Lara Rae (born 1963 in Glasgow, Scotland), formerly known as Al Rae, is a Canadian comedian, best known as the longtime artistic director of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival[1] and as a performer on the CBC Radio One comedy series The Debaters.

Lara Rae
BornAl Rae
1963 (age 59–60)
Glasgow, Scotland
OccupationComedian, television and radio writer
Notable worksLittle Mosque on the Prairie, The Debaters

She has also been a writer for radio and television, including on Blackfly,[2] Big Sound,[2] Little Mosque on the Prairie,[2] What a Week, Definitely Not the Opera[3] and Monsoon House.[4] She has been a three-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee and a Gemini Award nominee for her work on Little Mosque.[5]

Rae started as half of the Toronto-based comedy duo Al & George with George Westerholm.[6] After the duo broke up in 1993, Rae moved to Winnipeg and began working as a solo standup comedian.[7] She wrote the play How Do You Know When You're Done?, a fictionalized account of their creative tensions and breakup which premiered at the Tim Sims Playhouse in 1999,[8] and was a founder of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival in 2002.[7]

In 2013, while still known as Al and presenting as male, Rae came out as gay at age 49.[2] She came out as transgender in October 2015.[9] At the time of her announcement, she was working as an assistant director on a stage production of Christopher Marlowe's play Edward II in Winnipeg.[1] In November, she made her first on-stage appearance as a comedian since beginning her gender transition, as part of the Empow(HER)ment comedy show in Winnipeg.[7]

She is an instructor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Gender politics: Autobiographical show a step on Rae's journey". Winnipeg Free Press, October 1, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Funny man Al Rae on coming out at 49". Daily Xtra, August 19, 2014.
  3. ^ "Improvising success". Toronto Star, May 29, 1997.
  4. ^ "Winnipeg festival sends some comic relief our way". Regina Leader-Post, April 4, 2013.
  5. ^ "Small-screen stars descend upon Saskatchewan". Winnipeg Free Press, October 27, 2007.
  6. ^ "Take one funny guy, add a guitar, stir and..." Winnipeg Free Press, March 30, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c "A laughing matter". Winnipeg Free Press, November 26, 2015.
  8. ^ "When two comics is one comic too many: New show looks at nasty break-up of fictional comedy duo". Toronto Star, March 25, 1999.
  9. ^ "Becoming Lara: Winnipeg comedian Al Rae transitions to a woman". CBC News, October 1, 2015.
  10. ^ "Lara Rae, empowering others through comedy and cooking". University of Winnipeg. 8 March 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2021.