« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 791 - Eugene Levy

2017-03-05 | 🔗
Eugene Levy brings more than five decades of comedy history from north of the border into the garage. He tells Marc about his early days as a college student in Canada hanging out with Martin Short, Ivan Reitman, and Catherine O'Hara, performing in a fabled production of Godspell in Toronto with an all-star lineup of comedy stars, and joining the Second City theater, which paved the way for SCTV. Eugene also explains what goes into co-writing Christopher Guest's largely improvised films.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
All right. Let's do this, how are you what the butter is, what the fuck bodies, what the buccaneers, what the fuck in it, what the fuck upon missus someone sent me that one how's it going a mark marin. This is my show if it sounds different it's because I'm not in the garage. Does it sound? Ok, I think it sounds better is adjusted a knob, better in my head. Did you notice the knob adjustment? Well, where am I Am I hidden away? Am I am I am I in a bunker somewhere? Did I split? Am I fucking out? Am I off the grid kinda? I kinda am I'm in canada, I'm in canada for two nights, and I gotta be honest. Yeah, you know- and I say this with a heavy heart, but I feel fuckin relieved man
here two days and I feel relieve I'll talk about just was in portsmouth new Hampshire, richfield, connecticut, great shows I'll. Tell you about him in a second, but there's something going on this month that you're probably going to hear about whenever you listen podcast this month. March and I feel like I should I should die. Let you know why should bring you the loop, and it's not just this one industry wide initiative going on right now called tripod, and the goal is to enlist you, the loyal, podcast listeners, to get other people. You know listening to pod, that's right! This is a we're on a mission. This be pod, missionaries and others might shock you, but some people still don't get podcast. It's still a mystery to them. My father, for instance, who I doubt has even listen to of the interview I did with Barack Obama. I don't know how what he says to his friends or people. He knows who bring it up to him but
I'm pretty sure he hasn't. I'm not sure he's listen to one fucking podcast, my dad but obvious. We were getting into a different issue right right now, pretty much every topic as users taking the time this month to encourage listeners to get the word out. Tell a friend or a family member about your favorite pie. cast tell them anyway, you want, and if you do it on social media used the hashtag. Try by tee are why pod right and thanks for spreading the word you were just doing a little will push for the medium for the medium of power. casting so yeah I'm in this very pleasant hotel and Montreal, oh by the way, eugene levy, speaking of canada, is on the show today from s heavy and from many movies from many things you ve seen from all the christopher guess, films the the very funny and corky guy's been along time? Eugene levy
in order that their ass, he tv history and it's odd that I'm doing the intro in candidate that was not planned. It just happened that I flew in me and singer ryan singer on the road he's he's with me. So we fluent new york on Wednesday rented a car drove up to richfield. It was the ridge field play how and it was, it would seem like an old school brendan, my producer Mcdonald menace up there. He drove up from new york was a pretty great show, was a pretty sweet, shows a pact hotel room, but the interesting thing about it was after the show on backstage- and the woman who runs the place. She comes up to me and she says: hey mark, there's a couple of guys. That said, they went on a teen tour with you did. Does that ring a bell and a mike? Fuck yeah ring the bell. If it's too guy, they took all my money on that bus play poker with me. I'd like to see him, it's we I went on a barren teen tour when I was
gotta know how old I was. Maybe fourteen- and these were tours and most of them came out of at long island. It was it was. It was like an alternative to camp. You just get on a bus with, like thirty or forty other kids, and he start to really look forward to the places that he actually sleep in a hotel, but I was on a bus for like a month or so. With these guys these kids is. There was a lot of us and I was surprised at the memories that I had, because I I've been around a long time and I've been a lot of places, but why the? Why was it so stuck in my head know this particular trip. I get this teen tour well tell you why As for some reason on that teen tour, I I I got sucked into a compulsive gambling habit. I was like fourteen fifteen year old and there were these kids from long island.
I know who they were Craig MIKE and we would just play fucking carts all the time on the bus and I lost a lot of money. I lost all the money that I had yeah for the trip, and I had to wire my aunt, so my parents would know. for more money which I lost to these fucking card shark sees these hussars. These young I don't know what professional gamblers from long island- and it was embedded in my memory, and I remember a lot of guys, a member few people from that team tour so She said they're here and, unlike our, I bring em back because I need. I need to settle a score and sure enough in walks and we're when our fifties now craig an end and their wives, and, unlike
I know you man, I know you Craig. I know you Andy now ended in play cards, but craig dead, and I said you gotta be straight with me yeah. I know it's surprise. I remember by fuckin. Remember because I think you cheat, me out of a lot of money now, just tell me right now was that a rigged game? I got right in his face. and he told me no you're just a shitty card player, which is true. And actually remains true, but it was sort of fascinating to see these guys. It's always fascinating. To see people I mean what has it been thirty, five, thirty six years, thirty five years ago that some pictures of the team tore it excites me whenever I see people that I knew for any amount of time that I remember and there still alive and their ok and are doing. Well. That's that's! That's who I am that's all united, no resentment. I would if he said he had stolen the money I wouldn't have cared, but he didn't shitty card player. I'm going to have to accept that right, I'm going to have to accept that that's
wade is so. We had a great show great shown, richfield richfield, playhouse, very enjoyable, It's nice and in Brendan he went back to new york and then ryan and I the next day drove up by three hours or so got jacked on Duncan on its coffee, I ate a few doughnuts fuck it fuck it. I'm taking the pills I can do. What I want now is not the right thing is now a groan. Aging man. What's rightly high cholesterol puts things into perspective. I it healthy and just really managing or are part of me being be like well every once in a while. Why not just go to fucking town, I'm taking the pills right right. With a little. I don't know when this shit's can end right. There, our guy engage with so and we drove up to portsmouth new Hampshire this way, skype is very familiar to me running that that drive from new york to boston connecticut in I did one nighters all throughout this area. All my life, you know when I was not all my life and I was starting out doing calmly, so it was
familiar and it's very winter. It's very crisp. It's very clear. All the trees are our action, at their leaves and there's a there's, an intensity to it. There's a There is a certain a certain quality to the light into the air in the winter. In new england, it was all coming back all the feelings of the confused in all that anger. All the knowing of being in college starting comedy of of of setting to do what I want to do in the panic of cigarette smoking, coffee in my shitty vw, w golf running around to unknown little townships to play. One nighters in pubs and bars and grills you it all. Just came back, but there's a is a beautiful nest How do you know is the world around us gets chaotic and dark. Sometimes nostalgia is the only thing that can float your heart above the fuckin, surface it buoys air, sir? It's not just sinking like it stuck to a fucking anvil. We got to ports
in its little coastal town. I think I've probably been there. I feel like I've done a gig there. I don't know I don't remember but allow it very familiar and we might Buddy Jimmy. My jimmy medicine, Portsmouth, now Jimmy just quit his government job pray the last job I was working in the state department for flying around the world on the plane, with the senator carry secretary of state john carry, it was exciting to get you know the deeper the deep understanding of how actually the government works in all its new wants ways, but nonetheless jimmy go way back. We go back to college and was great seen him. We did that show last night at the the music. Ah, what a great, then you been there since eighteen, hundreds great crowd, but we had Joe and Jim said. Why do we always gonna fly me right? the fly to montreal. We can drive back to boston fire, page
