"It's gallows humor": Canadian actors on writing comedy in the Trump era

Four Canadian actors/comedians give advice and hope on how to keep making people laugh during Trump's America


Rachel Leah
February 17, 2017 5:00AM (UTC)
The Salon video was produced by Kevin Carlin

Between travel bans, Russian contacts, White House leaks, breaking up families through deportation and regression on women's and trans issues, can we still find a way to laugh? That's what Salon Talks wanted to know from the cast of "Schitt's Creek," a Canadian sitcom that airs on CBC Television.

"Schitt's Creek" creators and father-son duo Eugene and Daniel Levy, alongside co-stars Annie Murphy and Catherine O'Hara, discussed comedy in the age of Trump.

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"It's gallows humor," O'Hara said, pointing to Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Bill Maher as examples of comedy writers who can get laughs during such tumultuous times.

Daniel Levy said people should continue to lead by example by creating comedy that reflects good values.

"What we try to do in our show is depict a town that is accepting of everyone and I think that's all you can hope to do when you have any kind of outlet and a voice in the media, is try to lead by example and hope that others follow suit," the younger Levy said.

But we had a more pressing question for the Canadian actors.

"No, seriously, can you let us in?"

"Trudeau said he loves everyone" O'Hara said.

But Daniel Levy doesn't think we should give up just yet.

"If the Americans come to Canada who's going to fix America?" he said. "We need the fighters to stay in America to fight!"

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Annie Murphy and Eugene Levy echoed Canada's support. "We're all in this together," they said.

Although Eugene Levy said there isn't anything particularly funny about the Canadian Prime Minister -- who recently met with President Donal Trump -- he gloated of Trudeau's success as a leader and on his good looks.

"We're thrilled in Canada to have Justin Trudeau leading the country. I think he's done a great job so far. He's handled himself well on the international scene," Levy said. "I think for a young, relatively handsome dude, he's done very well, the country's done very well by him."


Rachel Leah

Rachel Leah is a culture writer for Salon. You can follow her on Twitter: @rachelkleah.

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