Tag Archives: Spun Out

CraveTV’s first original stand-up special, Darcy Michael goes to Church, begins streaming March 9

From a media release:

Hilariously irreverent homegrown comedy star Darcy Michael headlines a sermon where no topic, including gay parenting and casual drug use, is too taboo in CraveTV’s first commission of original stand-up comedy, DARCY MICHAEL GOES TO CHURCH. The one-hour special, developed in partnership with Just For Laughs, begins streaming on Friday, March 9 and joins CraveTV’s popular Stand-Up Comedy Collection.

As was announced last September, CraveTV, Just For Laughs, and Counterfeit Pictures have partnered to create three original stand-up specials showcasing some of Canada’s funniest comedy talents. Darcy Michael, Debra DiGiovanni, and Graham Chittenden hit the stage at Toronto’s Berkeley Church during last fall’s JFL42 Festival to tape the one-hour specials which mark CraveTV’s debut original stand-up specials.

An engaging presence on the Canadian comedy scene for over 10 years, Darcy Michael has 10 national televised comedy galas under his belt, and appeared opposite Dave Foley on the CTV comedy series SPUN OUT. A two-time Canadian Comedy Award-nominee, Darcy has also appeared on The Comedy Network’s MATCH GAME and CBC Radio’s The Debaters.

Following DARCY MICHAEL GOES TO CHURCH, DEBRA DIGIOVANNI: HERE’S THE THING streams in April and features the original cat lady and master of fast-talking comedy as she explains her love of otters, male models, and TV shows about murder, GRAHAM CHITTENDEN: RELUCTANT ADULT follows in May and showcases Chittenden as he hilariously laments the responsibilities of adult life.

DARCY MICHAEL GOES TO CHURCH, DEBRA DIGIOVANNI: HERE’S THE THING, and GRAHAM CHITTENDEN: RELUCTANT ADULT are co-produced by Just For Laughs Television and Counterfeit Pictures, in association with Bell Media’s CraveTV. Executive producers are Bruce Hills from Just For Laughs, as well as Dan Bennett, Shane Corkery, and Anton Leo from Counterfeit Pictures. The specials are directed by Shelagh O’Brien.




Spun Out lands high card with Jennifer Tilly

It takes a lot to get Jennifer Tilly away from the poker table. A love for the game turned into a full-on obsession after meeting her boyfriend—professional poker player Phil Laak—and tournaments fill her calendar, leaving little time to act.

Unless an old friend like Dave Foley comes calling.

“I have a lot of things going on in my life and my agents asked about this, assuming I’d say no, and I went, ‘Dave Foley! I want to see him again!'” Tilly appears in Tuesday’s new episode of Spun Out—”The Secret of My Ex-Wife’s Success”—as Maggie Felgate, one of Dave Lyons’ exes. As Tilly tells it, Maggie and Dave are still carrying a bit of a torch for each other … until Maggie poaches one of Dave’s clients to start her own PR firm.

Tilly says the allure of reuniting with Foley and the chance to visit her sister, Meg, in Toronto were both big reasons for her to agree to the role, as well as the writing. At this point in her career, she reveals, a role has to be interesting, fun, creatively fulfilling or all three to grab her attention.

“If someone had told me back when I was obsessed with acting that I’d be obsessed with poker, I have thought they were crazy,” she says with a laugh. Tilly has made a career out of signing on to interesting projects, whether it be voice work on Family Guy and The Simpsons, crime thriller Bound, cop drama Hill Street Blues or playing the girlfriend to a murderous doll in Bride of Chucky. But the malevolent child’s toy is no match for the truly scary stuff Tilly sees in Hollywood.

“A lot of Hollywood people are trying to play younger and get all shot up with Botox and have this and that done,” she says with a twinge of sadness. “I don’t want to be one of those people with the huge Botox vein.”

“I was watching a movie recently and this woman looked like she hadn’t aged in 20 years. And she started to cry. I could tell she was crying because the tears were rolling down her face, but her hairline was just twitching a little bit. It was the most horrifying thing I ever saw.”

Spun Out airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.