we said: let's drive it, so we drove up here through that fucking beautiful winter. Chris bear a few few snow squalls. Is that what they're called squalls? It was great, and I I again bringing it full circle here. I gotta be honest with you. I we got in here. We got through customs and adjust physically and mentally. I felt a relief to do not be afraid of the country I'm in, and that is so fucked up and sad, and I'm only here for two days, not like I'm living here, but I did feel a tangible sort of like alright, the you know, whatever, whatever the psychic vibe culturally that's going on,
my country is not here and I'm going to enjoy it. I'm going to meditate for a couple of days in this I'm going to take it in I'm going to fuckin relax for a couple of days, that. Ok, that are, I will you guys next week, I'll be there st musical and new haven march tenth troy savings bank music hall march, eleventh enjoy new york flynn centre march. Twelve in burlington vermont. That's next weekend. You, you wanna, hear me talkin to her to eugene levy, I was really camera is always an honour to meet these cats. You know specially these older, the s you tv people like I got it. I still gotta get them. I have not got, and I've got a few kids. Now I've got a couple ctv people? I don't have any money python. I gotta do that to let's enter the world of back in the garage
and that is my conversation with eugene levy is currently in the show shits creek, which is now in its third season. You can watch it wednesdays on pop ivvy. Although our canadian listeners are scoffing because they've already been. Watching it on the sea bc appear in Canada, where I am I desired me and MR levy, the If you look very well put together, MR whoever do you know, it is define sleeveless water vest I own a wii wii. I assumed you got it online. I didn't even know they made them anymore. I I don't shop online. My way to go. My son keeps telling me why don't I shop online, I said I dunno it's just kind of a drag to send stuff back, but I think I'm going to start doing that yeah. Do you like going to the store
No, I don't I'm not really. If I had a guy, don't like shopping right, I like looking, I don't like trying on yes stuff, Is it all? It makes me feel bad about myself when I really I do find it exhausting exhausting and and pants is joe- is like a just a pain it nearly ass, yeah yeah, because you think you're a certain size and then you're not. I gotta go with that yeah then and then, and then it doesn't go up and then you're thinking. Why do I need jeans? Why why Do we, the house? Why don't I do we lay down? I don't I address how you feeling about the things you feeling funny. In general, I never never feel funny accept take a sip of water and let it remain valid. Fourthly, run down my face just to get me a funny,
Ah there it is probable that latvia no funny funny yeah, I'm I'm not I'm not really a guides, the biggest enigma, about. Maybe I'm not a stand up and never done stand arrived just I I went into improv theatre, korea. If I'm gonna go down, I want take some people. Women criteria have the protection. Yes, I'm not I'm not done by just go up there and blown at all my right outright pick up where you after I get toto as I want some collateral damage will, with the outward You come from you grubbing canada, wait out to say like that. Yes, I mean I could have me. I knew that so I generally would have just to said. Where did you grow up, but I chose to assert the information that there was something about canada. The way you set it on your face that looked like it was. I grew up in in other words bracket you're kidding may now now
absolutely not. I've had a lot of important canadians in this graph and important show business. Canadians. I've had them I talked to monti hall at his house while and he's from winnipeg lorn green. Was he in writing de I missed warren green? I didn't get the opportunity I did talk. The lorn michael's has also been yeah I've been right when I talk to went to school with Ivan. So what part of cabotage, up it explain. I grew up and Hamilton ontario canada, which is about forty miles southwest of toronto, also is like us. above the city in a way it well, it's not a suburb of toronto. I don't think hamilton indians would. I lie to hear you say dawning alienate any canadians am I have now they're Hamilton was it was kind of e the pittsburgh of the north? It was gonna steal, tam, o really, yes, as it still nicknamed the ambitious city. Okay, so it sort of light
I pittsburgh to get analogy. The lot of steel companies going on in the fifties and and Sixtys and then no they're gone here now should we not not unlike america that day after is gone. What is the have you been back to I used to go back to visit to family. Effective He'll do I have some awesome, anson uncles now it's one uncle. I had uncles, that lived to be ninety nine, that's encouraging! I just visited my aunt in San francisco over the weekend, who is ninety seven wow and powerful jeanne. The baby brother is ninety four heard aid, Yeah reality still got here that's good, yeah? That is, that is good a few other aunts and uncles well under there these, but anyway, the trips to hamilton are getting kind of fewer and fewer and also have family back there, but why
something like that happens in hamilton. Is it like here I mean: does the economy collapse as their despair when it like this steel leaves? There's despair generally, I think no hamilton's lovely city, but it did go through a tough time. Writing seventies, cities. You know it's just the plants closed. A steel closed malls opened up I'd of hamilton, which took all the business out of the city drained and drained it kind of yad went through a major depression. Where did about back? Did it? Is it? Ok, it hip hamilton is, is a bouncing back in a major way. Oh get yeah yeah, no, a a lot of gentrification happening and caf yes and lot lot of great thing happening, is still home of the hamilton tiger cats- oh yeah, yeah hockey, I know
market no shot did it needs not, but it actually is a guess. It's a good guess, because you know cause oriented amateur, exactly hockey would be the may. I thought I was gonna nail. It now hamilton tiger cats. What are they? friend, french aeroflot football. Do ok all right. They used to be part of a nine member canadian football league too, of the nine teams called the rough riders Are cats were, as my friend Jeff that is to say the arrows ridiculous name for a tammy's is ever heard like calling its aim. The monkey but but that's that amazon proud to be a hamilton, but it was your family in the in the steel manufacturing business. No, no, no, know what you're old. I am do not remotely my my dad worked in asia in a car plant and was a kind of a fortune in the in the plant, grew up
basically doing a lot of physical? yet Reimer vernon's align? He was a workin guy and your mom Can guy and my mom was a housewife in our just managed to do you know the kids I have. I have an older brother have a younger sister, how they do so she other doing well. I just saw my sister on the weekend in san francisco and my my brothers back in toronto. Anyone in show business well. Well, my brother is a producer on our television show sheets, creek, shits, greek, library of a guy. I created that when my son, You don't really shits greek as a father, son operation, yeah yeah. Indeed, both right on it. Still we we, I was writing with him, the honest. I was in the writing room the first year when we started the show till I realized he can do. He can just right but now he saw you
they may, while my oars in writing room here, trying to crack story, but so he's right, he's running the show now and we and its and is doing a great job and you working with catherine. herr catherine I'll heterogeneous yeah, she's she's she's, pretty damn good. We ve been working together. Just for you know, on screen like how many years, forty while you're, what he is it forty air ets raising their? She started she was. We met, I think, even before second city opened a nineteen. Seventy three in toronto, the production of god spell in toronto, and I were easily added at that mythic production. It was a pretty good whether you like it was martin short hair was martin. Yeah was mild, our regular martin, also from hamilton maria short meridian. I went, ds went to school together as well yeah
