Jonny Harris of “Murdoch Mysteries” and Emma Hunter of “The Beaverton” co-hosted the Canadian Screen Awards gala in 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-George Pimentel)

The Beaverton’s sharp satire thrives in polarized political climate

Canadian TV series’ third season to air Tuesday on CTV after “The Amazing Race Canada”

It’s a few days before the season 3 premiere of Canadian satirical news series “The Beaverton,” and co-hosts Emma Hunter and Miguel Rivas are mulling over which headlines to cover.

“Just hilarious stuff like children in cages and the Epstein case,” Rivas jests in a phone interview, referring to stories about migrant children at U.S. border facilities and sex trafficking accusations against financier Jeffrey Epstein.

“Our message overall is usually that almost anything is on the table, as long as we can have a take that doesn’t come across as unkind or punching down,” adds Hunter.

“We always want to make sure that we’re punching up.”

Season 3, launching Tuesday, is a big one for “The Beaverton.”

Not only is the Toronto-based weekly series moving over to CTV from The Comedy Network — in a plum 10 p.m. ET/PT time-slot after the hit series “The Amazing Race Canada,” no less — it’s also airing simultaneously around the world for international audiences on CTV’s YouTube channel for the first time.

The Canadian Screen Award-nominated show also has a quicker turnaround this season, shooting in front of a live studio audience the night before it airs, giving the feel of a more current and high-paced news environment.

“We absolutely deserve a seat at the table with all the late-night talk shows in the U.S.,” says Hunter, an actress and comedian whose other credits include “Mr. D” and “Royal Canadian Air Farce.”

“Canada hasn’t had one in a long time and we think we absolutely deserve to have an international take on the international things unfolding. So we’re ready, baby.”

Yes, that means “The Beaverton” will not only be covering Canadian news but also global stories.

The co-hosts note there’s already an appetite for the brand outside of North America through TheBeaverton.com satirical news site, which inspired the TV series and seems to have “grown enormously” in popularity, says Rivas.

READ MORE: ‘Schitt’s Creek’ and its stars among Canadian Emmy nominees

In an era of outrageous headlines and accusations of so-called “fake news,” it seems the deliberately fake news is thriving.

“Whenever there’s a wildly unpopular government, I’m referencing Donald Trump’s in the States, I won’t quote any real study but I think you could find that civic engagement tends to go way up,” says Rivas, who is also an actor and comedian, with credits including “Baroness von Sketch Show” and “Gary and His Demons.”

“I don’t think people gave a crap about, for instance, a lot of municipal Toronto politics, but then once Rob Ford was elected and started doing his thing, everybody started to be like, ‘Wait a minute, I suddenly care about my ward so much,’” Rivas continues.

“So I think the difficult political climate in the Western world, and specifically in North America, has caused Canadians to pay a lot more attention and care a lot more and get excited and outraged more. And they need something to reflect that and talk about that with and make jokes about stuff — and then enter us. It’s such an amazing opportunity, that people have the appetite for this like they never had before.”

This season will have eight episodes and return for a separate Canadian federal election special on Oct. 18.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jen Hodge conducts an online concert during the pandemic after returning to B.C. from New York City. Photo courtesy Claudia Nobauer
Canada Recovery Benefit won’t replace the magic of live performance, musicians say

Cash will help, but its the audience connection that most performers miss — and crave

Mary Fox’s new book My Life as a Potter is available at bookstores nationwide. (Cole Schisler photo)
My Life as a Potter raises funds for Mary Fox Legacy Project

Acclaimed Vancouver Island potter’s story raising money for developing artists

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan acknowledges A&E sector hit hard by COVID-19, but showing signs of recovery

Hollywood North doing better than Hollywood South, Horgan says

Can you spot all 12 Days of Christmas displays at the Butchart Gardens? Jen Blyth photo.
The magic of Christmas returns to the Butchart Gardens

Some events cancelled due to COVID-10 but 12 Days of Christmas will brighten the season

Gatineau artist Michèle Provost visits the Malaspina Galleries during her artist residency on Gabriola Island. (Photo supplied)
Gatineau artist the first to take part in new Gabriola Island artist residency

Michèle Provost to create art book reflecting on the positives of aging

Legendary Vancouver-based blues and jazz guitarist and vocalist Jim Byrnes will perform live at the Tidemark Theatre in a concert that will also be streamed. Contributed photo
Legendary blues musician and actor Jim Byrnes hits the Island

Playing Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre for a hybrid live/online show

Dinner shows in the Playbill Dining Room are keeping the Chemainus Theatre going during the pandemic. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Dinner events satisfying for the Chemainus Theatre and patrons

Small groups enjoy entertainment and the food in the Playbill Dining Room

Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

The Sid Williams Theatre marquee is once again proudly displaying upcoming events. Photo supplied
Courtenay’s Sid Williams Theatre reopening in a limited capacity

Theatre has been closed since March due to COVID-19

Nanaimo-based ceramic artist Joe Lyons is presenting his first solo exhibition, ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts from Oct. 26 to Nov. 12. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-based ceramic artist showcases variety of bottles in first solo show

Joe Lyons presents ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts

Toronto poet Robert Priest is presenting an online reading on Oct. 24. (Photo courtesy Allen Booth)
Nanaimo spoken word society presents online reading by prolific Toronto poet

Robert Priest to dip into 40-year catalogue for upcoming Zoom reading

Most Read