Quick jump to...
About Mark Forward
Mark Forward is the larger than life Canadian comic and actor whose great audience rapport, edgy banter and madcap sketches have been winning him fans far and wide for over two decades. Switching instantaneously from imposing grumpy bear to on the brink of a fit of giggles, Mark Forward’s commanding stage presence is a playful as it is precise.
Winner of the 2005 Canadian Comedy Award for Best Stand-up Newcomer, Mark also won the coveted Homegrown Competition at the 2006 Just for Laughs festival. He has performed at the Halifax Comedy Festival, Hubcap Comedy Festival and Edinburgh Fringe as well as using his craft to write and perform on The Jon Dore Television Show. As an actor, he has appeared in many TV shows, most notably his role on FX’s Fargo (as deputy Donny Mashman), and in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s hit series Mr. D. He also curates his own podcast (featuring his young son, Eric) and has made memorable appearances on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and on the Ferguson stand up tour.
WATCH MARK FORWARD: PRESENTS…MARK FORWARD
A perfect cocktail of observational humor, character comedy, and silly songs makes this an impressive first comedy special from Mark Forward. Offbeat in style but always en pointe, this is spousal abuse, chipmunks, 9/11 and the world of fancy hats brought together like you’ve never seen before.
Reviews and Awards
Mark Forward was winner of the Best Newcomer Canadian Comedy Award and the Home Grown winner at Just for Laughs in 2006. In 2008 he won the Writing Canadian Comedy Award for his work on The Jon Dore Show.
‘A wildly unique style of stand-up’Beatroute
‘Forward has an infectious dynamic energy’List
‘Stand-up of this quality ought to be a hot ticket’Chortle
‘Nobody else could do this material – the sign of a great comic’Now Magazine
‘Perfectly irreverent’The National Post
Mark Forward Tickets
Info on Mark Forward’s upcoming gigs and live shows can be found here.
Originally from from Oakville, Ontario Mark Forward now lives in Toronto with his wife and son. Speaking to The Globe and Mail, he admits he never set out to be a stand-up. “I wasn’t sitting in a basement, listening to [George] Carlin albums for eight hours. I hear other comics saying that, and I think, “Did I do it wrong?” I knew I wanted to perform, but I didn’t know how or why. I did plays since Grade 3. I just wanted to be on stage. I went to theatre school. Hated that. Eventually I did lunchtime plays at Solar Stage, at Yonge and King, in the basement…I got a job at a bar called Milwaukee’s. The Laugh Resort was upstairs. I ended up bartending there. After a while I thought: “Why don’t I take this bartender shirt off for seven minutes and try to tell jokes on an open mic?”
Initially starting out in theatre, Mark graduated drama school and got a part in a lunchtime play whilst working in a bank at night. As he was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with his career choice, when a comedy school opened in Canada he jumped at the opportunity and found his real niche. Spending a year there learning his craft, Mark joined the circuit and began to find real freedom in his material and direction to his comedy.
Now one of Canada’s best comic exports, with a genuinely off-the-wall approach to his work, Mark Forward has the kind of resolve that comes of having retired and come back to the profession. In 2010 Mark temporarily left the industry as “ a very angry and disillusioned and upset human being”. Taking a step away from the local stand-up scene and the ‘money gigs’ that no longer satisfied him creatively turned out to be a great decision. That same year he was given the opportunity to appear on The Late Late show with Craig Ferguson and got a part on a hit sitcom in Canada.
Having been in the business now for over 20 years, Vulture magazine asked him what was the craziest thing he thought 20 years ago that he now knows is bullshit. His reply – “I don’t know, that I’d be happy? [laughs] I never came in with a grandiose dream, so I’ve never had goals. I work hard and I work towards being good at what I do, but these things sort of come from hard work, I think. I could just be lucky, I don’t know. I never thought, “Hey, I want to be on Fargo one day.” That never would’ve crossed my mind. I had one goal when I started, and that was to get to Montreal [for Just For Laughs] and consistently go to Montreal. And I’ve done that, so now I can just die.”
Get More Mark
Want more of Mark Forward? You’re in luck – his full stand-up comedy special is available to watch on NextUp – a digital comedy club where you can stream instantly over 120 comedy specials from some of the exciting names in comedy. Oh, and there’s a 7 day free trial.