Posts Tagged ‘Corner Gas’

Brent Butt will be presented with The Comedy Network Sir Peter Ustinov Award at The Banff World Television Festival on June 9.

He will be joining the ranks of notable comic actors Guy A. Lepage, Barry Humphries (a.k.a. Dame Edna), John Cleese, Bob Newhart, Martin Short, Tracy Ullman, Kelsey Grammer and Rick Mercer.

“We are so thrilled to present this award to Brent,” says Jennifer Harkness, Executive Director. “For years he has been one of Canada’s best comedic actors, and has now become one of our best exports to television audiences around the world.”

At 20, the popular Canadian television figure began a career in stand-up comedy rising quickly through the ranks. Within a year, he was headlining in Toronto and after only four years, he was showcased in his own gala performance at Montreal’s Just for Laughs comedy festival.

Butt was named “Best Male Stand-Up in Canada” at the 2001 Canadian Comedy Awards and was subsequently selected to represent the nation on the World Comedy Tour in Australia.

Corner Gas was first aired in January 2004. The series has consistently delivered more than one million viewers each week and remains Canada’s #1 comedy and most-watched Canadian scripted series. Butt is not only the star, but also the creator, writer, executive producer and director.

Corner Gas is currently in pre-production on its sixth and final season.

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Corner GasThe hit CTV series’ creator and star Brent Butt announced the sixth season would also be the last.

The Dog River residents had accumulated six Gemini awards, including three for Best Comedy Series; as well an audience in 26 countries and a viewership that frequently exceeded one million on Monday nights. This is an exceptional feat for a made-in-Canada sitcom in a prime-time slot.

“It was a very tough decision to make, but it was time,” said an emotional Butt, who is also the series’ director and executive producer. “The only way for you to end the show in a way that people are not going to think it’s too soon is to do it when it’s too late. And Corner Gas, it’s too special. I couldn’t stand to watch it get to where people were ready for it to leave.”

CTV president Ivan Fecan was also somber but understanding of Butt’s desire for fans to remember the show at its peak. “I didn’t want it to end, we don’t want it to end, but his reasons are actually pretty good… He wants to go out at the top.”

Nonetheless, Butt assures viewers nothing is going to change in the small Saskatchewan town. “We’re not writing towards a specific end,” he said. “Nobody is leaving Dog River.”

The last season goes into production next month with the final episodes airing in spring 2009.

When asked if there would ever be a Corner Gas movie, Butt was optimistic. “We’ve talked about making a movie and everybody likes the idea, it’s just a matter of timing and when. I’d love to see it.”

IT'LL HAPPEN: Gabrielle Miller and Fred Ewanuick in a scene from Love and Other Dilemmas (Photo courtesy Maple Pictures)Love and Other Dilemmas could cause audiences to walk away with a toothache.

The romantic comedy is more like a dysfunctional fairy tale, complete with a curse, death, birth, resurrection and happily ever after.

Ginger’s grandmother cursed all the future generations of women in her family — unless they can “properly” wed the father of their unborn child before its birth, he will become half-dead and her daughter will carry the curse forward. Ginger (Gabrielle Miller) is determined to break the curse and her fiancé, Henry, (Stephen Lobo) is dedicated to helping her do so. However, the forces of the universe are not going to make it easy for the expecting parents; robbery, gambling, death and major miscommunications plague their special day.

The story and its characters are very sweet and, as in any good romance, the power of love triumphs despite the numerous obstacles encountered.

Miller was the perfect choice to play Ginger as she brings just the right balance of feistiness, desperation, vulnerability and sweetness to her character. As for the groom, even when Henry is doing something wrong or stupid, Lobo can simply cast a playful smile at the camera and his character is forgiven. Furthermore, one of television’s much-loved nuisances, Fred Ewanuick (Corner Gas), plays one of the bungling burglars and possible groomsmen.

Not only are cast members well-suited to their roles, they are also composed of an array of recognizable Canadian talent from such home-grown television shows as Robson Arms, Corner Gas and Godiva’s. Viewers may also recognize some of the attention-stealing scenery as the film was shot on location in Vancouver.

Giggles are had as the curse continuously rears its ugly head via various near-fatal attempts on Henry’s life or anyone else trying to sabotage the couple’s wedded bliss. In addition, the reoccurring presence of the floral armchair that started it all is a cute, if not clever, sight gag.

Love and Other Dilemmas is fun fluff; great for those Sunday afternoons when all you want is a nice, clean, uncomplicated laugh.