Tag Archives: Crave

Crave packs in the laughs with four new original stand-up specials for 2020

From a media release:

Crave is laughing its way through the coldest months of the year, one hilarious hour at a time! Marking Crave’s largest order ever for stand-up comedy specials in one year, four all-new, one-hour specials are set to join the service beginning Friday, February 14 with AISHA BROWN: THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN EVER.

Additional specials rolling out on Crave over the next three months include: THE EL-SALOMONS: MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE (March); GRAHAM KAY: STUPID JOKES (April); and TOM HENRY: 66 JOKES (May).

Filmed in front of a live audience during the 2019 Just for Laughs Festival in Montréal, the new specials expand Crave’s existing collection of Crave Original stand-up specials featuring Canadian comics like Mark Forward, Graham Chittenden, Debra DiGiovanni, and more.

This new batch of specials builds on Crave’s ongoing partnership with Just For Laughs, which also includes the Just for Laughs Collection. With more than 80 titles, the collection features some of the best comics to have graced the JFL stage, and includes specials like Trevor Noah @ JFL, HOWIE MANDEL’S 5TH ANNUAL ALL-STAR COMEDY GALA, JEFF DUNHAM @ JFL, and more.

AISHA BROWN: THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN EVER
No one, and nothing, is off-limits for comedian Aisha Brown, as she takes on her boyfriend’s penis, racism, clinical depression, and Donald Trump, in this hilarious one-hour comedy special.

Aisha Brown is a Toronto-based stand-up comedian, writer, actress, and extremely casual satirical rapper. She recorded her third televised set at the Just For Laughs festival in 2018, and was a featured performer on Kevin Hart’s LOL Network and the ALL ACCESS special, which aired on The Comedy Network (now CTV Comedy) in 2016. Brown has also written for BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW, THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES, and more. She’s also been a featured performer on THE BEAVERTON and BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW, as well as a writer-performer for CBC Radio’s The Debaters, Because News, and Day 6. Along with two other comedians, Brown was featured in the 2017 TVO documentary STAND-UP TORONTO, about up and coming POC comics in the GTA. In 2016 she was named one of The Torontoist’s “Local Ladies Who Make Us Laugh,” and won “Female Breakout Comic of the Year” at the I Heart Jokes Awards. Brown has recorded two albums with Toronto based comedy hip-hop collective, Runnin’ at The Mouth for Comedy Records.

THE EL-SALOMONS: MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE
Quick-witted comedy duo Jess Salomon and Eman El-Husseini hilariously take on today’s politics from their perspectives as a Jewish and Palestinian same-sex married couple. From peace in the Middle East, Donald Trump, marriage, and Eman’s reckless driving, this one-hour comedy special is sure to leave you in stitches.

The El-Salomons take the motto ‘make love not war’ very personally. Jess Salomon and Eman El-Husseini met and fell in love at a comedy club in Montréal nearly a decade ago when a friend of theirs suggested, “you two broads should kiss.” Jess is Jewish and Eman is Palestinian (basically enemies); one is a Taurus and one is a Leo (ENEMIES!!), but they somehow make it work. It’s probably the hummus. Salomon has appeared on THE TONIGHT SHOW and El-Husseini has opened for Patton Oswalt, and now based in New York, the accomplished comedians have been performing as a duo. From the prestigious Just for Laughs Festival in Montréal, to San Francisco Sketch Fest, to the Boston Women in Comedy Festival, and even to the Arctic, they have been making people laugh, spreading love, and trying not to get a divorce. The El-Salomons have been featured on NowThis and PBS NEWS HOUR, as well as in Curve Magazine, The Huffington Post, and The Washington Post.

GRAHAM KAY: STUPID JOKES
Graham Kay brings his observational humour and sarcastic charm to Just For Laughs, where he takes on everyday topics from surviving a breakup in NYC to tracing-paper pornography in this hilarious one-hour stand-up comedy special.

