2019 ATX Television Festival
|Photo Credit||Valerie Lopez|
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”
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”
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 14, 2019.
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!