Yes, for those of you out there that are wondering. I used the words “tribute”, “to”, “Canadian”, and “comedy” in that order, in the same sentence. I know a lot of people who look down to Canada/Canadians. Sometimes the way they pronounce the word “about” as “a-boat”, or the way they say “Zed” instead of “Zee” [like the letter], or the influence the French have over them is kind of funny to us Americans. That’s it, there’s no rebuttal here for that.
And the Canadians take it all in stride, as they are prone to do. But you have to hand it to them… some of their sitcoms and “mature cartoons” are far superior to the kind of comedy we have stateside.
The two examples that jump out at me right off the bat are: The Trailer Park Boys, and Odd Job Jack. We’ll take them one at a time.
The Trailer Park Boys are pretty much national treasures in Canada. They go on tour, had a successful 7 season run with their show, and have even gathered a pretty decent sized cult following in the U.S. I even read somewhere that they had the choice to shoot the show in Hollywood, but they had to give up some of the creative control and censor themselves for American television.
They opted to keep the show based in Canada due to that reason. Let me tell you up front, that there is a lot of foul language involved. There is also excessive drug references, and alcohol use (abuse?).
Obviously the show takes place in a trailer park. It revolves around the exploits and misadventures of the 3 main characters: Julian, Ricky, and Bubbles. There are a lot of running jokes throughout the show, but it’s also just so off the wall and randomly hilarious that you don’t have to watch the episodes in order. You can just jump right in and start laughing at the crazy dialogue, the wacky antics, and the overall persona of each character, no matter how major or minor they are. Check out a few of these “Best Of” clips, just to get the gist of the show:
The Best of Bubbles Part 1:
The Best of bubbles Part 2 (He’s my personal favorite character):
The Best of Ricky:
And check out this clip entitled “Best Police Chase Ever”:
It’s one of the guilty pleasures I have. Maybe it’s not for everyone. Maybe it wouldn’t have been as popular if it were shot in America. Maybe it’s a little rude, crude, and raunchy. That’s it, there’s no rebuttal here, either. It’s funny, it’s unique, it’s clever, and it’s Canadian.
Odd Job Jack is a cleaner version of the cutthroat style comedy the Trailer Park boys gives off. It’s a mature cartoon based in Canada, that’s comparable to The Simpson’s, Family Guy, American Dad, and the like. I found it while stumbling through Hulu one night, after I drank too much coffee and was forced to stay up way too late.
It revolves around the main character, Jack, who doesn’t have a steady job and is forced to work at a temp agency. I think we’ve all been there at one point in our life! Okay, I have, at least.. But this isn’t about me, it’s about Jack. Jack is a 20-something that lives with his pretty normal mother, his hippy-esque sister, and his pot smoking grandmother. He has an asian friend who helps run a family owned convenience store, and another friend who is a genius, but is also agoraphobic. You don’t have to look that one up, it means that he is scared of open spaces.. basically the opposite of claustrophobic, which means that he hates leaving his apartment.
So every episode Jack goes to the temp agency and is handed a different job. There’s quirky dialogue, awkward flashbacks, and the character of Jack himself is just goofy. It’s much more family friendly than the Trailer Park Boys (that goes without saying, I think), and it’s just a very enjoyable show to watch. It’s not as raunchy as some of the mature American cartoons, and it doesn’t rely on a lot of pop culture references the way Family Guy does. Or maybe it does, I just don’t know that much (if anything) about Canadian pop culture. Either way, it’s hysterical. Again, like the Trailer Park boys, it’s a series that doesn’t make you have to watch the beginning episodes to think the later ones are funny. I highly recommend watching a few episodes. It’s something fresh, and exciting. Something that probably not a lot of Americans have heard about, and if you’re reading this and you have heard about it, then good for you.. go get yourself some cookies. Check out a few of the clips below, and feel free to pass it along to your friends.
Those are two of my favorite episodes, anyways. If you have to sign up for a Hulu account, please do it. This is a very underrated cartoon that deserves more attention. I would love to own the DVDs so I can watch them anytime I want. If anyone feels like donating a set to me, e-mail!
It’s a maple leaf on their flag, not something else.. potheads.
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