Graham Kay won the coveted Just for Laughs 2015 Homegrown Comic Competition and was runner-up at the 2016 Seattle International Comedy Competition. He was also nominated for Best Male Stand Up at the 2016 Canadian Comedy Awards. Kay has hosted the popular Sirius satellite radio show and podcast, The Sport Brahs, featured on CBC-TV’s Halifax Comedy Festival special, and the iChannel’s No Kidding. He was a regular on Much’s VIDEO ON TRIAL and wrote for the popular CTV sitcom SPUN OUT, starring comedy legend Dave Foley. Kay’s performances at the 2014 and 2015 Just For Laughs Festival were featured on The Comedy Network. In 2018 Kay made his film debut in Broken Lizard’s Super Troopers 2 and most recently performed on THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT.

TOM HENRY: 66 JOKES
From vegan cupcakes to tap dancing, comedian Tom Henry brings his hysterical brand of understated observational humour to Just For Laughs in this one-hour, 66 joke-filled stand-up special.

Toronto-based comedian Tom Henry has appeared on The Comedy Network and at festivals such as Just For Laughs, San Francisco Sketchfest, and Bridgetown Comedy Festival. He has opened for comics such as Tim Meadows, Nikki Glaser, and Todd Barry, and has been a regular on Andy Kindler’s Alternative Show. Kindler also chose him as “The Next Big Thing in 2017” stating “Tom Henry is a comic who you could say he’s a little bit like Mitch Hedberg, a little bit Steven Wright, but he’s in a category by himself.” He was also named one of LA Riot Fest’s “Comics to Watch” in 2017 and was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award for “Best Stand-Up Newcomer” in 2012. Last year his debut album, Tom Henry Kills reached number one on the iTunes comedy charts.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Links: New Eden, Season 1

From Morgan Mullin of The Coast:

Link: New Eden, who dis?
In a year where their actions keep making us ask “why are men?”; As we keep sharing clickbait stories about women’s-only villages with the caption “where do I sign up?”—we need New Eden. The eight-episode series, streaming on Crave TV starting January 1, is a true crime mockumentary about a women’s-only cult in late-1970s BC. Continue reading.

From Cole Schisler of the Ladysmith Chronicle:

Link: Ladysmith’s Kayla Lorette to release new series on Crave New Year’s Day
“Evany and I knew we wanted to put a show together, so we talked about our mutual love of the true crime genre… and then we’ve always been a bit obsessed with cults. We started from there, but then we were questioning – what if there’s not the traditional male cult leader at the centre of it, what if it’s these two women? Then it just grew from there.” Continue reading.

From Norman Wilner of Now Toronto:

Link: Crave’s New Eden explores why women are drawn to true crime
With any luck, 25 years from now people will be arguing over whether the events depicted in Kayla Lorette and Evany Rosen’s New Eden are real. Continue reading.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Crave’s New Eden turns true crime on its head

Some of my favourite films are Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries. It started with This is Spinal Tap and continued with Best in Show and A Mighty Wind. They hilariously skewer, respectively, the life of a rock band in decline, dog shows and folk music festivals.

So, I love Crave’s newest original series, New Eden.

Created by, written and starring Kayla Lorette and Evany Rosen, the eight-part first season—dropping Wednesday on Crave—takes the mickey out of true-crime documentaries. Spanning the 1970s, 80s and 90s, New Eden tracks the beginning and end of a feminist utopia based out of small-town B.C. Though Katherine Wryfield (Lorette) and Grace Lee (Rosen) have good intentions for the group of ladies they assemble, the community quickly devolves into drug-addled, alien-goddess worshipping chaos and murder.

We spoke to Lorette and Rosen about the series’ creation, assembling the cast and showrunning.

If someone tunes in and don’t understand, they’re going to think that this is real. Well done.
Kayla Lorette:  That was our goal. That’s great.

Evany Rosen:  We’ll trick everyone.

This wasn’t the first pitch that you took to Carrie Mudd at Peacock Entertainment. This was something that came up after having a conversation with her. Is that true?
KL: We were doing this live improv show called Network Notes, where we played two network executives with bad opinions, but a lot of power. That was how we got in with Carrie. Evany had a working relationship with her, but in talking it through we were like, ‘This is maybe an impossible show, maybe a bad idea and too inside baseball.’ That left us to put our heads together and come up with this, which is honestly a much better idea.