Interview: Spun Out’s Dave Foley angles for Orphan Black role

Orphan Black is a critical darling with die-hard fans who love every twist, turn and clone the writers throw onto the small screen. Why am I mentioning this in a story about Dave Foley and Season 2 of Spun Out? Because Foley is a major fan of OB … so much so he busted onto the set to meet its leading lady.

“I love Orphan Black. I think it’s fantastic,” Foley told TV, eh? during a set visit last year. “I’d love to be a guest star. I went over there and barged into their set to say hi to Tatiana Maslany. I hoped that if I stood around long enough that somebody would say, ‘Hey, you’d be pretty good. We already killed Frewer, we’ve got room for another old comedian.'”

The veteran member of The Kids in the Hall—who continue their reunion tour later this year—had plenty to say about the difficulties of making comedy for the small screen, upcoming guest star Jennifer Tilly (who’s been a friend of Foley’s since The Wrong Guy) and his love of Doctor Who.

How involved have you been in the writing on Spun Out in Season 2?
Dave Foley: I have been involved off and on as I’ve been needed as an extra hand. It’s part of what I’ve been doing for 30 years, so it’s a skill that I can bring to the show and help out whenever I can.

Jennifer Tilly is guest-starring in an episode as your ex-wife. What can you tell me about her character?
Jennifer plays an ex-wife that I’m still very fond of and she’s decided to start a rival PR company and I give her advice on how to do that. And she immediately turns around and poaches a huge client from DLPR. Dave has to go out and assert his dominance as a professional.

You’ve known Jennifer for a long time. You co-starred in The Wrong Guy in 1997.
It feels like only yesterday. I really like that movie and I was really proud of it. It was a lot of fun working with Jen on it and we’ve been friends ever since. People still come up to me and quote me lines from it. I know it was a bit of a cult movie with comedy writers in L.A. even before we made it because the script was travelling around town.

That was the first movie I ever saw Colm Feore in.
Really? His best work, really. He hadn’t done anything before and has gone back to doing nothing since then. [Laughs.]

Did you come to the table with any creative ideas for Season 2 of Spun Out?
No, God no. I let them do that. I don’t like to think too far ahead on character or anything like that. Give me some situations and some things to play with. Everyone on this show is so good, I don’t need to tell them anything. I’d rather sit back and listen.

Many people have said that making comedy is difficult. Where do you stand on that?
I don’t know if it’s more difficult. I think it’s just easier to see it when it’s bad. You really know when you’re watching bad comedy because you’re not laughing. When you’re watching bad drama, you can think ‘Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I’m not getting it.’ You have to reflect on whether it was bad or not. In comedy, you know it in your gut as soon as you hear it.

Do you watch a lot of TV?
I watch a lot of hockey and a lot of science programming and science fiction.

What science fiction do you watch?
I love Orphan Black. I think it’s fantastic. I’d love to be a guest star. I went over there and barged into their set to say hi to Tatiana Maslany. I hoped that if I stood around long enough that somebody would say, ‘Hey, you’d be pretty good. We already killed Frewer, we’ve got room for another old comedian.’

I love Doctor Who, The Strain.

What do you think of Peter Capaldi as The Doctor?
I love him. For me, he’s a bit of a return to the older show … Tom Baker, Jon Pertwee … where it wasn’t being sexy and quirky. I love the sexy and quirky Doctors and thought they brought a youthful energy, but the Doctor is supposed to be anything, so it’s good to have a Doctor that’s a little bit older. Maybe the next Doctor will be one of colour or a woman. That’s the magic of the character.

Spun Out airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.


Interview: Spun Out’s Paul Campbell on Season 2 and beyond

Paul Campbell hates feeling like the lazy dude among his friends. That’s why the Vancouver native, while chatting about Season 2 of Spun Out last November, had several other projects on the go. (One of those projects, Beyond Repair, came to fruition.) At the time we spoke, Campbell was in the middle of shooting Spun Out and reflected on the changes behind the scenes at CTV’s original comedy, including dropping the live audience.