So where are they only to kind of hamel tony and you went to high school together? No, no. We met at mcmasters anniversary, but I knew of Marty in high school, because marty for a period of time was dating my sister, so I knew I've heard I heard l of the name- marty short through my sister back in ice cool really yet when she was in high school, but I did meat marty really until mcmasters universities or what his mc master? What like what? What is that college is it? You know it's funny, because I will not that funny, but it's a mcmaster is just to get a basically was a college started by you know some baptists back in the whatever was twenties thirty's, something. and major really an engineering. When I was there, I was kind of a big thing. There was no drama course. There is no film course. There was no none, nothing pertaining to the arts. Really it was all come extra regular. I dont know what an engineering degree in tat enable someone to do what
and then you can know you'd like build a bridge. Okay. Well, that's that's important! Yet you can build a bridge yeah. With all fact you would have a rosy future now with all the infrastructure work. Yes, I go home and downloading ion. Yes, can all going to happen in this country, but it was all your correctly all the drama, the film you know, that's where I met Ivan Ivan rang the running the film, the film club at mcmasters, but he was Eric liked. So there were literally was no art. Yet you met these people that went on to become a tremendous contributors to two comedy and hard to edge. Idiotic, as we could do wicked, just make movies and nobody's telling you what to do. You just take a camera. The way you want it, it's not like a class or your passing her failing you who is in I urge that. How did that? Well, Ivan was took it over. You know in nineteen sixty six when I got there yet and when he got there it was gone an underground dish, kind of film club right
but it was about making films not arouse watching now is about making fail Ivan took over. He actually form the, I've into a money, making venture a really He told me you have film right and he had horror, film lights hates, whereas here people would charge you could pay money and you'd have on all night film festival where films would be bicycles around two or three theatres and right there drawing on all night, but not these are. These are mainstream movies that he would show for money, mainstream movies ratio for money, okay and then he also started the day he organized the making of the movies by having a you would have to submit an idea for a film in the bet. Top five ideas got chosen, that's how mine got chosen and that's that's when I first,
at island. We all made our own movie your movie. When I my first movie, I made two movies. My first one was called garbage and- and I worked a garbage for two three summers: yeah up in animals. And what does that mean? You worked garbage. It means you kind of stood on the back of a metal truck in one hundred and ten degree heat and the humidity of an august hamilton summer and dumped garbage at your feet and then packed it down so that you got seven tons of garbage into a truck into a truck, and then you go to the dublin unloaded then go back and do it all over for you. What will your white we used to call garbage man? Ah, yes, a garbage man, yes or sanitary engineers that I'll write you went to engineer. That's right, so we so what was the the film garbage about
well, it was a very complicated story. Basically it was it. It involved, saying: students writing an exam thinking of what they wanna write down as an answer and then coming to a bunch of garbage coming out the back of a garbage struck being dumped onto the dough. That was the task of the theme of it was because water people still may not quite know what it's about school was gonna garbage right. Yeah, yeah that was so. That was a four and a half minute movie, no sound, and then I made the first talkie. Oh, good for you and I'm glad you brought out here. You broke the audio, the first sound and eyes sound tat. We ooh? That was a that's amazing. I had no idea that I was talking to somebody had that big, a place and film history well divergent argue and a nation. Yes weird because a lot be by think think one the jazz or something right. There was one of the first
well. That was that that talkies scored a bit more publicity rather than yeah? What is it, what was yours called jack and jill, interesting yeah yeah. I know it was based on the palm. It was based although I used the poem here at the end as a surprise. Oh good air, but it was. I was about a bunch of emotionally disturbed, people with comedy. No, although it did turn out to be it, it's you shouted serious time, yeah, I'll jack and geo. That is not meant to be funny. That's right! This was a warehouse. Twenty I worry I was about twenty, so this was a butt It was a serious bel air was I see yes, a serious film that turned out to be kind of an image, my that spread pretty much a story of my career I'd, go into audition for movies, for serious movies and end up getting laughs at the audition it. So you became that guy. Who had to learn that he was funny at long
after everyone else, he has never got the part, but good comic relief for the casting paypal but their budgets. Jill of them now says with it, so as to what is its early seventies and its serious film in what was it about? It was about a guy in a home for emotionally disturbed adults who had had a crush on one of the girls in the home and made up a story about hit the romance between him and the girl we actually saw his story at the end of the movie, you find out that this story that you think is a real story, is he's writing, still read he's actually in this palm and then the other people come in. while he's writing it and they take the paper that he's writing and they look at it in its as jack and jill and they'll make fun of them, and then they recite jack and jill
to him to like together, I get out more magically, turns and screams and a camera stop here. That's it! That's it. While now that was it, Sure that was an eighteen minutes feature here. Do you have this the time is available on youtube. Well, I there is. Is there there is a story which I will not go into here, but but I did look for year yet and find these movies. You know you're not yet they were left him in mastering than I moved and went on with your life and years later, I said you I'd love to try and get a hold of them. With that? I made their guard regional railways yoga. Nobody knew near anybody going to my master, they didn't know anything about. The film boarded cease to be the everything it stop. We don't know where the things are. People look for them. Lay there
no idea couple of years ago, not even that I had my cousin who now works at my master said she she heard that there was somebody running a film night at at in hamilton, where there are showing make master movies, and I went woe. Well then, give me the name of this guy and cause. I want to get a hold of him to find out how we get a hold of the movies, and I did they. We got hold your movie. He got hold of all the movies I've movies. My moving one was this. This is this year and then I yeah and I got a hold of the guy and, and he and I said how do I get a hoisted all? Send you the link and not only that he personally went through and cleaned restored, digitally restored the first talkie, the movies yeah yeah there's no that's as are now I have now. I have them so like watching them again,
it's pretty amazing. He as you're just seeing a whole chunk of your life, really because the people in the movies are friends, yeah people you went to school with, and so it's it's just it's. You know it's like, for you know time, travel already. Fifty years never quite happen. Oh, my god, you and are you in that movie? Are you did you play them now now just erected eroded, just stood just directed and wrote them and provide the voice, I think in one one of the movies one of the voices, act Ivan and I voice dissection of garbage yeah, because we didn't have think sounds so we had to kind of sea to people talking and then we we created dialogue that so it looks like it. The movie and trying to fit it yet so how go from there like how so that that began your relationship with Ivan
I was a good and Ivan to be honest, is the one person responsible for, but I would say me being in the business because when when, when he left to do his first feature in toronto, when he my master he left a year before I did so. I- and I wasn't doing that. Well because I was doing a lot of drama was doing a lot of film. You know were involved in the film board and work on the paper and I loved it, never went to class where'd. You do drama that make master. they have to do, I get it at a club, ok with a good director of drama who was brought in from toronto I and and and so we we actually did a lot of plays yeah. You know, but the result there was no course right. Mostly serious place. Mostly series If wanted to be serious as well, you know was the sixties, so it was a lot of lot of those plays where you're crawling crawling on the floor and creating human pyramids yeah things like that screaming yeah, ass, you anything but yet acting brake S. Group leaders, third group there.
