Funny, surprising, touching, talented and versatile… those are just a few of the adjectives that could be used to describe Peter MacLeod. A comedian by training, he has also won audiences over on the radio and on TV. With five one-man shows and over 800,000 tickets sold over the course of his career, he is a must-see act in the Quebec cultural landscape.
Peter MacLeod was born in Lac Drolet in Beauce on April 17, 1969. A young kid with a wry sense of humour, he always knew that comedy would play an important role in his life. Fast-forward a few years, and the profile hasn’t changed: he still has a provocative smirk and a charming naiveté that never fails to get a laugh. Peter’s interest in comedy got serious back in 1991, when he took part in the Just for Laughs national auditions. He quickly got bookings to do corporate events, host galas and open for other shows.
In 1992, at the age of 23, Peter took things a step further and signed up at l’École nationale de l’humour. The following year, he toured with the graduating class and took part in the Just for Laughs Festival. The mix of his natural talent and his newfound skills quickly yielded results. Peter was invited on various TV shows and became a favourite at the Jeudis Stand-up at Café Campus and at Bourbon in Mont-Rolland. In the winter of 1995, he was chosen to open for Roch Voisine’s Chaud 95 tour. Across the province, people were delighted to see a comic breaking conventions with such unbridled joy.
Peter’s official “arrival” came in the summer of 1995 at the Just for Laughs Festival. The press, the public and the arts community all loved him. He was named Best New Male Stand-up at the festival. In the years that followed, Peter participated in prestigious galas and got ovations for every one of his performances.
He spent 1996 preparing his first solo show, Le monde selon MacLeod. Since his first performance in January 1997, more than 200,000 audience members have had the chance to applaud his comic talents. In 1997, he won a Félix Award for Writer of the Year for Lise Dion’s first one-woman show—a credit he shared with François Léveillée, Gilles Cormier, Louis-Philippe Rivard and Lise Dion. At the end of the 1990s, Peter took part in Parcourez le Québec en humour, a concept that placed comics in residence in different regions of Quebec for the summer. He presented shows in various locales, including Gatineau (1999) and Sherbrooke (2000).
Peter’s humour spread like wildfire on the radio. From 1999 to 2003, he hosted the immensely popular show La Belle et MacLeod with Josée Boudreault, which aired weekdays at noon on Énergie 94.3.
In October 2000, Peter toured his second show, MacLeod 2: Libéré sur parole. Over 35,000 tickets were sold even before the Montréal premiere. Critics raved and audiences followed suit. In 2003, Peter was nominated for Most Popular Comedy Performance at the Gala les Olivier, and he received a double platinum ticket at the ADISQ Gala, certifying the sale of more than 200,000 tickets for his show.
In July 2004, Peter brilliantly co-hosted two Just for Laughs galas with Patrick Huard. In the summer of 2005, he was invited to step in for Claude Blanchard at the last minute and host his own gala. His success was sealed.
March 2005 marked Peter’s return to the radio, where he was at the helm of the show MacLeod, Gélinas, Gélinas et Associés, Mondays to Fridays from 11:30 am to 1 pm on CKOI 96.9.
In November 2005, Peter launched his DVD MacLeod 2: Libéré sur parole. In December, he drew his tour to a close with more than 450 shows and more than 275,000 tickets sold—quite the feat.
In July 2007, his third stage project saw the light of day: MacLeod: 3e Round. Critics unanimously hailed it as his best show yet. He toured the province to sold-out crowds, doing over a hundred performances and selling more than 125,000 tickets.
In 2009 and 2010, Peter nabbed a lead role in the popular show Bienvenue aux dames on the V network.
In February 2010, Peter presented his show MacLeod: 20 ans d’humour at Metropolis. Virginie Coossa hosted the event, and several guest artists joined MacLeod on stage. The show was taped for television and broadcast on the V network in December 2010. A special event called MacLeod: 20 ans d’humour was also presented during the Festival Grand Rire de Québec in the summer of 2010.
In December 2010, Peter launched the DVD MacLeod “Live” à Laval, a presentation of his most recent show.
In the fall of 2011, in his first film role, he played one of the leads in the film French Immersion, directed by Kevin Tierney. He also participated in an episode of the series Messmer: Drôlement mystérieux on TVA.
In the summer of 2011, Peter returned to the stage with his fourth show, Sagesse reportée. For this new one-man show, he took on the midlife crisis and reimagined it in his own fashion. He fell into his role as a friendly comedian/judge to make the audience see that aging doesn’t have to mean giving in. In May 2012, Peter earned three nominations at the 14th Gala les Olivier for Best Comedy Performance of the Year, Director and Writer. The tour wrapped up in the summer of 2014 after more than 250 shows (and more than 165,000 tickets sold). With a show as funny as it was endearing, Peter MacLeod was firing on all cylinders.
2013 was a big year for the comedian. In August, he organized and co-hosted the Avenir Lac-Mégantic event with Gino Chouinard to show his support for the region he grew up in. The show took place at the Bell Centre and aired simultaneously on TVA, ICI Radio-Canada Télé, V and Télé-Québec. Later that fall, after a six-year hiatus, he made his big return to the radio as the star of the show Les poids lourds du retour on 96.9 CKOI. He also helped direct Plus gros que nature, the first show of his good friend and fellow comedian P-A Méthot.
For several years now, in addition to touring, Peter has done a number of performances at the Just for Laughs Festival and the Festival Grand Rire de Québec. In June 2014, the latter invited him to do a Carte Blanche à Peter MacLeod show for the fifth year in a row. He also hosted his first gala at the Grand Théâtre de Québec. In 2014, Peter was nominated for Olivier of the Year at the Gala les Olivier, a nod to the success of his complete oeuvre. In the fall, he returned to 96.9 CKOI with the team of Les poids lourds du retour for a second year, and he appeared on the comedy Les Pêcheurs on ICI Radio-Canada Télé.
A comedian, an actor and a host, Peter MacLeod is one of the pillars of Quebec comedy. Lucky for us, he has a number of big projects coming up in the next few years. Suffice it to say that he hasn’t finished surprising us with his original humour and off-the-wall ideas.
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