The cast of Canadian CraveTV hit “Letterkenny” got together at JFL42 in Toronto on Friday to perform a live read of one of their favorite episodes. For those outside of Canada who might not be familiar with Letterkenny yet- it’s one of the funniest and one of the funnest comedy series on television right now. Of course, it’s only available in Canada which limits its audience pretty tightly, but we’re told things are in the works for those of you uninitiated into the Letterkenny universe.
The show takes place in (and is shot in) series creator Jared Keeso’s middle-of-nowhere small town hometown of Listowel, Ontario. It’s described as filled with hicks, skids, hockey players and Christians. To try to describe the show further would defy reason. But Canadians are crazy about the show, so they crowded into the TIFF Bell Lightbox to see Jared Keeso, Nathan Dales, K Trevor Wilson, Michelle Mylett, Jacob Tierney, Evan Stern, Tyler Johnston, Dylan Playfair, Andrew Herr, Lisa Codrington, Tiio Horn and Emma Hunter in the flesh.
Before getting underway, the creators and stars of the show told stories about how they met and how the show came about, from the Letterkenny Problems Twitter account that preceded the series, to casting the hockey players through playing beer league hockey.
One of the best surprises of the evening was the decision to bring in Toronto comic Mark Forward to read stage directions. He was absolutely hilarious, clearly going off script at times and other times just using his tonality to create great moments. His stage directions essentially became something of a live blooper reel. Priceless!
The entire event was loose and fun– the hockey players Dylan Playfair and Andrew Herr even got an applause break for breaking character, and how can you blame them? They say the most ridiculous dialogue. This show had plenty of applause breaks stemming from a genuine love of these characters. Co-creator and Jacob Tierney, who also plays Glen got two applause breaks just from delivering his first set of lines. True, stage director Mark Forward had ordered the crowd to laugh the second time, but it still counts. Glen is clearly a crowd favorite.
But for my money, the best moment of the entire event came from Tyler Johnston (another crowd favorite), who had to cry for the scene, while Mark (who clearly confused stage directions with ‘director’) ordered him to cry louder and harder, like some kind of mad Bugs Bunny-esque conductor- and then in very specific ways, and Tyler, a true champ, pulled it off!
It was a blast- a laugh till your cheeks-are-sore kind of night. Season three is on its way, and hopefully this is just the beginning.