Laugh tracks: In conversation with K. Trevor Wilson
Letterkenny star releases fantastic new album
Toronto comic K. Trevor Wilson, of hit TV comedy Letterkenny, is set to release his sophomore album, Sorry! A Canadian Album. Last month, we sat down to discuss his work. Here is an excerpt from our full conversation that will be available soon at Postcity.com. Comedy albums are hot again. I grew up on cassettes. To me the early introduction to comedy was on long car rides. We’d go on a car ride, and my dad would fire one in the tape deck, and I’d listen to George Carlin, Robin Williams, Stephen Wright and a lot of Bill Cosby.… So many comedians grew up listening to him, and you’re almost embarrassed to tell people what an influence he was on your career. But I still tell young comics that, if you want to learn to tell a good story, listen to a Bill Cosby album. And where are you from? Toronto, born and raised. I was born at Mount Sinai and grew up in Etobicoke on the Kingsway. I’ve lived in a bunch of different spots in the city, and for the first time, I’m an east ender. Most people would think you’re from a small town, somewhere in the bush maybe? Even before Letterkenny, a lot of people thought I was a smalltown comic based on my look and based on my subject matter a lot of the time. But, no, I grew up in the city, and I went to a performing arts high school and minored in musical theatre. And you went to Humber Comedy School? Yes, I took the comedy writing and performance course. I was in the first two-year class, with, I think, my class had the lowest graduation rate. But still it probably has the most people in the business from it. The Sketchersons grew out of my year. Bob Kerr who writes for
This Hour [Has 22 Minutes] came out of my year. Nikki Payne, Gilson Lubin, Michelle Shaughnessy. It was a great group to come up with. Certainly there is a theme to the album, and that theme is Canadian-ness. How did that come about? It all came over time. As you go in this business, you travel around to different places and start collecting these stories that you bring the next time you go back there so you can let the audience know you’re not a total outsider, you’re familiar with their life and what they do, and you can form a bond through that. And over the years, I’d built enough of these travel stories up that we could just do a whole album of travel within Canada, of all the places I’ve been and the different attitudes. You always say, you mock who you love. And I love Canada. Tell me about Letterkenny.
Letterkenny came along at a wonderful time. Things were going very well with standup, but there was still something missing as far as notoriety, and I wasn’t satisfying that acting bug any more. I’d been very focused on standup for a long time. And it was something I was a fan of. I really enjoyed the web shorts. I thought they were unique and showed a really humorous side of Canada that Canadians would get but would also translate. So when I saw it [ Letterkenny] was being turned into a series, and I had the opportunity to audition for it, I was very excited. You gotta tell me about the Kimmel shot — on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. That was a lot of fun.… It was a wonderful experience. Jimmy is a class act, a very nice guy. He came out and talked to me before the show and after. And actually, after the show, he asked Don Barris to take me to the Comedy Store and introduce me around, which was very nice of him.
K. Trevor Wilson (left) and Mark Breslin during a recent interview at YukYuk’s in Toronto