Tag Archives: Comedy

Links: Corner Gas Animated, Season 1

From Sabrina Furminger of the Vancouver Courier:

Link: Corner Gas gets animated
When CTV approached Brent Butt and his partners about bringing Corner Gas back to the small screen, the Vancouver comedian was admittedly leery. Continue reading.

From Bill Brioux of the Canadian Press:

Link: ‘A Sasquatch and a unicorn fight’: Brett Butt talks animated ‘Corner Gas’ reboot
Revivals are taking over television schedules, a trend sure to continue with the smash hit start of Roseanne. But can one of Canada’s most popular sitcoms find success revived as an animated series? Continue reading.

From Dana Gee of the Vancouver Sun:

Link: Corner Gas crew is back and they’re animated
For each of its six seasons CTV’s Corner Gas was Canada’s top sitcom.

In 2014, that success translated into a feature film. Now, four years later, there is indeed a lot going on as the franchise has once again expanded. This time the gang from Dog River, Sask., are starring in an animated version of the show. Continue reading.

From Sabrina Furminger of the Vancouver Courier:

Link: An animated return to ‘Corner Gas’
Corner Gas is back, but the town of Dog River and its eccentric inhabitants look a little different than the last time we saw them – dare we say (at the risk of veering into pun territory), they look a tad more animated.

The comedy juggernaut (which ran for six seasons on CTV and seemingly bid adieu with a wildly successful movie in 2014) returns to television on April 2 with Corner Gas Animated –and as the title suggests, it serves up a cartoon take on the zany characters Canadians love and their trademark shenanigans. Continue reading.

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Less Than Kind’s Kim Coghill on her WGC Award

Kim Coghill WGC pic 2013

Last week the Writers Guild of Canada handed out their screenwriting awards, including the TV Comedy award to Kim Coghill for the “Jerk Chicken” episode of Less Than Kind. TV, eh?‘s Rachel Langer quizzed her on the award, the episode and lessons learned.

What does the WGC Award win mean to you? 

I’m honoured that my fellow writers have judged me not only funny enough, but also strong enough to lift this award, which I believe weighs 175 pounds. Because a lighter award wouldn’t mean nearly as much. I mean, you could actually kill someone with this thing. I’m not saying anyone did. Or would. Or thought about it. I’m just saying you could. It’s just a fact. Facts aren’t illegal.

What was it like to be nominated alongside your then-fiance, now-husband Denis McGrath (Congrats!) and the showrunner of LTK, Mark McKinney? Did that change the experience of winning for you? 

I was thrilled to be nominated, but not really sure how they’d take it when I won. Denis seems fine so far – he cries, but mostly at night. Mark sends hate mail scrawled on old Slings & Arrows scripts, but that’s cool too, because it’s kinda like being threatened by Shakespeare, which is pretty flattering… So, um, I think they’re fine with it.

Tell us about your episode of Less Than Kind, and what the best and worst parts of writing it were? 

In this episode, Sheldon, the awkward teenaged son, tries to turn himself into one of the “jocks,” best friend Miriam tries being a coquette, and pal Danny wonders why everyone’s turning into someone else. It all spirals out of control when Sheldon throws a jock party, and Danny and Miriam crash with a vengeance.

Worst part: reliving my adolescence.

Best part: reliving my adolescence through these incredibly complex and funny characters, especially with a show set in my hometown of Winnipeg.

If you had to share the award with one other person, who would it be and why? 

Just one? All the other writers on LTK, rolled into one enormous aggregate individual containing tiny pieces of each person’s funniest bits. And if I couldn’t do that, I’d share it with my new husband, because he already has one, so now we have matching bookends.

If you could pick one lesson from working on LTK to bring with you to your next writing room, what would it be?

That “comedy” and “drama” aren’t opposites; a show doesn’t have to be one or the other. Good comedy is most powerful when it plays out against real emotions – anger, sadness, fear – because that’s how we experience humour in real life.

Also, when you need a cheap laugh, there’s nothing like the word “boogers.”

Speaking of your next project, could you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on now? 

I’m writing a couple of new pilots that are in that ‘comedy-with-drama’ vein.

If you could step into the writers room on any past Canadian Comedy, what would it be, and why? 
My smart-ass side would pick Made in Canada, because it was so wonderfully snarky. But my playful side would pick SCTV – I adored those characters, ever since I was a kid. There’s nothing like watching a great character, written and performed with love.

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Denis McGrath on his WGC Screenwriting Award Nomination for Less Than Kind

DenisMcGrathThis year’s Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award winners will be announced on April 22. We’ve been catching up with many of the writers nominated in the comedy and drama categories. Denis McGrath was nominated for his episode of Less Than Kind, “Danger, Wrestling.”

Can you describe the episode “Danger, Wrestling” and how it fit into the Less Than Kind season?

It’s actually part of the “lost” 3rd season. As most people know, our beloved Sam Blecher, the great Maury Chaykin, passed away while we were writing Season 3. I wrote the first draft of “Danger, Wrestling” with a B-Plot featuring Sam. That had to be rewritten by the room eventually — and by that point I was on another show.  I went with my draft, which had some elegiac stuff with Sam that obviously, we weren’t able to use.

Other than that there’s fun stuff of Josh auditioning talent for his acting school — and Sheldon discovers the joys of wrestling.

What was the biggest triumph in this particular episode?

Well there’s two answers to that. Obviously for the show, the fact that they rallied and got the whole season made as a tribute to Maury and wound up with a beautiful exploration of how a family moves through grief — that’s so much greater than any individual contribution, and a testimony to the talent of Mark McKinney, the creators Marvin (Kaye) & Chris (Sheasgreen), and the team they put together.

But personally? I don’t write a lot of comedy … I’m mostly a drama writer. When I was considering whether to enter the script — I have to thank Karen Hill for that — I reread it for the first time in two years and really laughed. There’s  a wonderful subplot about Sam tracing the ups and downs of a piece of stock — and him coming to terms with selling it (for the same amount he bought it for 30 years ago) — but it’s really about him coming to terms with feeling his sons will be okay without him. I’d like to think that my strength as a drama writer is a light touch, and as a comedy writer, I go for the big cry. That’s a little messed up, isn’t it?

What does this recognition mean to you?

So much. I love LTK. It’s employed some of my best friends. Working on the show brought my fiancee and I together. I came from a family that yelled, with love … so I recognize those characters. I’ve had an incredibly lucky career and after winning a WGC Award for writing a drama show, it’s humbling and exciting to get nominated for comedy. And it’s a recognition by my writer peers, and that is incredibly important to me.

If there is one Canadian show that is no longer on the air that you could see honoured at this year’s awards, what would it be? (If you have a specific episode, even better).   

For the love of God, why has CBC not done a Street Legal reunion/reboot movie? I miss Chuck and Olivia. I can’t be alone on that one. But the truth is — they ALL should be honoured. From Wojeck to DaVinci to Intelligence to the first 30 years of Citytv we have made, and continued to make, wonderful TV in Canada. I think it’s sad that we only note that when the New York Times or some American publication says so.

There are such strong nominees this year. So many great scripts. I am so jazzed to be among that talent. Maybe I can make a go of this writing thing.

Less Than Kind is entering into its fourth and final season on The Movie Network/Movie Central in 2013. 

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