Her like a what was it like air, her group, theatre of cruel theatre of cruelty. Well, out of the area, the of polish lab theatre and the latest sixties, yet a huge influence So that's what I was doing and it so. I really was bombing out of of academical, and realized I had to get a job, so I knew Ivan was intranet starting his first movie. I called and say I venom unfailing my arm unreal gone under here, but I think I'm needed job yeah think school. Over visa sweden? nay said. Nor now I never finished I left school I wouldn't be able to pass anyway arise so far behind and he said well boy. If you to call me a week ago, I gotta got your job and props. I gotta gotcha job and Zenos painting the arab thing, but every job he's gone. I there's a mean coffee boys
late. John right, I said great I'll, take it. He said now. I can't give it here. I said I'll take it. He said I can't give it you. It's really not a real job at all. It only pay sixty bugs awake, and I came to embarrassing Have you the job right? So I said please give me the job, so that was my first and then Ivan second movie that a door was at first move. It was called foxy, lady movie, nobody's ever seen since the day. It was my fault. You tell me about that. Were you in it too, and I was a coffee boy, on movie and then at the end he gave me a cameo good at the because he knew I did a lot of work in the master. A lot of acting were right, comedy and indeed sir, I was funny Oh on a second movie cannibal girls and where he was thinking of doing he said you want to be in the movie. Do you want to be in the movie star the movie, and you can our with Andrea Martin And- and I said great, did you know her I met her on foxy lady, I observed her coffee. Yes,
and so I met andrea foxy lady and then we did cannibal girls pop your movie together. It won some award in spain. I woke best horror comedy recently what's the idea as I was at a good movie? No not remotely it was. It was mostly improvised and not well she's in Gaza had of mcmasters extracurricular club. Is clubs comes this sort of like tour de force of canadian comedy in a way that first wave there. Well, yeah I mean Ivan, came out of their marty short myself, Dave Thomas doug handing them mission sure I remember him of that show we did on broadway the magic via the magic show. I think I saw smiles alot
Can a hippie, azure marty, Marty short used to do other drivers or nation of illicit magic is illusion and illusion is magical and it is a good character. So before I see tv was was the production of what was a god spell that the first thing they brought him together? What had I kind of happened? Ill aid? They just came to town auditioned, and I- and I were I- auditioned for Marty. What still writing. His finals and mc master Marty was in social work at mcmasters university. and I called him to say, Marty you should come in and on an audition for the shout we as its its aggressive musical show it's like big, big new york productivity already doing stuff. Like that marty, my master he right of yes, he was acting. In fact, I directed marty in a musical admin master called been which was an original musical. That was
by my roommate bob sandler here and a great musician intranet. Tony Cosmic did the music, the idea, and so we we put it on their so marty was performing, but again like everybody like me and everybody else that was doing at you never thought about doing it professional sure it never occurred to me once while I was doing all these plays and my master that wouldn't be nice to do his professional here, you didn't become an actor, he became act is what really it was just something you're, just gonna having fun with just having fun with, and we have already like. Could you see the marty we see now in the Marty, then what I hear you say that the same same oppression, The main amazingly good impression was doing that then near same voice same things are. You told me, I just forgot spell athens, so he can
in an audition. Then, of course we both end up making the final. The final Joe, and who s who were like you have, as it were: amazing casper. I wasn't killed every day and Marty geller guilder, Radner andrey Martin, victor garber, through garboils a fur was our musical director, so that was a big show, but like it to me like when I talk Ivan about it as well, that that seem to be the fur like it. It felt like something professional and something was happening and that these these talents at that all went on do other things and that you went on to work with that seem to be the first place, a kind of happened that that actually was our first taste of show business, our first professional show and meeting some really amazingly talented, p bull and then you know, right out of god, spell seconds city opened up when we were really lucky the time it
in toronto. At that time. Right, as you know, gods bell was a major part. she's coming in from new york right, great can city was the great improvisational company that decided that Bernie sullens who ran the code, the owned company, only theatre decided to open up the theater and trot out because they had played drano in the mid sixties and got em amazing reviews right. So we just happened to be there in Tirana. One second city came to open up a toronto theatre, the first franchise first franchise and we got where I met John candy and dan accurate in but ah canadians, right yeah, so where, where they come in from me. You had never met them before so second city opens and everybody wants to be part of it, like people who were performed comedy want to be part of it yeah, and what was that I'm of it. How did it work how'd you get him. Was it at a working?
What situation are you? He had to audition yoga what you had to audition and you know five of exercise called five through the door. Five characters you he'd have to create character and they give you a situation like it's a complaint department at a department store so somebody's the person working for the department store. I you got in for a complaint and then you do your complaint. You go through the door, come back again different character, complaining right and then another another character, and then you would go through some improvisations and they made a they made a choice. They cast it and they cast. Who is in charge of a second city there like I like, I don't know. I know somebody history I mean, I think I talk to Shelly berman about that as players, and then that became second city but like who, who did they send up as the eyes who knew what they were doing well, Bernie and Del del Claudia, close Corsica came up del close, would come up and
Bernie would also come up and work and be involved in D. Things. Georgia was, but he wasn't. You know he wasn't so much director. He had Arnie as he I was just he owned it here. Right, Adele was there. That's a young del close adele was Adele was pretty amazing. Is an amazing character? The council, like would you learn from that guy? Well, he well you learned kind of how basically through second city. This is the great thing about second city for a for us yo who were lucky enough to get in it is it's a great comedy school? You know it. Just the shows were intelligent, they were bright, they were really they, but really smart and they were all improvise mother, while the shows where improvised and then you holland, the improvisation you're down
a second city show. Is I mean you go and see the actual show, but every scene in the show was created through improvisation, ryan honed. Yet of the point where we now have a solid piece right. So then you put all these pieces, other! You do your show and then, at the end of the show, you go out and take suggestions from audience and you take fifteen minutes. You go back talk about em. How are we going to do it here and then you come out and improvise the pieces and how many people, like while five sixty or seven people sure in a caste and over time pieces that you improvise when it comes time to stir. in your next show seven six. Seven, eight months down the line, you take the improvisations that You were doing that seemed like they were successful and you go back and try and recreate those improvisations ah Annie honing those down and they become the scenes for the next june and how added down like what was dell's like process,
He just knew what he was doing. It's hard to do. Do you know dell was, let's you know, yeah, that's the job done right to all that said, fuck at its you know yeah, but we all ride cats out of the bag. You're fired. We were there structures that were like cause. I know that dell had some some some exercise. In an and things rather was great. He was great at what he did a great improvisational teacher. Yet, guru issue. Here, was there for years, and he was a guy that also had a lot of personal problems and addiction, the things and in time he was there, a system that you do. That and from him did what you learn about improvising from him,
you know you learn here that thing about we learn from from Dallas so early second city, because a really was a hallmark of of the company at its it was created, was just you know, always perform at the top of your intelligence level, which is something you don't think you need to hear. But you do I mean it's me. It's a bit. It's amazing! When you hear it, you go. Oh, I get it because, even if you're doing something cheap via play, it smart, If you're a cheap character play, it played smart right so dark over these. You laugh it don't over an easy life right. Just just me, get smart make the laugh through our if europe, if you're, you fear, if europe creating a character whatever make the laugh, come out of the character but make it worse, you know, don't don't just dont show just thrown away and right step over the line right so never think you're smarter than your audience and ryan. So those guidelines
that we anybody and second city, as goes on to use for the rest of your career. Basically, so at first crew. It was a it was you and Ackroyd? an candy, the first company in toronto was it was at a different theatre ryan that was yes, Dan accrued valerie brom field, a great a very funny writer performer, a couple of law, well people Joe flared, o brian Doyle, Murray brother here, and that was the company and then it closed because it didn't have a liquor. Licensing. People just got tired of having crepes and co, so they closure had only stayed open about six months and then it was reopened the old fire hall in toronto, and that's where I was john, yes, John and and and may in Joe, wherein that company, when John gun hired the John candy gun hired for second city, they sent him down to chicago. That's a good
