A woman was asked why she is proud to consider Canada home. As she gave her answer, I had to nod my head in agreement.
She told the television reporter that Canada was a place that always felt calm.
She might have added that, for millions of Canadians, it also is a place where laughter is proudly shared and exported.
Canadians are turning, as they long have in times of uncertainty, to comedy.
“Canadians really do identify themselves a great deal through comedy,” said Cory Gibson, the field producer of “This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” a long-running Canadian satirical news show.
“It’s one of our national pastimes,” Mr. Gibson added. “Political comedy and hockey.”
All societies deal with major issues through humor. But that is especially true of Canada, which exports comedians the way France exports wine: Samantha Bee, Seth Rogen, Jim Carrey and many early stars on “Saturday Night Live,” whose impresario, Lorne Michaels, is Canadian as well.
In Canada, humor has become a way of pushing back against America’s cultural and political dominance, like a class clown subtly undermining the teacher. Its changing comedy offers a lens into how the nation is changing, too.