Forget 'Trailer Park Boys.' The Guys Return for 'Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour'
by Chris Jancelewicz, posted Jul 22nd 2011 11:29AM
The boys are back in town -- but not in the form we're accustomed to. Julian, Ricky and Bubbles of 'Trailer Park Boys' fame have now morphed into several new characters for their three-part television miniseries 'The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour.'
Set in the fictional town of Port Cockerton (but actually filmed in Halifax, Nova Scotia), this high-energy series finds the boys in the midst of shooting their new sketch-variety TV show called 'The Happy Funtime Hour.' It gets eerie when an actor hired to play an eccentric scientist (the late Maury Chaykin) assumes the personality of his character after synthesizing a powerful and addictive hallucinogen derived from local berries. Chaos ensues when the cast of the variety show ingests the drugs and begin to believe they really are the characters they portray on the show, and run amok throughout the small town.
AOL TV caught up with Mike Smith and Robb Wells on the set (an old N.S. motel), but strangely, John Paul Tremblay was nowhere to be found. Two of the troublesome trio let us know what to expect from 'Funtime Hour,' their drag queen character and why they want to defy the typical Canadian TV show.
So can you guys tell me what the show's about? Because I read the synopsis and I don't understand what the hell's going on here.
Mike Smith: I can tell you pretty succinctly: It's about me, Rob and JP coming to a small town to shoot a new project called the 'Happy Funtime Hour,' which is sort of a variety sketch show. On the show, there are a lot of different characters like superheroes and pirates and things like that. And very early in the production of that show, a hallucinogen is accidentally administered to the cast and crew and everybody hired to play their characters now believe they really are those characters. So if you were hired to play a pirate, now you're a f---ing pirate.
That's why there are soldiers and cops out there on set?
MS: Yeah, these would've been actors that were hired to be on the 'Happy Funtime Hour.' Now they're on hallucinogens and they believe they really are those people. So we wake up after being on these drugs for X number of weeks and we wake up not knowing what's happened. The drugs affect memory and perception and things like that, so we wake up and have to piece together that we've a) caused this and b) figure out what's real and what isn't and who's an actor and who isn't and how to fix it. That's basically the concept in a nutshell.
What's awesome about that is you pretty much get free reign. Any time or era would work.
Rob Wells: We had to come up with a scenario that where it would all work.
You can do anything. Like, literally, anything.
MS: We took it much further. Beyond that, when you go to a group of characters, their POV, they hallucinate in that world. So when you go to the sandwich soldier's POV, they see everything in black and white, grainy World War II newsreel kind of footage, and when you're with the superheroes and you're in their world, they see everything in animation, like '70s Superfriends. So there's all these different looks that have been melded together into this one program and we're at the centre of it.
So were you guys on drugs when you came up with the idea?
[Laughter, innocent whistling]
I know that people miss 'Trailer Park Boys.' Do you think fans will like this show as much, or do you think it'll be the same audience? Do you think it'll be a different sort of attraction?
RW: I think our audience will like it, I think we may actually ... they'll be some people who actually didn't like 'Trailer Park Boys' that may like this.
MS: I mean, you know, it's hard to say. You're gonna get all angles. There's going to be some die-hard 'Trailer Park Boys' fans who might not get this show. There's gonna be some people who weren't into 'Trailer Park Boys' that might love this. But I think generally, our core group of fans are going to going to eat it up.
Well, just reading through the script, it's got similar humour. "Perogie tits." I laughed out loud reading that one.
RW: There are a few things that'll be quoted on the show. Now, one thing we didn't want to do was just make a new show where we each play a new character, so this way we're playing ten new characters each.
I think it's good for you guys, actually.
MS: Yeah, the other characters were so visually identifiable ... we ran the risk of people saying, "Oh well, that just looks like Ricky, Julian and Bubbles with a f---in' hat on," or something. So we went to the extreme of heavy prosthetics. Robb and I both play 300-pound black guys.
The last time I spoke with you, you guys said you were doing women as well.
RW: JP does, and Mike too.
MS: I play the town whore named Liza. Yeah. She is not attractive.
RW: She's really not. She's a reverse whore.
What do you mean "reverse whore?"
MS: She is a reverse whore. She paid people to come and bang her.
She must be just absolutely hideous, then.
MS: Well, she has my body, so, take it from there. She's got a bit of a gravelly voice.
Is she a smoker?
MS: She smokes the corncob pipe.
MS: And she knows her way around the bedroom.
So tell me about some of the stuff you've done so far. Apparently, you're filming the second season right now.
MS: Yep, we're leading off with season two.
Huh? Why is that?
RW: We want to finish with season one. Well, season one is always the backstory, so we want to save that.
MS: We wanted to avoid any conventional cliche. I love the idea of leading off with season two and maybe doing season four next year. Maybe coming back to three, moving them around, and then finishing the whole project with season one. And you get to see the backstory of what the f--- happened.
RW: What we'd really like to do is a feature where you see season one, and it just jumps right ahead past all the seasons and then you see the grand finale.
You guys have really thought this through.
RW: It's quite weird. Not everyone's going to understand it.
It's so nice because sometimes Canadian TV is so boring, you know --
RW: We don't want to leave our country, but we have to change it up a bit.
But it's just so nice to have something original, interesting, funny, when most of the time we have snow and desolation.
RW: I agree. If you can translate what our twisted minds came up with.
So overall, would you say that you're happy or nonchalant about leaving your 'Trailer Park Boys' characters behind?
RW: For me, it's mixed emotions. I loved playing that character and working on the show. I loved it, everybody's like a big family, cast and crew, but it's very exciting to try something completely different.
MS: I'd like to do both. I'd play Bubbles forever if that was the way things were, but that isn't the way things are.
What do you have to say to potential viewers of the show? What would you say to them to say, "Hey guys, tune into this. Watch this."
MS: Be open-minded when you see this thing.
RW: Be open-minded, hang on, and be ready to laugh. And you pretty much have to watch the whole season to truly understand everything. The episodes do stand on their own, but there's so much stuff that arcs throughout the season.
MS: Yeah, when we finish and it airs, and we put out the DVD, we're going to put out a version where it plays as one thing.
Do you have any words for the absent John Paul? He's tired? Sleepy?
MS: He takes a lot more care in his looks than we do.
RW: He spends hours on his skin.
MS: He's probably moisturizing his skin.
RW: Working out every individual muscle in his body.
I love that you guys are just completely out of the box here.
MS: We've tried to not do a single thing in the box, but in the process of attempting that, we've created a f---ing monster, like a nine-headed monster.
RW: We're not big fans of the Canadian box, so we had to get out.
Check out the boys in 'The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour' on Friday, July 22 at 9PM ET on Action.