Sunnyside is back, and Sundays on City will never be the same. Sandwiched between American fare Bob’s Burgers and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the ribald sketch comedy series co-created by Gary Pearson and Dan Redican returns for smart and silly second half of Season 1.
Back for more hijinks are established characters like the trio of Meth Denise, Meth Kimmie and Meth Georgette, Shaytan the demonic barista, Molly the virgin and put-upon husband Graham alongside new creations like the Punching Priest (Rob Norman, who drills those who use the Lord’s name in vain and their cell phones in church with a boxing glove) and Dixon (played by Pat Thornton), who is tasked with buying tampons for his wife. It’s a job given many men, but there’s a twist to it in that strange place called Sunnyside: a war has broken out on the streets and Dixon dodges bullets on his way to the store.
“There is a war going on and nobody knows why,” Kathleen Phillips says with a laugh. The writer, actor and comedian who portrays memorable ladies like Denise, Molly and Carla, explains the bigger picture storylines for the remaining seven episodes include a volcano eruption, the Second Coming of Christ and the Rapture. Originally ordered for six episodes, Rogers greenlit an additional seven instalments, meaning Phillips, Thornton, Norman, Redican, Pearson and fellow cast Alice Moran, Kevin Vidal and Patrice Goodman headed back to Winnipeg. As Phillips explains, that meant returning to a familiar setting with established characters they could complement with new ones and plunge everyone into more outlandish scenarios.
“There’s never really a time when we say, ‘That’s too crazy,'” Phillips interjects. “If anything, we say, ‘That’s not big or weird enough.'” And while the cast may suss out who the characters are in the writers’ room, Phillips divulges the series’ hair, makeup and wardrobe team play an integral part in helping shape Sunnyside’s citizens.
“It informs everything,” she says. “Sometimes you see the script and you don’t know who the character is because you haven’t had time to sit down and figure out the nuances until you have the costume and the wig on and you’re walking to set. And then you have it.” Aside from Sunnyside, Phillips can be seen reprising her role of librarian Miss Terdie in Season 5 of Mr. D when it returns to CBC in January, and most Thursdays at Comedy Bar where she appears in the Laugh Sabbath comedy collective. Also on tap? She’s working on Filth City, a feature film from LaRue Entertainment headed to Super Channel in 2016, filming her own short film and appearances slated for the Guelph Comedy Festival on Oct. 3 and the Cream of Comedy’s 20th Anniversary show on Oct. 22.
Sunnyside airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on City.