Was this an idea that the two of you were kicking around as a result of speaking to Carrie or you both already true crime fans?
ER: Oh, we were both already true crime fans, longstanding. As Kayla said, I had worked with Carrie on a couple of other shows and then she said, ‘Do you have anything you want to pitch right now?’ We started just chatting about what kind of narratives interested us and I guess what was the most terrifically ambitious idea we could possibly have, and New Eden was born.

Kayla, why did you decide to present it straight?
KL: We’ve seen people do true crime send-ups previously, but within those structures, we found that often the stakes were quite low and played for high. We were interested in building a show that was funny but also had extremely high stakes. You know, the bodies are real as the violence is real. And, also, we just really wanted to send up the true crime genre as well as we could and as accurately as we could. We didn’t want to poke fun at the genre itself, we wanted to play within the balance of the genre because we love it. I wanted to make sure we were showing up for them and doing our job to build a tight true crime story and a tight documentary.

Evany, you have co-stars like Nikki Duval, Melody Johnson and David Ingram involved. People I automatically think of as being comedic, but New Eden is surprisingly dark. Was that the goal from the very beginning?
ER: Yeah. In our writing process we started by building out, but quite seriously what we thought was a pretty airtight true-crime narrative. Always trusting because of our comedy backgrounds that the comedy would really come from character and the absurdity would come from how these characters reacted to this kind of absurd situation they found themselves in. So yeah, we really wanted to find a balance of extreme comedy but also a pretty intense relationship with the centre of the story and some really dramatic moments.

How did the writing on New Eden work? Does one of you do a draft, pass it over to the other one and work on it? 
KL: It was an ever-changing process as we figured out. On top of it being the first time we’ve written a project together, we were breaking kind of a new style itself. We had to figure out a style to articulate a documentary, so we were writing an edit, we were writing in picture inserts and things, we had to develop our own style. That was a whole thing of like, ‘OK, when it’s italicized this is a flashback and when it’s this, it’s this.’

We would spend hours and hours and hours world-building. We just would talk about it nonstop. That was the first step, which involved what we call a voluntary work trip to Ottawa, so we’d be forced to work. Then we had a writer’s room to help us break story and punch things up, but I mean I would take turns taking scripts back and forth. Evany’s such a brilliant structure line, so she would get into her lizard mind space, as I like call it, and do these beautiful, beautiful structural pieces. Then we pass back some dialogue and punching up and it’s ever-evolving as different challenges came up episode to episode, cause they’re all quite different as well.

You’ve got this huge cast of characters, how did you go about picking who you want to be part of the show? Was it people that you worked with before?
KL: Yeah, it was a big mix. We were really ambitious with the numbers because we want our world to feel really full. We come from such a wonderful, diverse and rich community of comedians that we were able to cast a lot from our own community. And the show itself is kind of a love letter to the Toronto comedy community as it is right now, and that we’re very proud of.

And then beyond that, we had a great casting process and met new people that walked into the room and we were like, ‘Well that’s the character.’

What kind of showrunners do you find yourselves being after this experience? 
KL: Oh my goodness, we learned so much. I think overall, I would say the kind of showrunners that we strove to be and I think we are on the other end of that is just collaborators. The collaboration was so essential to us. And again, that seems like something that people would just say, but we really mean it. Our creative team, everyone that kind of came in and bought into the thing and were a part of our team and a part of our world, that trust and that collaboration just enhanced everything and it was amazing. The people that we got to work with, our creative team is just jaw-dropping.

ER: The collaborative practice between us was a given, but we really tried to lead with that example and lean on each other and let our harmonious working relationship and our years of collaboration trickle down and be the standard for how we wanted to work and how we wanted people to work together.

KL: Evany challenges me to be better and vice versa, I hope, but we wanted that across the board for all our teams to be like, ‘We’ve worked this hard, we’ve thought about this this hard, we want you to buy in and have the space to show your best work.’ And everyone always just striving for the best and the best of the best and questioning like, ‘Is this enough? Can we push this further?’ And I think we did that and I feel very proud. We’re both very tired now.