they thought he was del wanna John candy in chicago in the company with bill murray ha and that was already going, though, is already down there. It was in the company, yes, and they were John Jago one of the image of god, knows using about john when you, when you first Madame waikiki, resist it was just yeah, I mean he. It was funny kind of you now have a very cute adorable face here, John Wasn't that heavy, Initially back then here you know he was kind of plumping right. Nevertheless, it was ok to do first joke shirt of gatt daddy, I was the guy leading the charge right. That's he ate. It was almost seems like a that the model of its we're when He looked at these sketch truths that these improv troops at their later created. All you guys that there seems to be. Type. You know that there is a committee, Adela archie element to it that people fall into
roll, like you know, like this sort of bombastic slightly heavy guy, is sort of thematic. threw out, you know all these groups here they like it seems I pollution Candy were kind of the beginning of it, and they are you get this legacy of that. Maybe I'm just romanticizing at her mythology using it. But because I see all you guys is like these arc types of of what is now like a sketch. mickey and every everybody comes at a improv now you know in the end there was a while there were withstand a heavy and now it's all about those models that were created. Second city, that now sort of guide show business that's the yeah, although that's true, I think us on our really still kind of their stole a lot of stand up. That gets you sure. Going and ass. An owl still come out of vienna although they they have been coming out of the committee or bs, see beer, the lampoon, whom regret
Back in the day, the committee is not. That was a long time ago, right, yeah, that's that's! Our show get started intranet because, because s an when they started nineteen, seventy five yeah, really the two groups: second city and national mps right an bernie sullens who ran seconds eddie, saying boy were I've worked, we're gonna. Have our people just draining right out of seconds going right into ass, an l we at whew. Let's, let's stop this hear me out. We maybe we should have our own, show me in canada and well in it so happened, it was in. We started and I realize I guess, the the most of us jobs and Joe and myself were in canada doing seconds. Eddie theater and Marty marty came in later so. The idea was to to counter as an owl and create a show their tails onto talent, yeah
Why should Saturday night live be taking all of our second city talent? Why don't we have our own show where second city can funnel in writing gothic, national lampoon felt that way too, like I've heard story that you know it was just that all format was just pilfered by learn from from lampoon and just drained that out. Well, conspiracy, theory, funny. Well, you know it's because ma am you know Ivan. I I was I was with Ivan when we first saw the national anthem touring show with abolishing with their baluchi and Harold ryan us and bill bill, elder, yeah and all, and it was a real, funny, show and yellow out there, and you saw in Canada g saddened year. They came up to tron, implied a club in toronto and then Ivan back and talk to you know the cast. We all dead yet great show great. Oh great. Your next thing you know Ivan is good, is working
a deal with mary summons to create a permanent club in new york. So this group can play for permanent laddie from national anthem, that's right! That's right! Right! which is amazing when you think what mattie summons owned and why would he need and Ivan right? And yet he did Ivan, was a visa when into partnership of matter, and then out of that of course came the whole house right end. In the rear, yeah yeah, so all right, so guys so who it's burning, identity secondary first seconds, atv lcd yeah, and how does at the house let our down the well we got together. We just said we got together with del was involved, Harold rhamnus myself, Joe Dave thomas visa, and we got a brain stormed. The idea of a television network ma We could do tell tv parity right
and make it like a programming day right That was the was the idea with the behind the scenes and the bit behind the scenes. We wanted a story line running through the show, and I, honestly remember whose idea that was it could have been Bernice YA or it could have been. Harold But anyway, that was it so that that story line through the show created a What was really the contact thing: air our shoulders cause. Instead of just being a series of sketches, we had a story line where we needed some characters who worked at the station to carry some of these storyline he's right, like Johnny Ola rodya john candies year after year, and who is more, was fired, he's characterising the owner, the still die, cavalier, was I
came out of an improv, an improvisation on the floor and in front of the camera? Ah, harold ryan as one of the smartest funniest guys here that I have ever met. May he rest in peace, was doing ass. It was doing a character called more grain on earth. In the first season of our show he was the station business manager. He heard them you're here and, a kind of a weasel guy, and he did a show called bowling four dollars here and he would take calls on his bowling four dollars and we woods in the first season improvise. A lot of these things said Joe got on the on the phone with hair. On camera, saying who might talking to and he says grain, as is your boss, guy caballero. You could see Harold laugh cameron right because it's a play on gay cavalier
anyway, and so that kid that's where their character started in an improv and then he be he became the the boss of the station. So, the whole idea which made it different from snl and in a way that was probably more easy to refill. Was you had this whole umbrella, which was the network, so you could just that was in place. So it was just a matter of of korea character sat arising, existing people in moving them through this network day yeah. It was a great format, roar for Joe for for a kind of poking fun at dead tv news programme amazon dramas and comedies and sitcoms, ever I remember having to watch it like. He was in on here. Until later, leggy was was aimed at one o clock or something right in that was but that was as it was happening, because when I was in in a teenager I would watch it, but that was it wasn't like we were watching it after this, like he was two had run it. I can't remember what you well what what years were united
only six, ok, seventy six. Seventy seven we were, we were doing half or seventy eight was still half hour we got syndicated, our second years. Indication company pick us up and descend syndicated our show- and I think forty U s. Right am I say when I was watching it waited now It came on like a year after essen, l, roars or maybe was friday night. I can't member, but I think was after us and I think a clock gag right and then there are those of us who were kids officer like this is down thing. You know I do
at it's own following, and it was clearly different. It was different, it was when python came on the same python and I was like wow that is as foreign as weird I've never seen anything like it yeah exactly. I remember seeing like Martin do robin and you know, and then the whole backdrop of all these other characters, the weird. What was that I haven't costello bit? I was trying to remember: well, we we did a ha. We did a piece, called the this woman. Probably nothing do the listeners, because these are shows that are going back, but we did a show called the midnight express special fear. There was a show on NBC. Late night is actually around the middle midnight azure, whether that guy's the midnight special with cadman cat man, not cabman, wolf, land and jack here, and then the movie midnight express right so combined the midnight
breast special here as the wolf. jack, show right, hosted by aben castello, but the eye of these storyline through midnight express of somebody trying to smuggle heroin there ozma heroin, hashish right he until not really I headed out of the country. We ain't we incorporated into the abbot castello routine, so we did. Add coy. We sometimes took a couple of things, makes no together in an end but by the sea token. Our show was a postproduction show we we did the opportunity to write the show. You know first or at least The writing started and then shoot the show, and then we could we. We were involved in the editing It wasn't there wasn't an audience, no at cut that think out with the primary differently. You, gentlemen, just plain to cameroon. That right, that is the primary, always is the primary difference. If Europe, if you performing for an of studio audience europe, you why
you, wanna get a response from the audience and I get the response from the audience, your performance as to come up and that's where you get sitcom the YAP dig deeper Norman says, are elevated to have to a right right at a vaudeville sir, here a bit kind of a heightened. Immediately, heightened the same with them. As an outright and you guys were and yeah we play right. maura. So we could keep Lee. We could keep the subtlety of what we're doing dry right into camera right and hold the characters of little harald the character, and they did, they did add, laugh track to the show which which we know can do anything about it. Really, oh well we tried in the various our very first show in the first season. We thought we don't want a laugh track. We just want this to play with laughter right and we we cut the show together and and and looked at it, and it just seem like it was laying
or there when it alive. Then we brought in an audience and we played the show for the audience are recorded the audience here. But that wasn't good, because The audience would laugh, but they would laugh over another line like they laugh over a joke. Laugh lasher. The laughs were coming and weird place right, Get the guy with the machine and he said he You know he would He may do- is get a job as a good, so the no crew and the first season like ours it was you candy? The first reason was we started the show with a with a judge, Joe flynn, the jack Andy myself, Dave Thomas Catherine, o hara, andrea Martin and Harold raymond right. Season. Seventy eight. Seventy nine, I think somebody didn't come back. Catherine was gone that season joy.
