CTV Comedy Channel and Just For Laughs are stepping into the ring together to bring Canadians the all-new original series, ROAST BATTLE CANADA. Based on the format from ViacomCBS International Studios Distribution, the eight, half-hour episode series builds on the success of Bell Media’s French-language version, ROAST BATTLE: LE GRAND DUEL, which is consistently a top-ranking series for Z. The English-language adaption, ROAST BATTLE CANADA, is produced in partnership with Just For Laughs and Counterfeit Pictures and will film later this year.
ROAST BATTLE CANADA sees two pairs of Canadian comics faceoff in each episode, hurling ruthless jokes at each other in hopes of coming out unscathed and crowned the victor by a distinguished panel of judges. Presiding over each episode are megastar comedian Russell Peters; writer, producer, actor, and all-around funny person, Sabrina Jalees (CAROL’S SECOND ACT); and Season 1 ROAST BATTLE semi-finalist, LETTERKENNY’s own K. Trevor Wilson. Actor and comedian Ennis Esmer, slated to appear in the upcoming CTV original series, CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING, serves as host.
Based on ROAST BATTLE, the U.S. television series created by comedians Jeff Ross and Brian Moses, the original format has also been adapted in Germany, Spain, Mexico, South Africa, and the UK. Each original airing of Bell Media’s successful French-language adaptation, ROAST BATTLE: LE GRAND DUEL has been the most-watched series of the broadcast season for Z.
ROAST BATTLE CANADA is produced by CTV Comedy, in association with Just For Laughs Television and Counterfeit Pictures. Bruce Hills is Executive Producer and also President, Just For Laughs. Anton Leo serves as Executive Producer, along with Dan Bennett and Shane Corkery of Counterfeit Pictures. Comedian Russell Peters also executive produces. The series was directed by Shelagh O’Brien.
Link: Letterkenny: The new face of Canadian Media
“I would go in (to the casting office in L.A.) and a man or woman would introduce themselves as the casting assistant. There wasn’t a camera in the room and they would say ‘We’re just going to have you do one of the five scenes of the 20 pages that we asked you to (memorize)’. No one in L.A. knew who I was and nobody gave a shit.” Continue reading.
CraveTV just announced that a brand new six-pack of its scrappy original comedy LETTERKENNY launches Christmas Day. More than just a break from chorin’, to be fair, this latest six-pack of the award-winning series was shot last summer in Sudbury. And while everyone’s waitin’, an all-new FERDA EDITION is available to stream on Friday, December 8, featuring exclusive audio commentary from the cast who dish on the making of the Winter season six-pack. And if that doesn’t stuff your holiday sacks, you can check out the upcoming season’s trailer here, buds. Created by and starring Jared Keeso, the award-winning half-hour comedy is produced by New Metric Media in partnership with DHX Media and Playfun Games.
This upcoming LETTERKENNY six-pack finds The Hicks holding court back at the produce stand, shootin’ the breeze in the spirit of (literal) harmony and MoDeans 2-getherness. Wayne (Jared Keeso) tries to forget his former sweetie, Rosie (Clark Backo), and Katy (Michelle Mylett) finally chooses between Hockey Players Reilly (Dylan Playfair) and Jonesy (Andrew Herr), leaving one half of the tight duo to lift solo. The Skids might still be on drugs and Christian leader Glen (series director, Jacob Tierney) is actin’ weird again.
LETTERKENNY revolves around the dustups Wayne and his buds get into with their small-town rivals. The Hicks, The Skids, and The Hockey Players get at each other about the most mundane things, often ending with someone getting their ass kicked. Key residents of LETTERKENNY are Daryl (Nathan Dales), Wayne’s free-spirited younger sister Katy (Mylett), and Wayne’s buddy, Dan (K Trevor Wilson) – all Hicks. CSA-nominated Daniel Petronijevic returns as Hick McMurray and Melanie Scrofano as doting Mrs. McMurray. Dylan Playfair and Andrew Herr reprise their roles as hotshot Hockey Players Jonesy and Reilly. Tyler Johnston and Evan Stern return as Skids Stewart and Roald. Lisa Codrington returns as lusty bartender, Gail, Mark Forward returns as the temperamental Coach of the Letterkenny Irish and Tiio Horn is back as badass leader of The Natives, Tanis. Keeso’s 19-2 co-star, Adrian Holmes, guest stars in this six-pack as MoDeans 2 bouncer Bradley. Cara Gee (Strange Empire) and Jade Willoughby are Tanis’ new rez rivals Shyla and Shania.
Based on the internet sensation Letterkenny Problems, the half-hour comedy is currently a top performer and marquee program for CraveTV since its memorable launch on Super Bowl Sunday in 2016. Season 1 of LETTERKENNY took home three 2017 Canadian Screen Awards for Best Comedy Series, Best Writing in a Comedy Program or Series, and Best Direction in a Comedy Program or Series. As well, series creator Jared Keeso and co-writer and director Jacob Tierney have been recognized with a Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award for TV Comedy.
Seasons 1 – 3, along with special episodes “Ferda Edition”, “The Haunting of MoDean’s II”, “St. Perfect’s Day,” and the original web series Letterkenny Problems are currently streaming on CraveTV. LETTERKENNY is also available on iTunes and Google Play. Season 1 of LETTERKENNY is currently available on DVD wherever DVDs are sold.
CraveTV recently announced a 40-plus episode production commitment and comprehensive multi-year with series producers New Metric Media. The deal also supports a 30-city LETTERKENNY LIVE! tour starring Keeso, Dales, Wilson, and Forward.
