaith, but now, produced by The CJN, we’re focusing on the relationship Canadian Jews have with their religion and culture. How Judaism informs their lives. The answers may very well surprise you.
About Mark Breslin
Mark Breslin was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. in 1952. He graduated York University Honours with a B.A. in English Literature. in 1970.
Soon after graduating, Breslin became Director of Theatre and Music for Harbourfront Corporation, an innovative cultural organization which produces events and activities at numerous venues on Toronto’s waterfront.
In 1974, Breslin opened the first Yuk Yuk’s, in the basement of Toronto’s Church Street Community Centre. Two years and many sweaty shows later, the Yuk Yuk’s flagship was moved to 1280 Bay Street in the trendy Yorkville district. Over the next decade, Yuk Yuk’s would expand to its present reach of twelve clubs across Canada.
In 1978, Breslin founded Funny Business, a talent agency dedicated to finding work for Canadian stand-up comics. It is now the country’s largest, representing over 160 of Canada’s funny people.
Breslin has written five books so far, and his monthly column for Village Post newspapers ran for over 15 years, Breslin has produced such television programs as Late Night with Joan Rivers for Fox Broadcasting, Yuk Yuk’s – the TV show for CBC TV. He was executive producer on Friday Night with Ralph Benmergui for CBC TV and Yuk Yuk’s 25th Anniversary Special for the Comedy Network.
In addition to television, Breslin has also worked in radio. He was the founder and program director for Laugh Attack, on XM Canada, Canada’s only 24-hour Canadian comedy channel from 2005-2008.
In 1998, he co-founded the Humber College Comedy Program., He is also a founding board member of the Canadian Comedy Awards, who awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
In 2014 The Toronto Star chose Mark Breslin as one of the 180 most important people ever born in Toronto.
In 2017 Mark was awarded the Order of Canada, the highest civilian distinction in the country.
In 2023, Mark was inducted into the Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame, along with Lorne Michaels, Michael J Fox, and Catherine O’Hara.
About Ralph Benmergui
Ralph Benmergui is an award-winning broadcaster, ordained spiritual counselor and author. His first book, I Thought He Was Dead: A Spiritual Memoir, is available on his website ralphbenmergui.ca. Counselling opportunities are also found there. Born in Morocco and raised in Toronto, Ralph is currently living in Hamilton with his wife, kids, three cats and a dog. He is the father of four boys. Please hold your applause. Coming off the success of his first CJN podcast, Yehupetzville, Ralph is launching a new season of his other podcast, Not That Kind of Rabbi, with this live show at the Prosserman JCC.
J Talks is a series of dynamic interviews with our partner and podcasting experts, the Canadian Jewish News. Get your tickets here.