The Crave TV show “Letterkenny” has become a cult favourite over the past couple of years. It follows the misadventures of “hicks,” skids” and “hockey players” hanging around the fictional Ontario town of Letterkenny, usually around the the main character Wayne’s (played by series creator Jared Kesso) produce stand where he is joined by his friends Daryl (Nathan Dales), Squirrley Dan (K Trevor Wilson) and Wayne’s sister Katy (Michelle Mylett), who discuss the minutiae of life in between “chirping” with the local hockey players and meth-addled skids. It is like a mix of “Seinfeld,” “Corner Gas” and “The Trailer Park Boys” set in the country.
“I met Jared in Vancouver and we started making two-minute YouTube videos called ‘Letterkenny Problems,’ which became really popular and the TV show came after for Crave TV. And now we’ve been doing them for three years. We never expected that to happen,” said Calgary-born actor Nathan Dales, who splits his time working in Vancouver and shooting “Letterkenny” in Toronto and Sudbury.
“We‘re shooting season six now. When that’s done we’ll go on the encore tour because the first time was so successful,” Dales said, adding the live “Letterkenny” experience is a different than the televised version.
“We’ll be bringing the produce stand, so K Trevor Wilson, Jared Keeso and I will be in lawn chairs in front of the produce stand doing some of the favourite bits from the show. We’ll have new video and K Trevor Wilson will be doing a set of stand-up comedy,” he said.
Mark Forward, who plays Coach in the show, will also be doing a stand-up comedy set.
“The Letterkenny Live is like theatre. You get an instant reaction from the audience, good or bad. It’s something really special,” he said.
Dales said he is similar to Daryl.
“I’m a lot like Daryl. He’s a supportive friend,” he said.
Dales, who was raised in Calgary, noted he grew up with the types of characters in the show.
“I played hockey, but I’m probably more of a hick,” he said, adding hockey culture inspires a lot of the show.
“Jared used to play junior hockey. He grew up in Listowel, so a lot of people think Letterkeny is Listowel. But Letterkenny is an amalgamation of all the little towns he used to travel to to play,” he observed.
Keeso is a familiar face from several TV mini-series including police drama “19-2” plus he played a young Don Cherry in a couple of series about the renowned hockey commentator.
So is Jared Kesso, a.k.a. Wayne, really the toughest guy in Letterkenny as he asserts?
“He’s actually the kindest, sweetest guy. He works really hard. He could put you down, but he’d rather bring you up,” Dales said, noting the cast doesn’t improv much on the scripts, though the dialogue seems really off the cuff and spontaneous.
“Jared and Jacob Tierney write the scripts. There’s a little bit of improv, but the scripts are so great, we stick pretty close to them,” he said.
Dales also played agent Samansky in Russell Peters’ recent mini-series “The Indian Detective,” which Dales enjoyed doing.
“Russell Peters is a great guy. He’s a busy guy. I shot all of my scenes in Toronto, though they travelled all over to shoot the series. I don’t know if they are doing a second season. I hope they are. But he’s really busy on a stand-up comedy tour,” Dales said.
He is excited to bring “Letterkenny” back on the road.
“It’s about a group of buddies hanging out together and talking. So who wouldn’t want to do that?” he said, adding the cast is close and even play on a beer league hockey team together.
“Letterkenny” stops by the Enmax Centre Dec. 14. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35, $49.50 or $75.