About

James is a comedian, writer and actor from Toronto, Canada.

James spent three seasons as cast member and writer on the sketch comedy show That’s So Weird on YTV.  The Globe and Mail stated that the show is “probably the funniest show on Canadian television.”  In 2011 James and the cast won a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Television Ensemble.

James has performed at Just For Laughs 42, San Francisco Sketch FestNXNE, Sled Island, and the Toronto Fringe Fest.  His short films have been shown at Just For Laughs, CFC’s Worldwide Short Film Fest, The Calgary International Film Festival, and on Tosh.0 (Comedy Central).  James is a member of the weekly comedy show, Laugh Sabbath, “featuring the best of the city’s young standup and sketch comedians” (National Post).

James has appeared on things like Funny As Hell (HBO Canada), Spun Out (CTV),  Video on Trial (MuchMusic), Cream of Comedy (Comedy Network), Almost Heroes (Showcase), The Next Step (Family Channel) and voiced characters for Kody Kapow (Sprout/NBC) and Beyblade (Cartoon Network).

James has written for This Hour Has 22 Minutes (CBC), Sunnyside (City), This is That (CBC Radio), The Irrelevant Show (CBC Radio), Because News (CBC Radio) and CBC Punchline.

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Awards

Canadian Comedy Award (Winner) – Best Ensemble in a Television Show 2011

Canadian Screen Award (Nominated) – Best Writing in a Sketch or Variety Show 2013

Tim Sims Encouragement Award (Nominated) – 2008

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Press

“Don’t miss Laugh Sabbath affiliate James Harnett. This Toronto-based writer/comedian is one of the funniest standups in Canada, known for absurd off-the-cuff premises and straight-faced character bits that are as bizarre as they are darkly hilarious” (Complex)

“A smart writer and gifted comedian” with “an impressive repertoire of accents … particularly adept at quick characterization”. (Eye Weekly)

“Captivating stage presence … His performances are closer to a one-man sketch monologue as opposed to your standard stand-up, and that’s a good thing. If he starts his set with an English accent, put down your drinks” (Blog TO)

“Known for hilarious writing and brilliant performances … an exceptional comedian.” (Indyish.com)

“This pairing would have rivaled any of the shows put on at Just For Laughs. That’s how good Kathleen and James are … just go. It’s unbelievable how lucky we are to have talent like this walking among us.” (BlogTO)

“You have to admire James Hartnett … full points for originality and taking risks.” (Sean Davidson of Eye Weekly)

“Toronto comic Hartnett breezed through his material, and also provided the night’s most horrifying image involving a penis and a calcium sack.” (National Post)

“Canada’s finest young comics” (Time Out New York on Laugh Sabbath)

“Worst. Show. Ever. is what Fringe comedy is all about…this is the show to see.  4 Stars” (Kate Lacey of Eye Weekly)