Letterkenny: The Power of 5000

June 14, 2019

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Valerie Lopez

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2019 ATX Tele­vi­sion Festival

Let­terken­ny is a show set in a fic­tion­al­ized small farm­ing com­mu­ni­ty in Cana­da and fol­lows hicks, skids and hock­ey play­ers as they pur­sue their own activ­i­ties and to much delight, inter­sect with one anoth­er. The open­ing of the show starts with There are 5000 peo­ple in Let­terken­ny. These are their prob­lems.” Lucky for us, their prob­lems have become a great source of laugh­ter for an ever-increas­ing glob­al audience.

My fan­dom for the YouTube sen­sa­tion, Crave and Hulu Orig­i­nal Let­terken­ny is leg­en-Dary (Sea­son 3 east­er egg for you). Thanks to my friend and Com­e­dy Wham col­lab­o­ra­tor Richard Good­win, I gave the show a first watch in Feb­ru­ary of 2019 and imme­di­ate­ly binge-watched all 6 sea­sons and since then have rewatched. A lot. I’m halfway through my 5th re-watch.

I rarely add com­e­dy sit­coms into my repeat watch list; it’s hard to beat the much ado about noth­ing prowess of Sein­feld, it’s hard to beat the sketch style of Sat­ur­day Night Live, and it’s hard to beat the exper­i­men­tal whim­sy of Com­mu­ni­ty. Would it sur­prise you to know that I find ele­ments of each of those three in Let­terken­ny? That’s the draw — it’s mak­ing some­thing out of noth­ing, like Sein­feld, it’s devel­op­ing a sketch style pre­sen­ta­tion, like SNL, and it’s a group of eclec­tic char­ac­ters not tak­ing them­selves too seri­ous­ly, like Com­mu­ni­ty.

The moment I saw that the 2019 ATX Tele­vi­sion Fes­ti­val would fea­ture a pan­el made up of cast and exec­u­tive pro­duc­ers of Let­terken­ny, I was thrilled. I quite lit­er­al­ly changed vaca­tion plans in order to fly back on a Sat­ur­day night just so I could make sure not to miss the Sun­day Let­terken­ny pan­el. Now add to that an oppor­tu­ni­ty to reach out to the Hulu con­tacts to see if I might be able to inter­view the Let­terken­ny pan­elists. Imag­ine me bit­ing my nails in antic­i­pa­tion, then imag­ine the thrill of being told yes!

Sit­ting down with exec­u­tive pro­duc­er Mark Mon­te­fiore and actors Nathan Dales (Dar­ryl), Michelle Mylett (Katy), Jacob Tier­ney (Pas­tor Glen, but who also wears exec­u­tive pro­duc­er and direc­tor hats), and K Trevor Wil­son (Squir­re­ly Dan) was a dream come true.

It is a run­ning theme through­out the two-part inter­view how much ado­ra­tion, awe, and respect every­one gives to Jared Keeso, the cre­ator, prin­ci­pal writer and main char­ac­ter (Wayne) of the show. Mark Mon­te­fiore may have cap­tured it best when he said: being a part of this, it’s just so spe­cial”. Mon­te­fiore helped orches­trate a pro­duc­tion deal and order of 40 new episodes with Hulu, which speaks to the stay­ing pow­er of the show (nei­ther Sein­feld nor Com­mu­ni­ty cracked the 10 sea­sons mark) as well as how much he believes in the show to nego­ti­ate and get an order for that many episodes by a major network.

Being a part of [a show like Let­terken­ny], it’s just so spe­cial” Mark Mon­te­fiore

Who could have imag­ined that a short-form web series (known as Let­terken­ny Prob­lems) could reach such heights as ascend­ing to a six-sea­son show with 4 more sea­sons on order? The fans, that’s who. The peo­ple who have found their kin­dred spir­its in either the hicks, the skids, the hock­ey play­ers, or god for­bid, the degens from up coun­try. Dales who was part of the orig­i­nal YouTube web series says of fans, Get­ting feed­back from fans and stuff like that, and see­ing how it does affect peo­ple, it’s crazy. It’s so nice to hear, like when you’re mak­ing a com­e­dy show, to hear that it’s you know, perked up peo­ple’s day or they laugh until they’ve peed them­selves, or whatever.”

It’s so nice to hear, like when you’re mak­ing a com­e­dy show, to hear that it’s…perked up peo­ple’s day or they laugh until they’ve peed them­selves” Nathan Dales

In the two-part inter­view, we cov­er a lot of ground, from the ori­gin of the show to the evo­lu­tion to the Crave TV series, to the expan­sion into the US by way of Hulu dis­tri­b­u­tion, to now a tour­ing live show & win­ning awards. We did get a few sneak peaks at future projects dur­ing our con­ver­sa­tion. And if you’re curi­ous about when the live show will come to a the­ater near you, K Trevor Wil­son had the per­fect response I have no idea. I mean, the plan is even­tu­al­ly.” Wil­son and oth­ers not­ed that while they’re not in charge of sched­ul­ing, they are eager to come to your town!

The big news which was released the week before the Fes­ti­val was that Hulu announced that the show is now a Hulu Orig­i­nal and that the 7th sea­son would be released on Octo­ber 142019.

No one was will­ing (or like­ly legal­ly allowed) to share any details about the future of the res­i­dents of Let­terken­ny. What I can tell you is that after watch­ing the 1st episode of the 7th sea­son dur­ing the Let­terken­ny pan­el at the ATX TV Fes­ti­val, it’s that the ensem­ble nature of the show lives on and new adven­tures await, all with the same high-qual­i­ty word gym­nas­tics you’ve come to expect.

Let­terken­ny sea­sons 1 through 6 are avail­able to US audi­ences on Hulu, you can watch Let­terken­ny Prob­lems (the orig­i­nal web series) on YouTube, and you can find count­less memes, GIFs, and merch, relat­ed to the show with a sim­ple search. And if you run into me out and about, I promise to lim­it the amount of Let­terken­ny-speak I throw your way. Allegedly.

Fol­low the Let­terken­ny cast on Twitter…pitter patter!

Let­terken­ny
@LetterKennyProb
Mark Mon­te­fiore Nathan Dales Jacob Tier­ney Michelle Mylett K Trevor Wilson
@MarkMontefiore @SummerNate @JacobTierney79 @MichelleMylett @KTrevorWilson
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