TORONTO -- By some coincidence, several formative moments in Nick Kroll's life have occurred in Canada.

Well, some were more legitimately formative than others.

"It's so weird," agreed the New York comedian during a whisk through the Toronto International Film Festival. "When I grew up, I remember I went to the SkyDome in the early '90s when it was brand new with my dad. And it was my first time in Toronto.

"I was looking to see if I could see anyone having sex in the hotel -- just to see if anybody left their shades open. And I just fell in love with Canada ever since."

Really, though, the first major onstage breakthrough in Kroll's life happened at Montreal's Just For Laughs, when "seven to eight" years ago Kroll's performance there earned him his first agent and manager.

When he went back in 2013, he was awarded breakout star of the year. And now Kroll -- the deadpan comic actor best known for appearances in "The League," "Parks and Recreation" and, most notably, his own "Kroll Show" -- is making the transition into leading-man territory in Toronto, where he debuted his sharply observed dramedy "Adult Beginners."

The film casts Kroll as Jake, a self-obsessed tech entrepreneur whose entire career and all personal relationships are obliterated at once on the eve of his product's launch. Left with nothing, he slinks back to his hometown to crash with his pregnant sister (Rose Byrne) and brother-in-law (Bobby Cannavale), before reluctantly agreeing to look after their three-year-old son.

Kroll co-wrote the script with Liz Flahive and Jeff Cox, parents who were going through a similar situation to Byrne and Cannavale in the film, and he produced the movie (along with indie heavyweights Mark and Jay Duplass). Ross Katz, twice an Oscar nominee as a producer, made his directorial debut.

The 36-year-old Kroll is new to feature films, and seemed amused by elements of the process.

"I was doing press all day with Rose, Bobby and Joel (McHale)," Kroll said of his co-stars. "And I was like, 'Oh, they let a little troll go out with the three movie stars.' 'Oh, he created the movie? OK. That's how he did it."'

He's poked relentless fun at the accents of the region with his "Wheels Ontario" sketches on "Kroll Show," an obvious poke at "Degrassi."

But he says he wasn't the source of that idea.

"My writers, some of them are just obsessed with Canada," he explained. "I didn't have a wild obsession with Canada and they loved 'Degrassi,' so we started writing to it, and it just felt like a very fruitful idea.

"And also, separately ... I think Canadian audiences are very smart and funny. They both like to laugh at silly stuff and also have -- this is where I will sound pandering -- the Canadian sensibility is more informed and also more interested in something like 'Kroll Show.'

"It's a very warm, cool place."