An Open Letter To Shaun Majumder.

Mr. Majumder,

You’re a world-class comic and not a psychic, but surely you realize what this post is all about, right?

Your “This Beautiful Country” segment on this week’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes has not won you any new fans in my hometown.

“Niagara Falls is such a beautiful, beautiful landmark, surrounded by the grossest, grossest city,”


But wait, there’s more!

“I was in the souvenir shop the other day … and I saw this sweatshirt and it had a bear and a moose on it and it said Niagara Falls.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bear or a moose in Niagara Falls, I’ve seen some cougars,”

“If you want to do a T-shirt or a sweatshirt, here’s what you should put on it: You should have an old lady in a wheelchair, not because she’s disabled … and she’s just pouring all of her money into a slot machine just crying her little eyes out.

“Niagara Falls, It’s more accurate.”

To be accurate, Mr. Majumder, you performed at Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort during a comedy show in 2013. I’m guessing you weren’t paid in T-shirts or sweatshirts? Our money was good enough for you but that’s where you draw the line, apparently.


When I first watched your segment I thought, “I used to love this guy’s work but now I hate him as much as Rob Ford hates to tell the truth.”

Then I remembered a few things:

  • You’re a comedian. A very good one with a good heart.
  • You were born in Burlington, Newfoundland and Labrador, and raised by a European-Canadian mother from Newfoundland and a Bengali Hindu Indian father, both of whom appear to have done a bang-up job.
  • CBC believes in you and I love the CBC. In fact, anyone who has been fortunate enough to find themselves working with the CBC is my hero.
  • Its your job to poke fun at the world around you.
  • Comedy can be biting.

And so I looked at your segment with objective eyes and you know what?

I still hate you.

Not “hate” like a Kardashian hates TMZ, but “hate” like a cat hates water or hairballs. Your segment was lazy and infantile, Mr. Majumder. I know these words hurt, considering they’re coming from a blogger, but you’ve been a working comic for years, you can take it.

Were your words entirely false?

Of course not! You won’t see a bear or a moose in Niagara Falls but as you pointed out, there are plenty of cougars. We’d put them on T-shirts but they move too fast while hunting; no one can get an accurate description of them for an artist to recreate.

Is Niagara Falls home to more toothless individuals than a carnival? Absolutely! But that’s only because many people are too busy watching CBC programming like This Hour Has 22 Minutes to stop and tend to their oral health.

Does Niagara play host to millions of casino-going seniors who occasionally use wheelchairs even if they don’t truly need them? Do these same seniors cry and even wet themselves on occasion? Sure! But they’d do that anyway, regardless of where they were.

Does our mayor bay at the full moon while covered in move popcorn butter? I have no idea, but anything’s possible.

Is the city of Niagara Falls gross at times? You work in Toronto, right, Mr. Majumder?

You do realize every single metropolis on the planet has its gross side, right? You can’t build and maintain a city to equal the majesty of the Falls unless you remove/slaughter every living thing in the vicinity and frankly, as Canadians we’re too nice to do that.

The citizens of Niagara Falls are no different than the citizens of any city, Mr. Majumder. We enjoy hockey, ridiculously copious amounts of beer (in moderation), eye-straining amounts of television, bashing the Leafs, illegal gerbil fighting rings, considering cheating on our taxes (but never dong so), pizza, Tim Hortons coffee, dark magic, you know, the staples of Canadian society.

But what we will no longer abide is individuals such as yourself who mock us in order to meet a CBC-mandated laugh quota.

To clarify, I’m still a fan, Mr. Majumder. I just wish you’d save the knives for targets that truly deserve them. Like the government, Justin Bieber, the Kardashians, Target Canada, people who shame their pets online, the fallout from the Timmies/Burger King merger, the Fords, Hollywood and cats.

Tell you what, Mr. Majumder, come to Niagara Falls and Mayor Jim Diodati and myself will take you out on the town. We’ll even spring for bail when things inevitably go off the rails.

What do you say?

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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22 Responses to An Open Letter To Shaun Majumder.

  1. Once again Hook, you are spot on. Well written and to the point. I smell Pulitzer Prize. Nice job and let us know if Shaun responds.

  2. Well said. It’s gotten where cleverness and wit have gotten lost and cheap shots have been substituted in comedy.(So much easier to write. Takes less effort – and people always laugh when you trash someone else…)
    Guess he had other things he was more interested in doing than creating a funny script for the show. (Wonder if he just changes the name of the city/town and reuses the same stuff? He could do it easily. That would save him a lot of time and effort.)

  3. Doug in Oakland says:

    Cougars but no bears… Really? I’d have thought that facial hair would be fairly popular in a place where the weather gets cold from time to time.

  4. Paul says:

    Well said Hook. Hey, how is Majumder’s resot in Burlington coming? I haven’t followed but I always got the impression it was never goung to happen. May be his bad mood is coming from that.

    • The Hook says:

      I don’t think he was miserable, Paul.
      Comics spit venom naturally; it’s all part of the job.
      We worked it out. I said my peace. He responded. We’re good.

  5. if he comes to see you, let me know. I may have to come visit, as I think he is lovely and awesome.

  6. Jami says:

    hahaha…indeed people who shame their pets online should be flamed, not poor niagra fallseans!! Hahaha you made this 4 in the morn insomniac laugh just now. 🙂

  7. curvyroads says:

    Hook, I don’t know this guy at all, being fairly far south of Canada, but glad he was sharp enough to get the joke on him, and then share it! Kudos to you for the eloquent rant. 🙂

  8. shimoniac says:

    I have to admit that I’ve never been a big fan of Shaun b’y. I first saw him on Just For Laughs, and I thought he was fairly funny maybe a 5 or 6 on a scale of 10. The more I see of him, the less I like. His “comedy” is uneven, some is funny a lot is WTF? He used to do a bit that was a painfully egregious pandering to stereotype.

  9. Ha ha ha… so many great lines, so little time. I’m glad you caught his attention though, that’s awesome! Good job again!

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