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Home #Hwoodtimes CANUCK AS F*CK: Toronto Troupe Takes Tinseltown

CANUCK AS F*CK: Toronto Troupe Takes Tinseltown

By Ethlie Ann Vare

Hollywood, CA (The Hollywood Times) 5/27/19 –  Back in the ‘80s, Second City’s Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas lampooned Canada on SCTV’s “The Great White North.” Today, their comedy heirs at the Second City stage in Hollywood are skewering both Canada and the US in “Canuck as F*ck,” a sketch show whose run was just extended through August 17 because… basically, it’s really good. Smart, funny, and a cheap date on a Saturday night. And I don’t just say that because I’m Canadian.

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“That wasn’t my original title, by the way,” says director Doug Morency somewhat apologetically, “but they wanted something… eye-catching.” Morency, you will not be surprised to hear, is also Canadian.

Jason DeRosse

Actually, the entire company of the hour-long show are ex-pat members of Second City’s Toronto company, recently come south to seek their fortunes. “We joke about America,” says cast member Ayumi Iizuka, “but we made a great effort to be here.”

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Intra-cast joking about Canadians on the loose in Los Angeles eventually grew into a tight hour of sketches and songs. Second City’s version of improv isn’t the “shout out a profession and a place” kind. It’s comedy that develops from spontaneous interactions workshopped until, once onstage, they are 90% scripted and 10% where-the-spirit-moves-ya.

While all of the bumper music is Canadian content — Gordon Lightfoot! Alanis Morissette! Bachman Turner Overdrive! — the comedy ranges wider than that. They take aim at the usual political targets, like the news report about Godzilla loose in Washington DC (the monster acts remarkably like a certain President) or the aftermath of a mass shooting at an NRA meeting. But they are equally effective making fun of the human condition, like when a “butter sandwich” of Anglo co-workers (Jason DeRosse, Paul PK Kingston, Allison Price and Leslie Seiler) take DNA tests and become overnight minorities.

The best-received sketch of the set (and my personal favorite) was entirely apolitical, about a man (DeRosse) who doesn’t believe in love at first sight until his fiancée (Seiler) brings him home to meet her mother (Iizuka.) A lot of Seiler’s jokes were created on the spot, and her delighted co-stars often had trouble holding in their own laughter.

Second City, as you know, started in Chicago in the 1960s and gave us a wealth of talent including SCTV’s Harold Ramis. Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and John Candy; SNL’s John Belushi, Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Gilda Radner and Mike Meyers; and Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Keegan-Michael Key and Tina Fey. Along with permanent stages in Chicago and Toronto, they have four international touring companies. But perhaps most exciting for Angelenos, they also open their doors to aspiring actor/comedians with writing, music and directing programs at the Hollywood location, as well as summer camps for kids and teens.

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You should catch “Canuck as F*ck” before the inevitable happens: The talented cast will all get sitcoms, buy houses South of the Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, and give up poutine along with all other carbs. Oh, and they do plan to become US citizens. “So we can vote,” winks Price.

Canuck As F*ck

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Directed by Doug Morency

Written and performed by Jason DeRosse, Ayumi Iizuka, Paul PK Kingston, Allison Price, Leslie Seiler

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Assistant Director John David DeFour

Musical Director Tony Gonzalez

Second City

6560 Hollywood Blvd.

Saturdays at 7pm through August 17

www.SecondCity.com

 

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at TheHollywoodTimes.today, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.