John candy was gone so they brought in. There was a season rick moran ask joined the show and then they brought in robin duke and tony risotto also passed away this year. They were in the show for one season, ok in the half hour format, and then, when we came back in the ninety minute format on NBC. Ah it was it was. Joe John me rick dave, Andrea Catherine, and is that when they're, like the great white nor thing scarring, all that cf the things start to stick? Who is producing that one their hour and a half one way. Well, we had, as a creative producer remain. We we'd we did was on. He was on NBC, was on NBC and we had executives from NBC who write who hated coming up to toronto. Well not only toronto. We, we were also shooting the shown Edmonton
we started the ninety minute show wearin Edmonton Alberta, shooting. I know that point. So nobody wanted to fly up. And so the executives from NBC would fly up occasionally in and in I'll just say hey. Why don't you put your the material uproar like we do on personnel butchery, material out fraud and then let them Abortion portion did do your material, which is ok. Burma knows the year put their input that at the end, you know because. because the demographics are in all the audiences we're getting good numbers in the first half hour and they drops a little bit last. If our you don't want to worry about it, so we say how interesting interesting and they go back and we just kept on doing what we're doing always. Yeah. How long did it last in that form three season
ninety minutes and then our last season was we weren't cinema acts. There was just four of us on the other. As these are real, so we're getting into some indulgence. I at our last season so is it yet, and that was a good run. and it was a good run and you know of the thing was like: the inmates were running the assaults europe that we really had no they telling us what to do and that's that's we got spoil The little bed began, you that's not the it shows a run, and here I am chances. Are you ll never get to do that again, but although we're having up the pretty good shot. With our current scioscia. It's great, but do you know where it's great, when you can do what you want, and yet you don't have to do something you don't want yeah and you have their friends with the end. You have a bunch of france where you re at as we did. We worked together with party together and it was like a dream. Really were you ever it is for us now. Is that something you ve got about doing or I may have thought about right, but-
I never I You're never tell a man, I never know. I was never summit. I remember lie member one year: lorn michael's came up to when we were doing yeah second city stage. Or a filling out or whatever, whatever right- and I know Joe and John did some stuff audition pieces, yeah pieces yon on a thing like that again and again, but it is interesting how you guys, like you, a lot of year, certainly had good careers. Television, India will well obviously you're still going John did some big movies. The show had a recurring roles for years. Everybody did We are on freaks and Marty's. You just still going strong John candy had a great deal to film Claire John was like the biggest star it was a major became. A major film stars. Yeah did some great work. He did you write work funny, guy?
You know we're still worse no going. I went through, I think, god into some directing stuff in the late abc ass. You know I got, in canada, so Sophia, summon canada. One feature film that I did hear was actually shot in europe, but for Dolores we're there. It was called once upon a crime and it was a feature. We shot in rome and monte. Carlo was if the comedy there was a comedy yeah, it was like a kind of a farce. John candy, Jim belushi sybil shepherd ha sean young, oh aha, george, hamilton, and that was your first big movie directing. While I was my first and only feature directing no story there? I think that says it all does it, but
actually was really funny it. It was a funny movie. It s a very funny moment here. It just got a little girl, weird we couldn't couldn't quite get the the third act going, they hired writers and writer, some big name, writers and separate still couldn't come. Couldn't at going and then and you know there were some few issues with denote. You know what to do with Juno yeah you know actually liked denote deliberateness it was, it was he had a reputation like you know. I'd heard before I started working on that movie that dino some directors would just in there contract. They, I know he's not allowed on saturday, and we started the movie he was, you know he was so great. a second dad s life he was just Grady was fired like to laugh at this. Doubting trip in europe was its inexperienced in it
I'll ask just first class all the way down the line and react like first class hotels. He would take it to the best restaurants. It was got along. Without me, I started the movie. Everything was going great and then things just you know Oh, we got into some issues about the script and what he thought was funny and what I didn't think was funny and and while I was over there and pray production, the idea was still in los angeles and we'd have some screaming matches on the phone really yeah. I mean screaming matches where he he would be faxing pages, that he got some guys to work on for free and do you know this a good job? and that's a good joke and the woman he comes by with the big boob and a you know: walk gay guys, nato. I don't think it's funny what a you know screaming to point where, when he finally did come over, we started shooting. I met him at his hotel and I had to give us the stick with a white flag on it.
Oh really waving my white flag and did that work? It worked for about ten minutes here. I think balloon He did him on snl. I think we didn't policies like my gun. Talking about the king kong movie that oh yeah, I think, yeah that's right, yeah yeah! I hadn't even thought about that till you just mentioned it so When did you move sort of down here and start? You know doing that. I would come down for sport. Luckily, for a lot of different projects, when we first time I came down honestly was for anything serious, we did a second city, pasadena yeah in nineteen. Seventy five right but alive show, the I've show that was my first trip to galifron right, nineteen eighty we came down to do a movie called going berserk with John Joe and John Joe flirty john candy, myself, a movie that David,
were directed her hand. It was not much of a script. I remember it time and- and I was in toronto and Joe Joe and John- were down with the writers working on this thing, and I daresay he send up some pages ah yeah. Well, we will when we get it down, which is not ready yet, but we're working on it, but boys great part for you and there's some funny sayings grade a month later. could send up some pages here, so I can very well where we're almost there. We got some thing next thing you know, I'm flying down los angeles, their shooting in a week, yet ok, I've already signed. Still waiting and they said well come down here, will give you the thing when you get down here. and so I got the script. I went back to my hotel. I guy guy guy got into bed. I turned on the lamp Started rating got two page: fifteen called my lawyer. I said my god tat.
