Splitsider

Posts tagged as canada

Ken Finkleman and the Art of Being Derivative

Like many series of the mid-90s, 1996’s The Newsroom began as an imitator of The Larry Sanders Show. The latter show opened the door for the cruelty and self-absorption that are the hallmarks of great sitcoms since. The former was huge on Canadian television (and eventually aired on PBS), but it was just one of many series created by Ken Finkleman. Finkleman’s longtime avatar, George Findlay, served as a means of exorcising his own demons, and the shows were indicators of what comedy Finkleman was watching (usually modern experimental sitcoms). It’s fair to accuse Finkleman of being derivative, but his shows are much more [...]

Dave Foley Is Returning to Network TV as the Star of Canada's 'Spun Out'

Kids in the Hall and NewsRadio star Dave Foley is returning to network TV next month, with a starring role in a new Canadian sitcom. Called Spun Out, it's a multi-camera workplace comedy with an ensemble cast that will have Foley at its center. Foley will play the head of the public relations company that all of the main characters work for, with Paul Campbell, Al Mukadam, Rebecca Dalton, J.P. Manoux, Darcy Michael, and Holly Deveaux rounding out the ensemble. Spun Out, which premieres on Canada's CTV March 6th, is Dave Foley's first network sitcom since the short-lived 2011 CBS series How to Be a Gentleman and his first [...]

The Coolest Comedy Scene You've Never Heard of Forms Temporarily Every Summer – in Canada

Every summer, the major cities across Canada play host to a series of Fringe theater festivals. As an American sketch comedian working in obscure black box venues across the Pacific Northwest, I had never heard of the Canadian Fringe Circuit until a fellow sketch comedian, Andrew Connor of the Cody Rivers Show, extolled the fests’ virtues during a panel discussion at the 2008 Seattle Sketchfest. The Fringe, Andrew explained, is a whole other world: a place for comedians to hone their craft, to network with likeminded folk, to get some (hopefully) usable pull-quotes from honest-to-God newspaper reviews, to be inspired by the inventiveness and creativity of other performers, and to [...]

Splitsider's Guide to Vancouver's Comedy Scene

Live comedy, for many, is an art form that is still confined to two major centers: New York and Los Angeles. Other cities — Chicago, Boston, Toronto, San Francisco, Austin, Montreal, Seattle, and Denver — are often unfairly relegated to the periphery. They represent thriving scenes that matter because they exist, but aside from that are generally ignored and rarely scouted.

If the latter cities make up the periphery of the comedy scene, then it would be fair to say that Vancouver, British Columbia — tucked far away in the Pacific Northwest, three hours from Seattle, six hours from Portland, and too many hours from anywhere else — lies in [...]

The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show: Canadian R/C Airplane Champion Isabel Deslauriers

Isabel Deslauriers wasn’t just the first woman to win the Candian Remote Control Airplane Championship, she was the only female competing. This week on The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show she explains how r/c airplanes and r/c airplane championships work.

This episode is sponsored by Audible. Head over to audiblepodcast.com/jeffrubin to grab a 30 free trial of Audible and a free audiobook of your choosing! Any book you want, for free!

Just For Laughs Chooses Its 2014 New Faces

Every year, Montreal's Just For Laughs comedy festival chooses a bunch of up-and-coming comedians to highlight in their "New Faces" showcase, and this year's list has been released. Last year's list featured a bunch of comedians who enjoyed a breakthrough year including SNL's John Milhiser and Brooks Wheelan, standups Mark Normand and Aparna Nancherla, Late Night's Conner O'Malley, and more. Just For Laughs splits their choices up by categories New Faces (non-Canadian standups with managers), New Faces: Characters (sketch performers), Homegrown Talent (Canadian comedians), and New Faces: Unrepped (comedians without managers). Click through for the full list of this year's New Faces:

NBC Orders 12 Episodes of a Comedy Starring Andrea Martin

NBC has given an early 12-episode order to Working the Engels, a new comedy starring SCTV alum Andrea Martin that's being targeted for the 2014-15 season, THR reports. The sitcom is a co-production between Canadian company Halfire-Core Entertainment and NBC, the first-ever time a US and Canadian broadcaster have teamed up on a show.

