By: Lauren De Vries
In completely predictable news, the Beaverton continues to be the most Canadian thing since a tiny hockey team getting Timmy’s and politely debating the impact of John A. Macdonald. Their panel on Saturday was an absolute delight, with everyone from the panelists to the moderator to the audience ready to bring their best selves to the table. The self-deprecation was strong, with amazing quips about writing their upcoming book ‘Glorious and/or Free’ (“You’re up at 4AM sitting together in a room being like ‘we’ve gotta get this Louis Riel joke right”) and the role of actors in the show (“It’s so great being actors because you don’t care what anyone else says or thinks”).
A highlight of the event occurred during the question period, when a member of the audience asked about the worst hate mail the show had received. The response was of course that in place of piles of hate mail, the show more commonly receives requests to make fun of different Canadian cities from Canadians who actually live in those cities. #SoCanadian. Jeff Detsky and Luke Gordon Field, show runners for ‘The Beaverton’, began to detail one particular commenter who for about three months barraged the Beaverton with requests to make fun of Edmonton, only to discover part way through that the rogue commenter was actually in the audience and was not actually living in Edmonton! And that’s in addition to being sung an inappropriate re-tooling of the Marine Land commercial theme song that was blocked by Beaverton lawyers before it could air by Alexander Saxton, writer on the show.
Quips aside, the Beaverton is a political satire show that airs Wednesdays at 10PM on Comedy Network beginning November 1st. The show stars Emma Hunter and Miguel Rivas as anchors, with excellent correspondents like Marilla Wex and Aisha Alfa as well as a strong writing team. In total, there are 8-10 writers who come in with 20-30 pitches of which maybe 10% are chosen to workshop, and of those 10% maybe 10% will make it to air. Pieces are usually written by one writer with contributions from the room, then a table read with the writers occurs, then the original writer completes a second draft, then some more re-tooling after notes from lawyers and producers and then the piece airs. Maybe. The average bit is re-written 10-12 times.
For the second season, the Beaverton is moving more towards the time-table of its satirical neighbours to the south. While during the last season pre-taping left them forced to guess news stories up to a week in advance (they filmed two versions of the American election results, one is now in their words ‘very sad’), this season’s turnaround will be more like 36-48 hours. As one panelist member cleverly put it, “it turns out if you want to do a topical news show you should not pre-tape the whole thing”. All in all, a beautiful event that left my Canadian heart beating proud and ready to see some more jokes about Trudeau’s dumb pretty face and NAFTA.
If you too are like a member of the audience who during the question period literally asked “what’s the best way to support you” like a goddam Canadian hero, feel free to watch full episodes of The Beaverton on Comedy Central. You can also share clips with your friends from their YouTube page, follow them on Instagram, or tweet at them via Twitter. You can also attend a taping of the Beaverton, go to their website or follow them on Facebook to stay updated.