I this is horrible. I meant. What are we gonna? Do the script is horrible garbage? I can't do it again. I can't do it. I love the guys. I can't I can't what is the problem where they just where they partying or they was it. I was just it just wasn't good last year there were it just wasn't good, sir. I went in to so my lawyer says: well, you know we'll go in we'll take a meeting with David Steinberg. In the morning we went in and had the meeting, and I said that so jean I understand you have some problems with this script. I said why deva honestly, I don't think it's ready to you're shooting in a week yet personally and I know always made nothing. I don't think it's ready. I don't think it's ready out and needs a lot of work in the end. It will, of course it needs working, This is not. The movie was shooting in a week when we were was constantly been making a men's to describe it in
you what why don't you stick around for the weak and work with the boys and indeed redo the scenes you feel like you want to read this we're not doing this yeah. It's gonna be much better by the time we start shooting next week. So what space around for the week and and and see what you can do to help think things. So we leave the mating, and my lawyer says: ok, you know what just do the movie, because you're not gonna come out of this smelling too good. If you, if I have to go and tell the studio that you ve decided to back out a second right. You know here, even though the director said as you can leave now, but a view the stick around and work on it. And if you don't, if you dont like we did at the end of the week, then you can just go back and leave here. That's not gonna happen right. So just do just do the movie, and I did and it was. It was great fun,
great movie, but it was actually a very kind. This kind of movie, so many people have come up and said, sir, going mazurkas insane nicety. It is that what you're resent it was night. in eighty yeah and then and then the splash was eighty three and then I'd come down and do that and then you know we we traveled to jamaica for club, paradise and eighty four than I was back and allay and eighty five to do armed and dangerous right with John candy, so my trips were frank, yeah. I would come down and do work down here for years million john real, tight, yeah yeah anyone and Joe yeah the scale say Joe still see the paper we had, we still see each other on a semi, regular base. That's nice marty. Marty I saw it all. The time can be no he's. My oldest than dearest friend I mean we weaken view of each other
yeah, where one minute apart. So yes, he around here, that's nice yeah, one minute he's marty's marty's. Probably the funniest guy in show business is the virus. is anybody faster out of the eight is a tiny about eight who's got a faster mind yet then, marty and case in point germany gluck. If you love that character, visa and a lot of that is just off the cuff in it is anything like really amazing. Gary transcends, you know, show business almost yeah yeah. bodies it in transcends a definitely embodies it, and now he is the anchor to me. He knows everybody in the business and everybody loves him, and so how did you involved with the, because I think, like most people like now, may it maybe I'm them. That's not right for me to say outside of american pie, which is a franchise you ve been, can
I did with for years, yeah like there's like twelve of them now right. Well, no, no, not twelve, no, no, not twelve, eight, okay, but that's a good. That's a good gig, give the keeps on giving it was a. I was a good gig forefeet feet for theatrical features and forest straight to dvds, and that was great, but the the chris gas movies, who you you know you work with a catherine, a lot, catherine fred, yeah, all right, Fred, willard and I oh great great- to cast and chris horses how'd. You make another caught comic genius. How do I make Chris? He could may I knew I knew Could I knew of Chris from going back to lampoon yeah, and you know the radio's shows in the album.
And I would hear I knew the new gilded was doing work there and Schaefer was doing work there and bill miranda, those voices, but there was one voice. He had I'd, never heard chevy one voice that I'd never heard. That was Chris and it was brilliant. His character work was an astonishing. We are right and I kept saying who is that guy who is this year? was this guy. I got a chance to not to work with them on a billy crystal special and amid eighties yeah, not working direct with him, but I would when he was shooting his stuff. I would go make sure I'd, go and watch your fan, huge fan and and and then years later I get a call I'm in toronto, and I get a call and it's cress and he says I'm thinking of doing a movie and and I'm wondering if he would like to come down and write it with me, and I,
You know, I'm thinking, I don't. I don't even know the guy Madame twice here who how many people turned it down a right for. You call me So he said you have got a cabin up in the north west region of the country. Are we could go up there for awakening? oh yeah, ok, in it and in my mind, in in in in milliseconds, I'm thinking of trying to work it out thinking, ok, how by this could be great or could be horrible or, could be. I don't know the guy, and this is great now or in the cabin and what if it's not working out, I guess I'll just go back to the archer, where you have to lose, that's it so, but so I flew down to meet him there and from the first second, he picked me up at the airport. It was just laughs and and just just great that's I was the beginning in that interesting though I gotta know where a guy that you respected so much
you had no real sense it. He knew what about you right, by giving a why you well, you know, you know it was years later. Almost at the end, our run. Yet, when I put when I put the question to him Chris, why did you call me that day? How who did you? approach for how many people you approach be rory when he said no, you were my first choice here. I said based on based on. I was a fan of your show as he tv and in particular, loved your work on the show. So I called you I saw one boy I wish I'd ask you that at the very beginning- because I
was thought. I was number nine on the live. Why would he stay with you for movies? I don't I've known you now. I know you are the first one worked out, but you know I I. It was kind of an odd thing. Chris is very very funny, and and sanely funny. You know yet its transcendent there's something about. You know his commitment to things. That's really amazing. They are genuine sensibilities. It's completely unique had some great laughs putting those you, call road like greece or of em right yeah gottman best show mighty wind for your consideration here. You're with him put come now whether those look like or they will their outlines, thereby they're, pretty detailed outlines that that got more detailed as we went along. I think the script for government was maybe fifteen pages You know we lay out the story from sea,
the scene we are seeing the scene. We lay out the story and we kind of we. We we describe what what exposition has to come out in every scene to keep the story going. The movies are improvise right, so we d really right dialogue. If we thought of something funny as a joke, we would put it in the outline right and hope the character uses it right, but but it was really keeping the story moving from seeing the scene, because you gotta have an anchor that that if europe rising a movie and it's just a free for all then cannot hard. to get his hard to put together, so you ve gotta, have something that keeps the story moving in that so we did and with every movie more involved in back character, backgrounds in
actually writing those writing knew who the characters were where they went to school. What books they wrote for the actor for the actor aha and did that? Did they appreciate that yeah, oh well, yeah, sure, yeah, and sometimes they added to it and and sometimes in a major way. Added to it and then Just there is a sort of ensemble sort of start to reveal itself through those movies. Like there were core player, That seems to be in a lot of movies. We started out, I mean goslin was just catherine myself, Chris Fred and very talented improvisational actress in toronto, linda cash, who played my wife and waiting for in in that movie, waiting forgotten and it was of an bob alabama, cordiality and, and that was kind of the cor for government and then just expanded with best ensure we brought in jennifer cooler, Jane HU I had seen.
Work with her, but I saw her when american pie came out and I and I recommended her to generate. I just talk her she's. standing in a really really great and corky and funny and jane land trend, and then Michael Mccain, yeah and now is for we best in show and Michael Higgins. Oh yeah he's in jail Michael Hagen, yeah, so that there was an those movies were honest, lay just a lot of fun on gottman We had more, we didn't learn soon enough, but on guff, when there are a lot of scenes at least we would laugh in the middle of a take couldn't help it. Were scenes where I would do it they were grouped scenes were, I would drop. Slowly, behind the person in front of me, it's a big, my hands and knees and crawl off the set right, while they're still shooting so The scene would go on and I couldn't stop laughing and they experimental feared.
