Tragedy Plus Time: Toronto-based Comedian Tom Hearn

Originally from New Brunswick, Tom Hearn is a multiple award-winning sketch comedian, actor, and drag queen living in Toronto. He has toured his 5-star reviewed solo shows ‘SLANG’ and ‘Gay Garbage’ all over North America winning multiple awards and sold-out runs. Tom is a former cast member of The Second City, a Canadian Comedy Award winner for ‘A Sketch Comedy Extravaganza Eleganza’ and is the creator of sold-out drag showcases ‘Lipsynced’ and ‘Werq The Mic’.

Tom Hearn will premiere his new show How Fabulous Is That?! from March 29-30, 2024 for four shows at the Burdock in Toronto before heading on an international tour with a stop at Edinburgh Fringe this summer.

Tom Hearn

How would you describe your comedy style?

My comedy is silly, over-the-top, big characters, campy, musical, topical. I always make sure that I do things that I find to be funny and make me laugh first and foremost. That’s how I stumbled upon my Ina Garten impression. I thought it was funny. I randomly just posted a video of something I thought was funny and it hit.

Who are some of your influences?

My main influences are Debra Wilson, Mo Collins, Nicole Parker, Nicole Sullivan, Kristen Wiig, Rachel Dratch, Molly Shannon, Kids in the Hall, so sketch comedy, (MadTV, SNL) and early YouTube people like Liam Kyle Sullivan. I always found sketch comedy so fascinating it hit all the things my theatre kid heart wanted.

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

I was obsessed with the Austin Powers movies. I loved everything that Mike Myers did (except the movie that shall not be mentioned!)! I wanted to be Mike Myers. I have to do a special shout-out to Molly Shannon because besides watching Austin Powers and Shrek constantly growing up, I also watched my Superstar VHS more times than I could

Who is your favourite comedian now?

Meg Stalter – during the pandy I couldn’t stop watching Meg’s lives. Her online content always makes me laugh so much and now I can watch her on TV too so that’s pretty sick.

What is your pre-show ritual?

My pre-show ritual is RED BULL!!!! And while I have my Red Bull, I listen to music that makes me PUMPED. UP. I have a pre-show playlist that I curate for when I’m on the road and when I do specific shows. When I arrive at the venue, I make sure all my costumes and wigs are organized for optimal quick change time, then I crack my fifth Red Bull and pester the technicians to make the music louder.

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

It doesn’t exist anymore, but Bad Dog Theatre’s old location at 875 Bloor St W. It was the perfect intimate theatre for sketch comedy. It’s where I performed my first solo show, and it was one of the best stages in Toronto. I loved how it always felt like the audience was part of the show because they were sitting on stage with you in an intimate setting, and that’s what I’m always trying to emulate in my live shows.

What is your favourite bit you have written and why were you proud of it?

I have a sketch called Drag Mom, which features a concerned mother calling a public library to complain about drag story hour. This is a sketch ripped from the headlines and an experience my friends in Saint John, New Brunswick experienced. When I tour, unfortunately every place I go to thinks that I wrote about the place I’m performing in.

What is your favourite medium for listening or finding new comics/comedians?

Going to LIVE shows. The best way to find comedians you like is to actually go out and support live comedy in person. Go experience someone doing their full set instead of a minute-long clip of someone doing crowd work on TikTok. You will likely find a fuller appreciation for the comic and their material.

Tell us a joke about Toronto.

The night John Tory resigned as mayor I was opening for stand-up comedian Matteo Lane at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and here are some of the jokes I made about the city:

– John Tory promised to fill the potholes in the city, and now we know that he filled at least ONE hole…

– What can you say about a Toronto mayor? They love to get a little piece of crack.

– He approved cutting down trees for the new subway line, but I guess that’s not the wood we should have been worrying about.

Do you have anything to promote right now?

I’m doing a brand new solo sketch show called How Fabulous Is That on March 29 & 30th at the Burdock Brewery Music Hall! I’m so excited to debut this new show directed by Carly Heffernan in Toronto before heading on an international tour.

How Fabulous Is That has jaw-dropping musical performances and gag-worthy original characters. Plus all my FABULOUS impressions like “Martha Stewart”, “James Corda”’ and of course “Ina Garten”.

Where can we follow you?

How Fabulous is That Tickets | Instagram | TikTok

PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?

I’d like to give a shout out to the sketch duo 24 Double B – Blair MacMillan and Brendan Kane. Their sketches are so funny, and every time I’ve seen them perform, they look like they are having a good time, and that’s always my favourite kind of sketch!


About Demian Vernieri 613 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.