Durand was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, the son of Reina (née Perreault) and Serge Durand. He is of French-Canadian descent. Durand was an ice hockey player in his youth and initially displayed an interest towards becoming a rapper.  He also discovered a penchant for stand-up comedy for which he was named one of "Canada's Funniest New Comedians" in 1994. According to an interview with radio and television personality George Stroumboulopoulos, a play that had been touring in his hometown coerced Durand to audition and allegedly made him realise "where he belonged. " At the age of 20, Durand moved to Hollywood.