ER: Yeah, we’re both tired, but we’re fortunate.

Season 1 of New Eden debuts Wednesday on Crave.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Chloe Wilde takes viewers on a life-changing journey in Crave’s Healthy is Hot

From a media release:

This new year, TV personality, fitness guru, and nature lover Chloe Wilde (ETALK) takes viewers on a life-changing journey for the mind, body, and soul in the brand-new Crave Original Series HEALTHY IS HOT. From Bell Media Studios, all six episodes are available Friday, Jan. 10, only on Crave.

Developed from Wilde’s highly successful blog, podcast, and Instagram of the same name, HEALTHY IS HOT is set to inspire new resolutions, endless possibilities, and exciting opportunities for healthier and happier living as viewers settle into 2020.

The series showcases Wilde’s journey– from Vancouver Island, B.C. to Ottawa and Toronto – as she tackles fears, indulges in new foods, gives back to charity, and more. Each episode is dedicated to learning and practicing different elements that promote personal growth and make up a healthy lifestyle, while providing an open and supportive discussion about difficult subjects like the importance of mental health and the real effects of climate change. HEALTHY IS HOT is produced by Bell Media Studios. Michelle Crespi is Executive Producer, Bell Media Studios.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Unbelievable true-crime story about Canada’s all-female cult, New Eden, drops January 1 on Crave

From a media release:

In 1991, two Canadian filmmakers uncovered the gripping story of Katherine Wryfield and Grace Lee’s drug-addled, alien-goddess worshipping, all-female cult, New Eden. Now, decades after their story faded to black, Crave “revisits” the infamous cult and its founders in the eight-part Crave Original Series NEW EDEN, dropping New Year’s Day, it was confirmed today.

Based in Halworth, BC, the New Eden cult, and the infamous 1980s trial that put its founders behind bars, dominated the Canadian news cycle of the day. Originally directed by two LA-based filmmakers named Travis Meeks and Jake Dermay, the docuseries was televised by Broadcast Network Television (BNT) as NEW EDEN: WHEN WOMEN SIN.

The original docuseries premiere was one of the largest in BNT history, but just as the story of New Eden disappeared from Canadians’ collective memories, the BNT docuseries literally faded as well, never to be broadcast again. Decades later, with true-crime fascination at an all-time high, Crave has uncovered the original broadcast tapes from the now-defunct BNT and restored them to their former glory. After months of restorative work, the original series is presented to Canadian viewers once more as it was seen in 1991. A teaser trailer for Crave’s NEW EDEN is available HERE.

NEW EDEN transports viewers back in time to 1991, as cult founders Grace and Katherine prepare for their release after serving eight years in federal prison. Having gone from true-crime sensations, to national jokes, to largely forgotten altogether, they are persuaded to talk on-camera by a pair of unassuming documentarians seeking to tell their story. The series traces Grace and Katherine’s attempt to start a large-scale feminist utopia in the 70s; the sensational 80s murder trial that landed the founders in prison; and finally their decline and seeming rehabilitation behind bars.

Featuring astounding undercover footage captured on the New Eden compound, news footage, and interviews with those closest to the events, NEW EDEN is the shocking tale about an ill-advised plan executed by two overwhelmed women that quickly spirals into a darker narrative of murder, betrayal, and manipulation.

About WHEN WOMEN SIN
Travis Meeks and Jake Dermay met as UCLA film grads in 1987. Inspired by Errol Morris’ boldly unconventional Thin Blue Line in 1989, Meeks and Dermay began searching for a true crime subject worthy of their own self-proclaimed “shock doc” style.

Produced and co-financed by Magnus Meeks, Travis’ father, NEW EDEN: WHEN WOMEN SIN was originally intended to be a film, but got expanded into a docuseries when BNT stepped in as partners in early 1991. Released later that year, the series was as shocking as it was unprecedented. According to Meeks, the piece was about revealing the intricacies of female friendship and crime through the lens of “our inevitable ‘male gaze.’”

While Meeks-Dermay Films continued to collaborate following the original release of the series, none of their later projects achieved the infamy or impact of WHEN WOMEN SIN, and both men have since faded into obscurity. Until now.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail