TV

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Mr. Dee asks, so Mr. D gets a visit from Peters

  • Print

TORONTO -- Getting comedy superstar Russell Peters to make a cameo on Monday's episode of Mr. D was as easy as making a phone call, says teacher-turned-comic Gerry Dee.

Reining him in once he showed up to ad-lib through his scenes was another matter.

"We went off for 15 minutes, him and I," Dee says of a key scene in which the two class clowns volley jokes freely.

"There was some really funny stuff."

Of course, much of that won't be seen because the exchange was whittled down for the show's season 2 première (Monday at 8 p.m., CBC), but Dee says the door has been left open to welcome Peters back in a future episode.

Peters debuts as a stuffy school board official who arrives at Xavier Academy to evaluate the performance of its newest educators -- Dee's bumbling character Gerry Duncan and his fastidious colleague Lisa Mason, played by Lauren Hammersley.

As the first season revealed, Gerry's teaching strategies generally involve bluffing his way through course material and passing the time with grandiose stories about his own youth.

Suddenly being under the board's microscope forces the phys-ed jock to pull his act together quickly, and that doesn't come easily for Gerry.

However, Dee says it was surprisingly easy to get Peters to appear on the CBC hit.

"I phoned him with one of those calls where it was like: 'Look, I know you can't do this, but I gotta ask,'" says Dee, who credits his wife with giving him the casting idea.

"And he called right back, which is unlike Russell, and said, 'I'd like to, I love the show.' And that was it."

Season 2 will offer a deeper glimpse into Gerry's personal life, promises Dee, who based the series and many of its gags on his own experiences as a former high school teacher.

That includes life at the bachelor pad Gerry shares with his bartending pal Bill, played by Darrin Rose, who gets plenty of attention from young attractive women.

"(There was) some great casting this year, I'll say that," Rose quips.

Gerry, however, is increasingly interested in finding a girlfriend. Accordingly, this season's storyline reveals that he's more than just a buffoon.

"We get to see a little softer, a nicer side of the character," says Dee, adding that striking the right tone was a delicate balancing act.

"It's got to be controlled, otherwise it's just becoming a soft comedy, right? Or a romantic comedy, and it's not. But it helps Gerry's character because we see that he's actually a good guy."

A show's sophomore season is often seen as a crucial test of its potential staying power.

In Mr. D's case, it will be the season that brings the show's quirky cast together and sees them settle into a groove as a whole, says Dee.

"It's probably tough for everybody in season 1," notes Dee, who mused on the show's evolution alongside Rose.

"But I had the pressure of, 'Oh my God, if this show's not good it's (all me).' So we're kind of past that pressure point, now we're more relaxed."

"And I think the writers know better the tone of your humour and also they know who to pair up," adds Rose.

"Like how you and I are funny together, how you and Jono (Jonathan Torrens) are funny together."

Dee says fine-tuning those dynamics means viewers can expect more screen time for Mark Forward, who plays librarian Wayne Leung, and Mark Little, who plays impressionable science teacher Simon Hunt.

Throughout, Dee says there will be a good dose of improv to keep season 2 chugging along.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 5, 2013 G7

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Inside peek at Real Pirates, new Manitoba Museum exhibit

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Someone or thing is taking advantage of the inactivity at Kapyong Barracks,hundreds of Canada Geese-See Joe Bryksa’s goose a day for 30 days challenge- Day 15- May 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Has the attack on Parliament hill shaken your faith in Canada's ability to protect its citizens from terrorist threats?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google