I wouldn’t say my girlfriend is obsessed with Canadian mockumentary series Trailer Park Boys, but when we were watching the show’s main characters, Mr. Lahey and Randy, perform live at The Rail Club last Thursday, she was clearly disappointed when I didn’t get a joke about the Bottle Kids. You know that Family Guy episode where Peter and Lois go to a KISS concert and Lois, to Peter’s surprise and disgust, gets the chorus to “Rock and Roll All Nite” wrong? That’s sort of what happened.
Exposed as the poseur that I am, I had to suffer the scorn of another Trailer Park Boys super-fan when he and my girlfriend were rehashing various bits while waiting for drinks at the bar. But he was nice, I guess, as well as baked like a pan of brownies. Lots of people were, in fact. Possibly Mr. Lahey, even. During the show, when he and Randy were peddling a bunch of questionably useful and shamelessly tasteless inventions, he put on a “suit” made out of a black 50-gallon trashcan liner with a clear plastic window taped to it, and he fired up a joint inside. If I remember correctly, the joint was passed up to the stage from an audience member. I suspect the real doob was swapped with a fake one that had been rolled specifically for that bit, but either way it was pretty funny. How can you not laugh at a balding, middle-aged man hotboxing himself inside a Hefty bag?
To some, I might have been cracking up over a glimpse into my eventual future, but whatever. Obviously, my girlfriend liked the show more than I did, but we were both fascinated by how surreal it is to see a television character in real life behaving exactly like he would on the show. There were a couple minutes following the intermission during which John Dunsworth, the actor who plays Mr. Lahey, broke character to talk about his daughter Sarah, an actress who is also a character on the show, but other than that, he was all Lahey, all the time. If you’ve ever been to Scarborough Faire, you know what it’s like to see a person staunchly remain part of an imagined universe. Except, in the case of Mr. Lahey and Randy Live, the village idiots came to you.
Reductively, Mr. Lahey and Randy’s live show is similar to a Cheech and Chong performance. Besides a lot of zingers about drugs, booze, and anal sex, they do a lot of songs and prop-comedy about … drugs, booze, and anal sex. Randy’s trademark beer-bellied shirtlessness prompted lots of other beer-bellied shirtlessness among audience members, and one of these newly shirtless dudes (who actually looked like he weighed about 90 pounds) was called up onstage to lie on a table so Mr. Lahey could do a shot out of his navel.
As the show drew to a close, Randy announced that the party would be continuing at The Moon Tower on Cherry Lane. My girlfriend and I were about to head there when we saw a throng crowded around Mr. Lahey, who was happily taking pictures with fans. Later, after he gave directions to a woman who was trying to back her truck out of the parking lot, he settled down against the back of a different car to read from his book of “shit-isms” (shithawk, shitstorm, etc.). I couldn’t hear what he was telling her, but I kinda hoped his suggestions were as awful as anything he might offer on the show. After that, he pontificated so eloquently about the inanity of America’s federal marijuana policy, I wondered if John Dunsworth had surfaced for a minute, but then it was back to the shit jokes, and I shut my mouth before I embarrassed myself again. –– Steve Steward
Follow Steve @bryanburgertime.