BY JAMIE KNERR Trailer Park Boys, now deep into its second decade as a beloved breakout comedy series, is showing no signs of slowing down. The Boys and crew wrapped Season 12 (now streaming on Netflix) in the spring and are currently taking to the road for a run of Christmas-themed live theatrical performances that brings them to the Tower Theater on Thursday (Dec. 6th). Set in beautiful Sunnyvale Trailer Park in Nova Scotia (that’s sarcasm, it’s really a total dump) the mockumentary-style Trailer Park Boys follows the misadventures of its three antiheroes: Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles (Robb Wells, John Paul Tremblay and Mike Smith, respectively). The exploits of the hapless, perpetually stoned and drunk trio routinely place them on the wrong side of the law or in some other ridiculous entanglement, through no fault of their own, of course. They just can’t seem to catch a break.
Ricky, Julian and Bubbles face relentless daily hassles with neighbors, criminal rivals, park management and the cops; for them life in Sunnyvale is a never-ending series of worst-laid plans and dubious shenanigans. No matter how hard the Boys try to go legit they inevitably wind up right back where they started: knee-deep in petty crime, car chases, drug deals, and larceny. Their frequent trips to jail (“Con College,” as it’s called on the show) provide some of the most hilarious moments, as time and again their newest hair-brained intrigue ends in riotous disaster and/ or incarceration.
Replete with creatively-worded expletives and “Rickyisms” (aka Ricky’s own unique brand of malapropisms) the dialog is quick and disarmingly natural; many of the funniest lines are ad libbed during shooting. Sunnyvale boasts a broad array of quirky and colorful neighbors, in what would have to be called the most dysfunctional enclave in all of Canada. The camera crew becomes an unwilling part of the cast (they’ve been assaulted numerous times by characters on the show) as they frantically race to document the Boys’ latest get-rich-quick schemes and failed attempts to leave the life of crime behind. In advance of TPB’s performance at the Tower Theater on Thursday, Phawker caught up with Ricky and Julian recently to discuss Sunnyvale, their whirlwind stage tour, and all things Trailer Park Boys.
PHAWKER: Hey it’s Jamie, you all there?
JULIAN: It’s just Ricky and Julian, Bubbles couldn’t make it today. Can you hear us?
RICKY: Good! It’s going really well. The crowds have been great. People are saying it’s our best show yet.
PHAWKER: I saw you went to Europe recently…
RICKY: It was a lot of fun! It’s nice to go to all the different countries and meet all the fans, we were pretty shocked actually, it’s just as crazy as America. We had no idea we had that many fans.
PHAWKER: You guys have been traveling a lot lately…
RICKY: Yeah, spending a lot of time out of Sunnyvale.
PHAWKER: Do you miss home when you go away?
RICKY: Oh definitely.
PHAWKER: So it seems like every time you boys try to go legit you wind up back in jail. Is it just bad luck or what?
RICKY: Well Julian’s really bad at planning stuff, so…
JULIAN: Well Ricky doesn’t really think about anything when we’re going out to do a job.
PHAWKER: It’s a good thing you guys have Bubbles to keep you out of trouble.
RICKY: Yeah, if it weren’t for Bubbles we’d probably be in jail a LOT more.
PHAWKER: You seem to miss jail when you’re away for a while though.
PHAWKER: Ricky, how many times you figure you’ve been shot over the years?
RICKY: Uh, probably five or six I guess…I’ve been pretty lucky, nothing’s been fatal yet.
PHAWKER: What do you boys think of Philadelphia?
RICKY: We’ve been there a couple times, it’s always a really crazy crowd!
JULIAN: Looking forward to getting a cheesesteak and you know, I’m like a really big Rocky fan…
PHAWKER: You bringing anyone else from Sunnyvale on this tour?
RICKY: Just me, Julian, Bubbles and Randy.
PHAWKER: So Randy will be there too?
PHAWKER: And after Philly?
RICKY: We’re heading to Boston, NY, Rochester, then back to Sunnyvale for Christmas. Christmas at Sunnyvale’s incredible. I usually take all the money I make on stage and get booze for everybody.
PHAWKER: What’s the latest with Freedom 35 (the Boys’ long-term plan to get rich and retire from the life of crime)?
JULIAN: Still working on it man…it’s not quite Freedom 35 anymore, but I think we’re getting closer to retirement.
PHAWKER: I gotta ask—why do some people think you guys are total losers?
JULIAN: I don’t know, I think they must be jealous. A lot of people work their 9 to 5 jobs Monday to Friday and they have their mortgage bills and all these other bills, you know…we don’t do that, we’re kind of our own businessmen, we make our own money and survive, and we don’t need much. Like we’re happy, you know, no stress. Fuck those people.
PHAWKER: So Julian, what happened to your ex-fiance Candy? It seemed like you guys were doing so well…
JULIAN: Well, it’s kinda hard, I mean…deep down inside I’m probably always going to be somebody who breaks the law and well, she works for the courts now, so that’s not a good couple. “Way she goes”, as Rick’s dad would say.
PHAWKER: Is it true that there are certain words you’re not allowed to say up in Canada now?
RICKY: Yeah there are, it’s kinda detarded. It’s getting pretty strict with all that now. Looking forward to Philly though, it’s going to be nice and rowdy. It’s a brand new show so we’re hoping a lot of people will come and check it out.
PHAWKER: Thanks for taking the time, see you boys in Philly.
JULIAN: Yeah, take ‘er easy man, thank you!