History / Ernie Butler

A Brief History of Ernie Butler’s Comedy Nest

Ernie Butler founded Montreal’s first comedy club in 1979 and called it Stitches. It was located downtown on Crescent Street for a few years before it moved to Bishop Street and was renamed The Comedy Nest. In the ensuing years, the club moved several more times, but always remained in downtown Montreal.

The Comedy Nest stage was graced by such household names as Russell Peters, Jim Carrey, Tim Allen, Harland Williams, and Dennis Leary, to name but a few. The Comedy Nest has also been an official venue for shows during the world’s largest comedy festival, Just for Laughs.

After Ernie Butler’s untimely passing in 2007, his children, Silver and Ryan Butler, carried on the proud tradition of presenting the best in stand-up comedy every week. Then, in 2012, they passed the torch to new owners and are now successfully pursuing other careers.

Ernie Butler was involved in entertainment and hospitality in Montreal for more than 30 years. His reputation as an entrepreneur and a bon vivant followed him into the comedy business where he became known far and wide as a promoter of top-flight talent. Those who appreciated him for his energy and his devotion were rewarded with his support and his friendship.

Ernie passed away on August 29th, 2007 after a brief illness. Donations to The West Island Palliative Care Centre in Ernie’s name are most welcome.