Jonny Harris | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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Jonny Harris

Jonny Harris, comedian, actor, writer, producer (born 22 September 1975 in Pouch Cove, NL). Newfoundland comedian Jonny Harris is best known for his roles in two long-running CBC TV series: he plays constable George Crabtree on Murdoch Mysteries (2008–present) and is the host, producer and writer of Still Standing (2015–present), for which he has won six Canadian Screen Awards.

Early Life and Career

Jonny Harris was born to Peter and Joanne Harris and raised in the small town of Pouch Cove (pronounced pooch cove), just north of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Harris became involved in theatre in high school and graduated from the four-year theatre program at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook. He then performed in tourist-oriented summer theatre productions (“a great education in Newfoundland history and culture,” he has said) before writing and performing his own one-man show, Out of the Bog. That led to a gig writing for This Hour Has 22 Minutes and eventually to writing and acting in Mary Walsh’s short-lived comedy series Hatching, Matching, & Dispatching (2005–06).

Harris then worked steadily as a comedian, performing on CBC Radio’s The Debaters and at the Halifax Comedy Festival, the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and Just for Laughs. He also co-founded The Dance Party of Newfoundland, a St. John’s sketch comedy troupe. It won the Best of the Fest award at the 2007 Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival. Harris then moved to Toronto and within about a month landed the role of constable George Crabtree on Murdoch Mysteries.


Career Highlights

Jonny Harris continued to pursue acting and comedy outside of Murdoch Mysteries. He co-starred in the coming-of-age comedy Grown Up Movie Star (2009). It screened at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and won a special jury prize for Tatiana Maslany’s breakout performance. Harris also appeared in an episode of Republic of Doyle (2011), the movie Moving Day (2012) opposite Will Sasso and Victor Garber, the TV movie A Christmas Fury (2017), and Goalie (2019), about famed NHL goaltender Terry Sawchuk.

Still Standing (2015–Present)

In 2015, Jonny Harris began producing, writing and hosting the CBC TV series Still Standing. Each episode features Harris visiting a small Canadian town that has persevered through adversity. He profiles the community and performs an original set of stand-up comedy written specifically for the residents. Harris has won four Canadian Screen Awards for writing and two for hosting the series, which also won the 2016 Canadian Screen Award for Best Factual Program or Series. The show began its ninth season in September 2023.


Personal Life

Jonny Harris and his wife, actor Kaitlin Kozell, split their time between a home in Toronto and a cottage in the Kawartha Lakes area. His favourite pastimes are riding motorbikes and playing guitar.

Awards

Canadian Screen Awards
  • Best Writing in a Factual Program or Series (Still Standing) (2017, 2019, 2021)
  • Best Host in a Lifestyle Talk or Entertainment News Program or Series (Still Standing) (2017, 2019)
  • Best Writing, Factual (Still Standing) (2018)
Others
  • Documentary (Still Standing), Writers Guild of Canada (2021)