It's about to get a lot easier for Jon Dore fans to get their fix of the affable Canadian comedian.
Season 3 of his popular show "Funny As Hell" premieres this week on HBO Canada. And next month, you can find him co-starring alongside the likes of Sarah Chalke ("Scrubs"), Elizabeth Perkins ("Weeds") and Brad Garrett ("Everybody Loves Raymond") in the new ABC sitcom "How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)."
Dore is also still doing the stand-up circuit, too. In fact, he's hosting a "Funny As Hell" show in Toronto this week -- the first time the show has left its Montreal home.
HuffPost TV caught up with Dore from his Toronto hotel room to chat about what crazy shenanigans we can expect from this season of "Funny As Hell," the creative challenges that come along with being so darn busy and what it was like being treated like royalty on the set of "Parents." For good measure, he also threw in an entertaining rant about his "big beef of the day."
What can we expect from the new season?
We definitely, as far as I'm concerned, upped the production value of the sketch pieces, which is my favourite part of the show. My friends Adam [Brody], Dave [Derewlany] and I, every year we sit down and write about 12-13 sketches and then we kill off about three of them. And then we're left with another 10. I'm very excited about some of the sketch pieces this year.
I know they can be pretty random, but can you provide any hints about what kind of subject matter the sketches cover?
My favourite was one the three of us collaborated on It's the story of a ... well, it's kind of hazy, you're unsure of what he was convicted of. But he's definitely a recent parolee released from prison, and he's not allowed to go anywhere near children, and he's confronted with a major dilemma, which is save a child from a burning building or compromise his parole. And we answer that question this year! I won't tell you what happens.
You must have to write a lot of new material for the show. What's that process like?
It's not fun! It's my least favourite part of the entire show, to be honest with you. To nurture the material properly, I don't get that luxury. Even some unfinished ideas I have to use. So that's the one drawback of hosting a show -- to turn over essentially almost a new hour every year, that's a lot, especially when I have other projects on the go. Thankfully we've got other comedians on the show who are doing their best sets, which is a relief.
Regarding the other comedians popping up, do you have any moments or bits? I saw the episode with Sam Simmons and the bread shoes, that was pretty random...
Oh yeah, shit. That's probably as crazy as it gets, as far as props go. A home run is Kurt Braunohler. If you don't know Kurt, you'll know him very, very soon. He's got an elaborate idea planned that's going to make big news. He's going to be writing a joke in the air using skywriting. It's going to be big viral news once it happens, I think. It's a big, grandiose idea and he's raised a lot of money to do it.
I know you also have "How to Live With Your Parents" coming up ... what was it like working on that?
It was amazing. It was relatively easy work. When we do "The Jon Dore Television Show" or these sketches for "Just For Laughs," it's a very small crew, the lines of responsibility blur and you wind up doing a lot of different things. This is a big-time ABC sitcom, so you're treated better than anybody ever should be treated. It's a primetime show, so it's a little guarded at times, but it was really fun.
What was it like working with Sarah Chalke and Elizabeth Perkins?
Sarah Chalke is probably among the top five favourite people I've ever met. She's the kind of person who runs to set. She's eager, and she's the head of the show so she feels responsible. Beyond that, she's funny, so we laugh outside the show. Elizabeth Perkins is just acting royalty. You learn so much from her. She's so funny and smart and talented. You feel like the new guy on set, that's for sure, when you've got the two of them and Brad [Garrett]. Brad is brilliant on the show, he's toned it down a touch, and he's brilliant. It's a really fun show and I like the idea of it. We'll see where goes.
Have you ever had any weird encounters with audience members?
Every week! Every week there's someone weird! Don't get me wrong, a lot of times I'm the weird one. But late show Friday there's always some drunk person who wants to be part of the show.
What's the weirdest encounter you've ever had?
I mostly just don't like it when someone is trying to be part of the show and they've been told they shouldn't be part of the show, and they relentlessly try to be part of the show. Those people I despise. Yeah, mostly drunks. I don't mind people who are a little tipsy, that's fine. But when the club lets people who are already drunk into the club because it's another $20 ticket price, that bothers me. If they're drunk before, they shouldn't come in. And the managers say to you, be careful, they're a little drunk tonight. Well no, you go tell them to leave then! That's the way it should work. I can't think of another business where they say they're a little drunk, but we let them in. Name a business, I defy you! It drives the comedian nuts when people are allowed in when they are previously drunk. That's my big beef of the day!
