Rather than telling smart-aleck kids to sit down and shut up, parents are opting to tell them to stand-up and deliver.

BY: Bunch Family
This article was originally published in The Grid.

Parents have long dreamed of their child growing up to be the next Karen Kain or Wayne Gretzky. But now, Toronto moms and dads are turning their brood into budding Tina Feys and Jason Segels—and the city’s bevy of comedy institutions are keeping pace.

It’s a definite shift: No longer are class clowns and cards being scolded for their quips and comebacks. Rather than telling smart-aleck kids to sit down and shut up, parents are opting to tell them to stand-up and deliver. Venerable laugh hall The Second City (99 Blue Jays Way) offers youth classes for children as young as four, and Bad Dog Theatre Company’s Improv Foundation Classes (held at Fraser Studios at Danforth and Broadview) are for tykes ages five and up to learn storytelling, the art of crafting characters, and the basics of improv.

For more intensive training this summer, TIFF is hosting a comedy-production camp in August for youngsters ages 10 to 14 called “Live from Toronto…it’s Friday Night: Summer Special!” At the end of the nine-day program, participants will put on a live comedy show for family and friends in one of the Bell Lightbox’s cinemas.

It’s never been a better time to be a kid cut-up. Let the hilarity ensue.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rob Griffith

Photo: AP Photo/Rob Griffith