Experience paid off. It did crawling crawling out, don't be afraid to to you tell me it already. and then we learned that you know if you're, because it is improvised, you know if you, if you're laughing through thing? That's really funny the chances are you there? You not never gonna quite get their moment again right so Was he figured out a way to crawl? Well, we learned yes, crawling became a became. A big thing always make sure your nearest, buddy that you can move behind right rachel, you didn't lose that it's perfect take will like in mighty in mighty win that relationship, the young catherine ahead was like outside of it being He and and and tragic. It was really deep. When all tat comes through with a lot of his movies that, where you have these amazing characters in this this via but the maybe it's too backstory. Maybe it's former but Jesus man I mean they're moving,
Chris, and I share that the one thing that that made us work well together, as we share that sensibility of not being afraid to kind of bridge that line between comedy and drama right case in point. A mighty wind yeah. You know where we were coming up with evolving the characters for the show and where, where we're talking about mitch and mickey our two character year, and that the fact that they were the sweethearts of the foe, music, right generation and and their big hit song was kiss at the end of the rainbow and they would sing the song and then kiss at the end of the song, well now we have years later, a reunion and in the history of the, two characters. They had a horrible split up and a horrible divorce in a horrible fight. And they never saw each other and in mitch one do into goods into sanatorium eurasia out to dry
Certainly I lost it and became we're the idea she remarried. Why What's gonna happen when they come back to the reunion and they're going to sing their hit song, and how are these two people going to kiss? Are they actually going to kiss the end of a hand of the song, get away they idea because they hated each other yet, and we, kind of had a moment where we realized wait a minute this this would be the story line, the a story line visa for the movie. But how scary is that were writing? This is a comedy Annie. at were gearing this movie toward a third act. Where are these two people gonna kiss at the end of the movie? What are we getting ourselves into right? This could be horrible
Because if it doesn't work, I mean if it doesn't it the audience? Isn't there with you, then it's gonna be a oh, it's gonna be an ogre near, and yet we both felt compelled to move in that direction, because it seemed like the most exciting way to go in terms of a story so rice and it's that it's that kind of it's that line between comedy and drama that has always been my comedic raison d'etre of you know it it it. It is it's the most exciting way to do comedy for me, cause I'm not a joke. person as as as evidence, do you know for the past hour and ten min well, no, but I dunno, if that's true, like you know, even like your sensitivity to characters like even like, with Bobby bittman you're back in the day, which was a spoof
and yet that generation of stand up. You knew what was in funny and how to make it. Finally, I mean, I think you you do yeah, I'm not if you need me to tell you that I do think you have an understanding. oh yeah, oh, no, no, no! No! It's an understanding! Yet! No doubt know it's true, but but but but the odd that the kind of comedy for made that from the very beginning, as is character, driven church, even on icy tv, it's always character, driven ryan is now and again it's brought us. Some of the characters were on sctv. We committed to the characters when we never we never. We never had a joke at the expense of the character or stepped outside the character. I know tongue and cheeks right, that's right! That's all it's all! We had an important needed directly big, big, broad character. I had eaten prickly as a that's Edith me up prickly, So she is only that some of that stuff that came from that that instruction in a way of of Dallas, saying you keep it intelligent
Well, that's it that drives that that is the driving force behind everything make an intelligent. But to me making an intelligent also means just making a three dimensional yet make make it make a character funny, but real make make him oh, you should be able to take an audience, on a much more kind of rewarding trip. Yeah then, then, necessarily just you know geographic, the other day in the way you guys pointed that out and mighty wind with it becoming now that you say that became the the the way that that whole third we're all the other performers are acknowledged in right. Now yeah, very emotional migrant, all moving towards it, brought the audience with that's right, yeah yeah, they come in and they move into the wings to see or are they going to do? What are they going to do it, and then they can really was an amazing moment that you could actually feel I'm going choked up now when we were doing where we were actually shooting, oh yeah, you could feel it
because I remember looking into the wings and seeing parker posey way tears in her eyes, while whylome, while the cameras there doing the same with catherine? So it would great, and that that is that's it, a comedy than I ever loved me. no and that's what we were doing on our movies, with with the crests yeah, make the characters real, I mean the characters. The audience has to be able to hold of some pleasure. Oh yeah yeah it in. If you do it successfully than you can you can take them on a nice ride, shirt and you're doing that now, with this exactly what we're doing it's? U s great shits, creek and then you have this dynamic, I imagine with with catherine that is like its way, when you do have genuine your decades of history. buddy, and you know there national nuances as performers. Yet there must be a comfort level,
Yeah amazing, amazing, comfort, level, and we week we kind of no. We have the same approach to me: Our work, Catherine, and I wait. We take it, cut her seriously. Your work as actors, approach, a character and and And we cannot have a sense where somebody is going or could go. Were you know we're, so we work very well their emotionally on that on that level, so an interesting that you know they like when you talk about it like it's almost at some sort of magic? You know, because when you really think about this you do with her now or these these Chris gas movies, which are more subtle, then I think ass. He tv is that you you're not really playing me of that. The confidence you have to have the character to not play for laughs by two to assume
they are committed. Characters innately is, is some sort of gift. I not you know that I mean you guys kind of invented some of that. It's just a commitment to character. Work Really. That's that's really all it is it's not it's a made for me personally and and ships great now, and I should for your listeners, mention that it is a sea. I double tee ass in a drawn it up. It is a person's name pop tv It's a real name and it's on pop, yet flex yeah, so You know this is a commitment to dinner is a commitment to character, and this is a day- and you know my son dan, who I worked on the show with grated show what he came to me with an idea mirror for this, a wealthy family that loses its money, but he also came to me because the these sensibility of the movies that, with its chris and I were doing
yeah. I did that's kind of the sensibility that he was. He wanted a foreign that oh and that's what we started in a kind of working with rodya connections with you, it, didn't you didn't hurt yet and then the heart level that way, but to his car he'd. Never he would never ever he spent eight years on mtv in canada as posten doing lie staff near it very well and very writing funny sketches and in doing some great work but dumb. I just. I never thought that the big question was. Would he be able to do something like this a half hour, ma comedy character, that is, gotta, be a genuine character. Dna yeah and in writing in vienna honestly is anyway long story, short he's great jose, sees point, really and added, and I just love watching him work and he's got a character.
that's our show me as insanely funny eddie must be proud. Yeah, yeah, dad's, brown, very proud, could yeah extremely look. Man was great talking you and I am happy that you're here, you're going in its you're doing great work in great congratulations on the new season. Well, thank you and I I can't believe I'm finally here in this in those illustrious garage here and as serves I've, seen the pictures and kind of said. I wonder what it's like the across the desk, however MR marin its delightful as a great guy. Rotation I'd. I didn't. I never heard action ya know that don't do that. So I tell you I take it: where are we ready to go or yellow Masaccio was is just preamble. That was all we're about to start a great great thanks. Man thanks,
I enjoy that have his pleasure meeting him. I like you're in the like here in the history you I do. I can breathe and can take it in fear, free right now, you're, free here, free zone, boomer lives, one
Transcript generated on 2022-09-03.