Martin, who recently won a Tony and a bunch of other awards for her role in the current Broadway revival of Pippin, stars in the sitcom as Celia "Ceil" Engel, a self-involved but loving mom. When her husband passes away and leaves the family with a lot of debt, Ceil and her kids must work together [...]

The Kids in the Hall Are Reuniting for a Run of Live Shows in Canada

Legendary sketch group The Kids in the Hall are getting back together for their first live shows in five years. The group's five members, Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson, are reuniting for a series of shows at Toronto Sketchfest from December 4th through December 7th and tickets are still available. Their new sketch show is called "Rusty and Ready," and it's described as "an intimate and raucous Toronto homecoming.  Featuring new material and an assortment of oddities from their deep, dark trunk." Between that and David Cross and Bob Odenkirk's current Mr. Show reunion mini-tour, it's a great year to see performers/writers [...]

Just For Laughs Chooses Its 2013 New Faces

Every year, Montreal's Just For Laughs festival picks a bunch of up-and-coming comedians to take part in their "New Faces" showcases, which puts them in front of a bunch of powerful industry types. This morning, they announced the 2013 New Faces, a list that includes folks like Funny or Die's Dan Klein, Totally Biased's Aparna Nancherla, Andrew Overdahl, who co-wrote/starred in the Amazon pilot Those Who Can't, and more. The New Faces are separated into categories for sketch performers (New Faces: Characters), comedians without managers (New Faces: Unrepped), Canadian comedians (Homegrown Comics), and regular New Faces, which is non-Canadian standups with managers.

Check out the full list of performers [...]

Sarah Silverman, Seth Meyers Headline This Year's Just For Laughs Festival

Montreal-based comedy festival Just For Laughs announced the lineup for its 2013 gathering yesterday, which will mark the event's 30th anniversary. Sarah Silverman, Seth Meyers, Joan Rivers, Eddie Izzard, Taran Killam & Bobby Moynihan, Nick Kroll, Amy Schumer, Colin Quinn, Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood, Kristen Schaal, Bo Burnham, Hannibal Buress, Danny Bhoy, Marc Maron, Pete Holmes, Tig Notaro, Maria Bamford, Judah Friedlander, Scott Adsit & John Lutz, and Brian Posehn will be taking the tage from July 18th to the 27th, alongside tons of more comedians. In addition to those comeidans, Just For Laughs will be premiering CollegeHumor's first movie Coffee Town, starring Glenn Howerton, Steve Little, and [...]

Watch Some Rare Clips from Lorne Michaels's Early '70s Canadian Sketch Show

Before creating Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels starred in and co-wrote an obscure early '70s Canadian sketch show called The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour with then-comedy partner Hart Pomerantz, and here are some rare excerpts from it via a recently-unearthed 1986 retrospective special that was uploaded to YouTube. Before Michaels ended up working mostly behind the scenes, he was a sketch comedy performer and, as he recalls, was described as "the tall, good-looking one." Although it only lasted 10 episodes and is rarely talked about today, The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour ended up having an indelible impact upon modern comedy in that it was a precursor to [...]

Stephen Colbert Looks Deeper Into the Drug War In Canada

In light of the recent drug revelations about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Stephen Colbert turned his attention to another ongoing drug-related problem in the Great White North, where bong store's fuzzy mascots terrorize the streets.

T.J. Miller Got Super Weird on Canadian Morning TV

T.J. Miller went on breakfast TV in Edmonton, Canada this morning with some crazy hair and a too-small jacket to promote his local gigs. In under eight minutes, he managed to play with knives, drink from four glasses of orange juice, and defend Yogi Bear 3D as "the greatest piece of talking bear cinema that's ever been achieved." NBC need look no further for Matt Lauer's Today show replacement.

'The Daily Show's Jason Jones Teaches Canadian Bankers About the Free Market

Here's a report Jason Jones filed for The Daily Show last night in which he tries but fails to teach a good-hearted Canadian banker the teachings of Gordon Gekko.