CEO, Founder – Yuk Yuk’s Inc.
Mark Breslin was born and raised in Toronto, Canada in 1952. He graduated York University Honours with a B.A. in English Literature in 1974. Soon after graduating, Breslin became Director of Theatre and Music for the Harbourfront Corporation, an innovative cultural organization which produces events and activities at numerous venues on Toronto’s waterfront.
In 1976, 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 flag ship was moved to 1280 Bay Street in the trendy Yorkville district. Over the next decade, Yuk Yuk’s would expand to its present reach with 16 clubs across Canada.
In 1998, he co-founded the Humber College Comedy Program and was chosen as Artistic Director. He currently sits as advisory board chairman and producer in residence. He is a founding board member of the Canadian Comedy Awards, and was a comedy mentor for the B.C. Festival of the Arts.
Breslin has written four books so far – Zen and Now (Somerville House), a popular Brian Mulroney joke book Son of a Meech (Random House), and an autobiographical novel, Control Freaked (Insomniac Press). Mark also wrote and narrated two 5CD audio books, published by Harper Collins, titled “Yuk Yuk’s Guide to Canadian Stand-Up” and “Rarities and Road Warriors”. Add to this innumerable book and film reviews for The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The Quill and Quire, and his monthly comedy column, now in its fifteenth year, for the Village Post Magazine., which will reach national exposure in the Canadian Jewish News starting this year.
Breslin has produced such television programs as Late Night with Joan Rivers for Fox Broadcasting, Yuk Yuk’s – the TV show for CBC TV and Mondo Taboo, two pay-per-view specials for The Movie Network and The Yuk Yuk’s Great Canadian Laugh Off annual TV special for The Comedy Network., which he also hosts. He was executive producer on Friday Night with Ralph Benmergui for CBC TV and Yuk Yuk’s 25th Anniversary Special for the Comedy Network. Breslin was a story consultant for the first two seasons of Kenny vs Spenny for CBC TV and Showcase and an associate producer of Petal Pushers on HGTV.
In addition to television, Breslin has also worked in radio, developing Live from Yuk Yuk’s, a daily radio show syndicated by the Telemedia Radio Network on over 80 stations coast to coast. He was also the first program director for 3 years for Laugh Attack, on XM Canada, Canada’s only 24-hour Canadian comedy channel.
In 1990, Breslin created the first annual Search for Canada’s Funniest New Comic, a national contest for developing new talent; that same year, he organized and hosted the first Toronto Comedy Festival, which ran for nine years under various iterations. In 2008 Breslin made his theatrical acting debut as Bob, a Porn Addicts Anonymous counselor on “Confessions of a Porn Addict” which won Best Feature and Best Cinematography in the 2008 Mockfest in Los Angeles.
Breslin has been a broadcaster, having hosted call-in shows on Q107 and CFRB and having appeared as a featured panelist on multiple episodes of ROB TV’s The ArtS Panel and Global Television’s Grumps.
Breslin is also a much sought-after public speaker. Selected speaking engagements have included the American Comedy Institute in NYC, the Big Bear Comedy Workshop in L.A., Association for Campus Entrepreneurs (Toronto keynote address), York University Cultural Studies Program, York University Department of Philosophy, Toronto Jewish Film Society, Variety Club of Toronto, MENSA Society of Canada, Glendon College Alumni Association, among others.
In 2014, Breslin was named one of the 180 most influential people ever to be born and raised in Toronto, and in 2017 Breslin was awarded the Order of Canada, the country’s highest non-military designation