What was your initial reaction when you found out Season 2 would be shot without a live audience?
Paul Campbell: Initially, I was super bummed. I didn’t really know what it would mean for the show. The Friday night live shows were such a unique experience. The reason I thought we were doing multi-cam was to get to that live show. But a friend of mine [Cobie Smulders] was on How I Met Your Mother for years and that’s how they shot that. I did go and hang out on set and saw how they did it, so in the back of my mind I thought, ‘Well, other shows do this, so there must be a reason.’

To be honest, I prefer shooting without the audience. There is much more freedom in the sense that we have the opportunity to really hone each joke. With the audience, I always felt like we couldn’t explore the laughs because they’d already heard the joke a few times. Now we can do a sixth or seventh pass on them. In that sense, the exploration is a bigger part of it than it was.

Let’s talk about Beckett. There was an on-again, off-again with Stephanie. Does that evolve in Season 2?
Absolutely. The relationship has always been fairly one-sided and there was a conversation early in Season 1 where Beckett copped to having some kind of feeling for her, but she established that she didn’t do work relationships, so that was it. In the final episode of the season he almost acted on his feelings.

For Season 2 that flame hasn’t gone away and over the course of the season they’re both dating different people but Stephanie begins to realize she can’t ignore the feelings she has for him and that comes to a head. What’s so fun is that you have this incredibly loaded relationship that has so much subtext. And that’s fun for the audience.

What was it like working with Russell Peters, when he played Nelson’s brother?
He brought his Russell Peters swagger to the set. He knows his comedy very well and brought something very different to the DLPR world. It’s great to have people come on to the show that know comedy and can bring their own character or enhance the character that was written.

Have you got some projects on the go that you’ll be writing and producing?
I’ve got several projects on the go right now and I’m hoping to be pitching them in the next few weeks. Things that could be on the air in Canada or the U.S. The development process is such a long process that to start now for something four years down the road makes complete sense. I’m so inspired by the creative community in Toronto, and when you see your friends doing their own stuff it’s really inspiring. You feel like the slacker if you’re not doing that.

Spun Out airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.


Preview: Spun Out’s second season formula works

Spun Out is barely into its second season—No. 2 goes tonight on CTV—so it’s a little hard (and perhaps unfair) to envision where the series is going for its sophomore season. But after snagging a preview of tonight’s new episode, I can say I’m impressed with how things are shaking out so far.

As showrunner Jeff Biederman told Anthony Marco during the latest TV, Eh, B Cs podcast, the writing is tighter this time around. The performances are better too, something that happens when writers and producers have a season to figure out what their cast’s strengths and weaknesses are. This year, Rebecca Dalton’s Stephanie is smarter and given more responsibility by Dave; in Tuesday’s “Under the Influencer,” she runs a focus group in a local bar to gauge reaction to a new beer/vodka mixed drink. Sure Stephanie makes some mistakes, but it’s nice to see her take the reins on something for DLPR. It should be said that Dalton has got a gift for physical comedy … at least I hope that’s what made her club dancing so darned awful.

This is the second week in a row that Bryce and Gordon have been paired up in storyline, and I’m digging it. The duo were keep separate in Season 1, but putting the weird characters together has made for some great comedic moments. Barb Hayne’s script involved Bryce becoming obsessed with Internet polls and videos—the fake quiz titles actually sounded real to me—and Gordon and Dave teaming for an impromptu intervention to get their co-worker offline. The trio worked really well together and I’m hoping they get more screen time this season.

For me, the weak spot so far is the relationship between Nelson and Beckett. The two don’t come off as the longtime friends they’re supposed to be. It may be that neither character is particularly smooth or confident, but their conversations always come off stilted and devoid of the chemistry and rapport friends share. The result? The scenes in tonight’s episode are awkward and in some cases a little cringeworthy.

But, like I said, looking at the broad strokes Spun Out has definitely made strides. The laughs are more natural (still hating the laugh track) and there’s a nice little groove happening. Last week’s first episode attracted around 400,000 viewers, not at all bad for a summer sitcom that was announced it was returning just days before it did.

Spun Out airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.