LETTERKENNY is produced by New Metric Media, in partnership with DHX Media and Playfun Games in association with Bell Media, with the participation of Canadian Media Fund, OMDC Tax Credits and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund and distributed by DHX Media. Jared Keeso is executive producer, co-writer, star, and creator, Jacob Tierney is executive producer, director, and co-writer and Mark Montefiore is executive producer for New Metric Media.
The world of Letterkenny is expanding in Season 3, and switching up the setting too. It’s the mark of a program that has got its base fully established and mixing things up to keep things interesting for those working on it and the fans.
With six new episodes of Letterkenny arriving Saturday, July 1, on CraveTV, the ludicrousness and hilarity continues in that small Ontario town of 5,000 where the Skids, Hockey Players and Hicks interact among their own groups and sometimes with each other. Summer on the farm at the produce stand (where nothing is ever sold, it seems) is swapped out for winter at a fishing shack. Wayne (Jared Keeso), Dan (K. Trevor Wilson) and Daryl (Nathan Dales) are decked out in bright snowmobile outfits and straddling roaring machines out in the brush, drinking and discussing hifalutin topics like when farts are allowed to be ripped. (Inside the fishing shack? Hard no.) Katy (Michelle Mylett), meanwhile, has returned home from a modelling gig accompanied by new male friends with major self-esteem issues.
As for Jonesy (Andrew Herr) and Reilly (Dylan Playfair), things are looking up for the hockey players, who have become a major hit with the fans and their coach (Mark Forward is back, thank goodness). Finally, the Skids—led by Stewart (Tyler Johnston)—are in disarray following the departure of a key member until a gal named Gae (Sarah Gadon) wanders into their midst.
Die-hard fans of Letterkenny will be thrilled the humour and catchphrases that make the series so darned good is still intact. Dan, in particular is a hoot, first in Episode 1 when he chides Wayne and Daryl for adding unnecessary eses to several words and at the beginning of Episode 3. The standout episode for me is the fourth, with a truly outrageous and gut-busting scenario involving some folks from Quebec who bear a striking resemblance to Wayne and his crew. (And as funny as Keeso and Jacob Tierney’s scripts are, I find myself laughing out loud at Keeso’s silent facial expressions as Wayne.)
Punches are thrown, beers are consumed, insults are thrown, the soundtrack is crunchy, innuendoes are suggested, butt talk is approached and farts are ripped. Oh Canada, Letterkenny is back.
Season 3 of Letterkenny is available on CraveTV this Saturday. Previous seasons are available on CraveTV.
It sounds like the type of thing that would happen in a Letterkenny storyline at Modean’s, but K. Trevor Wilson’s experience in a Montreal bathroom is fact. He scored a Jan. 4 booking on Jimmy Kimmel Live! moments after relieving himself.
“I was invited to be the Canadian participant in the Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle tournaments at Just for Laughs and went up against Tony Hinchcliffe and the judges were Seth Rogen and Jimmy Kimmel,” Wilson recalls. “After, I had a very good chat with Jimmy in the men’s room. I was leaving and he was coming in. I found myself locked in a conversation with a man who was peeing. Great chat, but always awkward when one of you has their penis in their hand.” The next day, he was contacted by the show and the ball started rolling on his late-night TV gig.
And while we’ll be tuning in on Jan. 4, it’s what’s happening on Dec. 25 that has us really pumped. That’s when the six Season 2 episodes of Letterkenny drop on CraveTV, spotlighting the hicks, skids and hockey players living in a small town where drinks are consumed, smokes are tossed, fights are brewing and chirping is an art form. In fact, the first two minutes of Episode 1, “A Fuss at the AG Hall,” are spent following Wayne (Jared Keeso) as he spouts insults into the camera while Daryl (Nathan Dales) rates them. (Check out the footage below.) Wilson reprises his role as “Squirrelly” Dan, an overall-wearing hick who has an interesting way of speaking. Adding an “s” to most of Dan’s dialogue was something Wilson came up with on his own, and series creator and co-writer Keeso insisted he keep doing.
“It was in there, in the writing, that Dan was in there with the other hicks,” Wilson says. “I wanted to do something that Jared and Nate weren’t already doing with their characters and something I noticed while touring small towns doing standup was there was always a guy who turned things into a plural and doesn’t quite know all of the pronunciation. Jared came up to me afterwards and said, ‘That’s what I want you to do. Keep messing up the words.'”
Season 2 of Letterkenny witnesses several characters at a crossroads in their lives. Wayne is looking for romance, head skid Stewart (Tyler Johnson) is dating Wayne’s sister, Katy (Michelle Mylett), putting him at odds with fellow skids Devon (Alexander De Jordy) and Roald (Evan Stern). Wilson says Wayne’s journey means the Dan and Daryl dynamic is explored and the pair get into some ridiculous situations. Meanwhile, hockey players Jonesy (Dylan Playfair) and Reilly (Andrew Herr) joined the senior hockey team and find themselves targetted for the sort of abuse they’re used to doling out.
McMurray (Dan Petronijevic) returns in a more expanded role in Season 2, accompanied by his wife, Mrs. McMurray (Melanie Scrofano); the pair go head-to-head with Wayne in Episode 1 over who should be in charge of Letterkenny’s agricultural society.
With Season 3 set to begin production in February, Wilson’s standup career means he’s been on the front line and experienced immediate feedback when he’s been approached by Letterkenny fans after standup gigs.
“Now people are trekking long distances to see the show because they’ve discovered me from Letterkenny,” he says. “I did a show in Ottawa and a family drove in from New Brunswick. They were going to drive in to see the capital and the guy from Letterkenny do standup.”
Season 2 of Letterkenny debuts Sunday, Dec. 25, on CraveTV.