Do you have anything else coming up that fans might be interested in hearing about?
Not that fans would be interested in hearing about. I'm considering carpeting my basement, and that is about it. So if the fans want to come help, come on down.
Season 3 of "Funny As Hell" premieres on HBO Canada on Friday, March 22 at 9 p.m. ET/MT.
Related: The Cheesiest Canadian Game Shows
'Just Like Mom' (1980-85)
This epic entry in the Canadian TV canon featured kids being asked questions about their mothers and families (now <em>very</em> inappropriate), and the much-loved Baking Round, where fun ingredients like chocolate chips, Gatorade and marshmallows were combined to make various baked goods (see video). Then Mom had the taste test, which was the climax of every episode. With all the touching and candid questions, a show like this could never air nowadays.
'Bumper Stumpers' (1987-90)
This game show goes down in history as having the best (read: worst) theme song of all time. It features -- of course -- honking car horns. Contestants are challenged to decipher vanity license plates. That's it. You can see how this game show had its limits. Eventually they <em>had</em> to run out of plate ideas.
This game's pretty fun -- two teams "talk about" people, places and things, trying to say every single word associated with the topic. The teams compete to finish up the list, and whoever does first, wins. You can tell the show's Canadian when they say "Talkabout." Just sayin'.
'Acting Crazy' (1991-92, 1994)
Just when you thought real-life charades was fun, "Acting Crazy" came along and upped the ante. Featuring D-list Canadian celebrities and comedians, average folk would be teamed up with the celebs to play charades. (Fun fact: Marcia Wallace, the voice of Edna Krabappel on "The Simpsons," was a frequent player.)
'Chain Reaction' (1986-91)
The concept is simple: complete the chain of connected words. From the fantastic '80s set to the awkward host back-and-forth, this popular game show really set the stage for future Canadian gems.
'Anything You Can Do' (1971-74)
Think today's world is sexist? You should try to make it through this game, which pits men and women against each other in a series of mental and physical challenges -- often ridiculous, as you'll see in this video. (Boy, times have changed.)
Headline Hunters (1972-1983)
In possibly one of the ugliest game-show sets of all time, contestants are tasked with identifying a newsmaker or event from clues given in the form of headlines. It makes up for the boredom by actually imparting knowledge. Think of it as the poor man's "Jeopardy."
'Supermarket Sweep' (1992-95)
Pretty much exactly the same as the other iterations of "Supermarket Sweep," the Canadian version features pairs of contestants as they answer questions about grocery store items. Then there's the infamous shopping round, where they run around the store with grocery carts, jamming things into their carts to up their final tallies. The cross-section of contestants in the early '90s is entertainment at its finest.
Hosted by Alex Trebek (check out that stache! And hair!), "Pitfall" was more physical than your typical game show, and it also utilized the audience. Most exciting was the Pitfall Round (see video). The company that produced the show, Catalena Productions, went bankrupt in 1982, so several later-winning contestants didn't get paid. Nor did Trebek, who keeps his bounced cheque framed on his wall.
One of the longest-running game shows in Canadian history, "Definition" was loosely based on Hangman, and had some "Wheel of Fortune" aspects to it. Every answer is a pun that works with the given topic -- and that's about as fun as it gets. Insomniacs, take note!
'The Mad Dash' (1978-1985)
Ever dreamed of being a board game piece? You'd be in luck, then, if you were a contestant on "The Mad Dash." One member of each pair elected to be the "dasher," who would run the life-sized game board, while the "roller" remained at the host's podium until the dasher made it to the end. With such stellar prizes as a pen set and a shirt, it's no surprise this was super-popular.
Man, when we were kids, we <em>really</em> wanted to be on this show. It wasn't only because we wanted to sit in the cool race cars, but they had awesome kid-oriented toy prizes like the NES, a microscope and remote-control cars. Watching the video now, it seems like it was just a vehicle (pun intended) for kids to embarrass their families.
Sixteen contestants competed for an entire week, with one designated King/Queen of the Hill, who stood at a circular podium. The other 15 contestants, numbered 1 through 15, were seated in bleachers. Each had a special wallet containing a riddle and a varying cash amount -- and then, depending on whether the King/Queen got the right answers, he/she or the riddle-asker would win the coveted jackpot.