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April 16, 2014

'22 Minutes' Star Shaun Majumder Hits the Road

by Annette Bourdeau, posted Apr 26th 2011 2:20PM
Shaun Majumder is a busy man these days. The energetic star of 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes' and ABC's crime drama 'Detroit 1-8-7' is about to embark on a cross-Canada comedy tour called 'This Tour Has 22 Cities ... The Road to Majumder Manor.' He will also be filming the tour and turning into a behind-the-scenes documentary and a one-hour comedy special for HBO Canada.

As if that's not enough, he's also turning a personal passion project into a 12-part TV special called 'Majumder Manor' (the network and air date will be announced shortly). He recently bought his old school in his hometown of Burlington, Newfoundland, and is in the process of converting it into a high-end bed and breakfast to help rejuvenate his hometown and attract tourists. He'll be doing some fundraising on his tour to support local businesses in Burlington.

We caught up with the hard-working comedian during a recent stop in Toronto. His charming fiancé, actress Shelby Fenner ('Vantage Point') was with him, and the two hinted that they may or may not get married during the 'Majumder Manor' finale. What teases!

So why a headlining tour now?
Well, you know, I've been busy. And for me to say five years ago 'I'm ready to do a big solo theatre tour' ... I don't know if I was. I want to go when people might want to come see me.

Will this be your first time visiting some of the cities that you'll be stopping in, like Brandon, Manitoba –
Keep goin'.

Glace Bay, Nova Scotia –
Been there. I've been everywhere except Nanaimo. Never been to Nanaimo. I'm very excited. I flew an airplane in Brandon when I was working for YTV. I got to pay $100 to charity to go up in one of those trainers. They used that to train WWII pilots. It was awesome.



What can fans expect from the show?
No show is ever the same. I'm always off the cuff and exploring new ideas. It's going to be interesting because I'm also going to be talking a lot about this 'Majumder Manor' project. I'm using the tour to promote it to use it as a fundraiser as well. We want to start raising money for people in Burlington, NL, to start businesses.

How will that tie into your show?
I may do a pitch. I'm still shaping that message. But I'll also be outside after the show talking to people face-to-face. There may be some models, there might be some pictures. I'll also be selling a Raj Binder bobblehead, which will only be available on the tour.

Will the bobblehead proceeds go to the project?
I've got to figure that out. Maybe a portion of the proceeds will go to the project. That's a maybe, that's not a definite. That could also be me whoring myself out to make a little money on the side as well.

How did you wind up buying your old school?
When I moved away from Newfoundland there was always this longing to go back. Then one year I went back and decided to buy a plot of land. I asked around and there was this school that I went to as a little kid that was just sitting there. It had been closed for a bunch of years. And my buddy said go ask so and so about it, he's got it. I asked him, and he said sure, you can have it, but it'll cost you $2,700. And I was like, 'That's kind of crazy, what did you just say? OK, I'll take it.'

Are you starting to get recognized in the States now?
A little bit, especially when I was in Detroit filming. I was walking across the street early in the days of shooting 'Detroit 1-8-7,' and this man's like, 'Well my man! Look, it's my man! Who dat!' I was thinking he knows me from 'Cedric the Entertainer' for sure. He's like 'My man right there, you is funny!' so I knew it was comedy he knew me from. And then he says 'Yeah, man! You on that '22 Minutes' show!' Cuz they get CBC across the border and they watch '22 Minutes'! He was like 'Yo, that's my favourite show, man!'

How does that compare to the types of things Canadians say to you?
It depends, regionally. I've had a guy hold me in a headlock in the market in Ottawa and just tell me how hilarious I was, but he wouldn't let go because he was hammered. When I'm in Newfoundland it's interesting because people are like 'Shaun!' like we're family. And I appreciate that. I think it's cool. It's not like there's an omigod, it's Shaun Majumder! It's more like 'Shaun! How are you, man? How's everything? You still doing that project? Oh, well oh, great. Good luck with it!' In the United States it's very different than here, and I do like that.

What's going on with 'Detroit 1-8-7'? Is there any word about whether it will be picked up for Season 2?
There is no word. There's a whole lot of speculation, but there's no word yet. I know, and I'll say it on record, that I don't think they're going to develop a show as good as that right now. For us to get the chemistry that we got in such a short time and have the stories develop the way that they did. But then it was up to the network to promote it and I don't think they did as much as they should have to promote it. We have a great show that was diverse in its cast, gritty in its stories, gritty and real. And I think if they do cancel the show it's going to be sad to see it go.

'This Tour Has 22 Cities ...The Road to Majumder Manor' kicks off on April 28 in St John's and winds up on May 31 in Edmonton.

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