The Letterkenny gang is in Victoria for two live evening shows April 3 at the Royal Theatre. Photo contributed

How are you now? Good, and you too can see Letterkenny Live!

Members of Crave TV smash hit bring their banter to the Royal Theatre stage April 3

It’s easy to understand why Jared Keeso is feeling pretty good about things these days.

The creator and co-writer of the wildly popular Crave TV original series Letterkenny – he plays lead “Hick,” Wayne – is secure in the knowledge that his “baby” will be in production for the next few years at least, and that he’s got a steady gig doing Letterkenny Live! when not filming the series. It’s a stark contrast for someone accustomed to working hard to win roles and living with the general uncertainty of life in the Canadian film and TV world.

“I love being busy. On the other end of it, when you’re an actor auditioning all the time … I spent 10 years not knowing when the next job was coming,” the 33-year-old actor told Monday during some down time before taking the stage in North Bay, Ont.

“Being able to basically be working year-round is a dream come true and something that’s tough to do in the industry,” he said. “You know, it’s supposed to be a grind here in Canada.”

Keeso and fellow Letterkenny cast members Nathan Dales (Daryl), K. Trevor Wilson (Squirrely Dan) and Mark Forward (Coach) bring their lightning-fast banter to the Royal Theatre stage for a pair of shows April 3. The performances include new material – being test driven for future seasons, Keeso said – as well as some classic Letterkenny scenes. Wilson and Forward, whose backgrounds are in standup, will also do solo comedy routines and a few Youtube style scenes will be screened to break things up.

“I’ve been looking forward to this part of it, the live show,” Keeso said. “We have to do everything quite a bit different than when we’re filming. Like the boys and I, when we’re doing these scenes on stage, we have to wait for the laughter. It’s good for Dalesy and I to have two road warriors like [Wilson and Forward]; there’s definitely some mentoring going on.”

Keeso previously earned Canadian film and TV honours for his portrayals of hockey icon Don Cherry in two films, and more recently as lead character Ben Chartier in the acclaimed police drama series 19-2.

2017 was a banner year, as Letterkenny, Keeso and co-writer Jacob Tierney (Pastor Glen) won Canadian Screen Awards for Best Comedy Series and Best Writing in a Comedy Program or Series, and a Writers Guild of Canada for Best Writing in a TV Comedy, as well as a Leo Award for Best Music, Comedy or Variety Program or Series.

Pretty heady stuff for an idea that had its roots on Youtube as Letterkenny Problems and didn’t hit the small screen until 2016.

The deal signed last fall with New Metric Media and Bell called for 40 new episodes, the live tour and an expansion of Letterkenny merchandising. The big break – created with a whole lot of ongoing hard work – continues to be a source of amazement for Keeso.

“Every day,” he said. “Like I said, being able to have job security in the Canadian film business is uncommon. When our extension came through and resembled a baseball deal, we were all pleasantly surprised. We got a term, there’s years there. It’s the first time in Canada that a series has been greenlit for that long.”

It means fans can look forward to seeing a lot more of Letterkenny and its lovable characters.

If you’d like to see some of them live and in person, there’s two shows on tap, one at 6:30 and another at 9:30 p.m. Tickets range from $40 to $165; they’re available at the Royal or McPherson box offices or online at rmts.bc.ca.

editor@mondaymag.com

Just Posted

Jazz bargains available for music lovers this month

Left Coast Jazz Fest offers four-show package deal, extends discount for TD JazzFest ticket holders

WINE NOTES: Wild about the whites

Plenty of reason to try out these affordable whites, writes Monday wine columnist Robert Moyes

Animal-loving comic Carla Collins performing fundraiser show for SPCA

Sellout show June 20 could raise up to $35,000 for Victoria branch of organization

TESS VAN STRAATEN: Getting funky in Fernwood

Eclectic neighbourhood draws many visitors, laid-back feel popular with residents

Victoria band celebrating the music of Tom Waits

The Beautiful Maladies take the stage at the Roxy Theatre, Duncan Showroom this week

VIDEO: Ukranian dancers showcase their moves for Victoria audience

Year-end showcase an opportunity to catch a colourful, cultural event

Rick Mercer-led comedy team in for second Just for Laughs show at UVic

Comedy company will stage two shows Nov. 16 at Farquhar Auditorium

Trade expo a key part of 2019 BC Seafood Festival

Comox Valley hosts celebration of seafood industry; numerous events on tap this weekend

Samoa bans Elton John biopic, Rocketman

Depictions of homosexuality, contrary to law, cause country’s censor to prevent film’s screening

REVIEW: If you like farce, you’ll love Noises Off at Langham Court!

By Sheila Martindale The nine cast members in Langham Court Theatre’s new… Continue reading

Celtic songs tuned up for Sooke coffeehouse

Celtic Reflections to perfrom on June 15

Most Read