Mark Forward: Always Moving Forward

October 11, 2019

Photo Credit

Comedy Central


Valerie Lopez


Valerie Lopez


This week’s mantra is the minute some­thing does­n’t feel good, it’s time to quit”. We don’t mean get­ting your wis­dom teeth pulled or tak­ing out the trash, we mean, when you’ve paid your dues, and worked hard to get to where you can be choosy about the work you’ll take on, only take on the work that makes you feel good. Our guest this week, Mark For­ward, tells Valerie Lopez, I dab­ble in what I like, and then if I con­tin­ue hav­ing joy from it, then I con­tin­ue doing it.” And we think these are good words to live by.

I dabble in what I like, and then if I continue having joy from it, then I continue doing it.
Mark Forward

If you’re not famil­iar with For­ward, he’s cur­rent­ly well known for his role of Coach” on the offi­cial favorite show of Com­e­dy Wham, Let­terken­ny. Ahead of the release of the 7th sea­son of the show based in a small town in Cana­da, For­ward joins Valerie Lopez by phone. The con­ver­sa­tion begins with a dis­cus­sion about why being a the­ater actor did­n’t bring him joy (the answer obvi­ous­ly involves moth­balls), and how a turn to stand-up allowed him the free­dom to focus on him­self on stage with­out cos­tumes, rehearsals, or mothballs.

What’s inge­nious about For­ward is that he has a gift for say­ing mean-natured things, but in a way that makes the crowd will­ing to go along with the mes­sage. This gift came to him at an ear­ly age, in fact. I real­ized in high school, I could say things to peo­ple I did­n’t like, and they would laugh. It’s a gift. I try to use only for good.” On that mis­sion, he’s suc­ceed­ed. Dur­ing the con­ver­sa­tion with For­ward, I ref­er­enced a 2015 Mon­tréal Just For Laughs video on his Youtube chan­nel where he opens with I don’t even like doing standup right now, because there’s at least 10 peo­ple here that are just here to get upset.” While some audi­ences would instant­ly turn on a com­ic mak­ing this dec­la­ra­tion and accu­sa­tion, For­ward takes an absur­dist turn (which I refuse to spoil), and we assure you the audi­ence is not upset at all, but hap­py to laugh at For­ward’s bru­tal accusations.

I realized in high school, I could say things to people I didn't like, and they would laugh. It's a gift. I try to use only for good.
Mark Forward

It is a gift he car­ries with him on set, as well. As Coach, For­ward is often found kick­ing trash cans and yelling at those around him, and yet, no one ever says an ill word about Coach as char­ac­ter. Part­ly because For­ward has a I’m just pre­tend angry” sheep­ish demeanor when he does these things, but also because you find out that Coach has rea­son to be angry and frus­trat­ed at the world. (R.I.P. his beloved Barb.) As Coach, he can share the ten­der side of his heart just as eas­i­ly as his rage. All in all, For­ward is a good guy, he’s a real good guy.

Since we are here to pro­mote the Sea­son 7 return of Let­terken­ny on Hulu on Octo­ber 14 (Canada’s Crave TV gets the sea­son on Octo­ber 11), we have to dig in just a bit more into what it’s like to work on the show and what Sea­son 7 will bring its eager audi­ences. Of course, we don’t get spe­cif­ic reveals from For­ward, oth­er than we can expect more” from Coach. Hav­ing seen the Sea­son 7 open­er while attend­ing the Let­terken­ny pan­el at the Austin Tele­vi­sion Fes­ti­val this past sum­mer, I assure you faith­ful Let­terken­ny fans, that there is, indeed, more of every­thing we’ve grown to love about the show these last 6 sea­sons. And how lucky are we that the show has a com­mit­ment for Sea­sons 8 through 10?

It's like summer camp, but for me, it's like, they're all gorgeous, well-built men and women. And then this old fat man shows up everywhere.
Mark Forward

Speak­ing of lucky, I asked For­ward what it was like to work with the cast and crew of Let­terken­ny. The response is exact­ly what I’d expect of For­ward after chat­ting with him for 40 min­utes: It’s like sum­mer camp, but for me, it’s like, they’re all gor­geous, well-built men and women. And then this old fat man shows up every­where.” The good news is, as he assures us through­out the inter­view, he’s walk­ing every day. For­ward. Always mov­ing forward.

Mark Forward