We hope that you’ll join us on Saturday, December 1st as we welcome special guests, poet/author, Lee Maracle and film critic, Richard Crouse!
Monkey Toast is a six-time Canadian Comedy Award winning talk/improv show. Each show our host interviews two different celebrity guests. After an interview segment the focus shifts to the Monkey Toast Players, six of the best improvisers in the world, who use the interview as springboard for their improvised scenes. The show then goes back and forth between interview and improv.
Starring The Monkey Toast Players: Lisa Merchant, Marty Adams, Christy Bruce, Albert Howell, Jack Mosshammer and Jim Annan. Music by Ayaka Kinugawa. Hosted by David Shore.
8 pm – 10 pm at the Social Capital Theatre (154 Danforth Ave – Second Floor, Toronto, Ontario) Buy tickets HERE!
Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters had never met before starting work on the new police dramedy Battle Creek.
“I was actually driving onto the lot in Manhattan Beach for a fitting,” says Winters, the actor known for his roles on Oz, 30 Rock and the Allstate Insurance commercials, “and I wasn’t looking where I was going and literally, true story, almost ran Josh over. That was our first encounter.”
Their jarring introduction could have been useful as they created their characters, a Battle Creek, Michigan cop and FBI agent who butt heads on police procedure and everything else, but they decided not to be too method in their approach to the work.
“To me that is a sign of insecurity in people who don’t know what they are doing,” says Winters.
Instead the pair relied on-the-job research to get under the skins of their characters.
Duhamel spent time with Battle Creek cops, doing ride alongs with their undercover officers, drug enforcement team and gang unit. “There is some real stuff happening in that town,” he says. “Nobody would ever suspect because it sits right in between Detroit and Chicago but they get a lot of riff raff fleeing either city and hiding out there. They get a lot of crime you wouldn’t expect in what seems to be a very all-American town.”
Winters says “the best part of the ride alongs is actually listening to the cops talk. They have their own language, their own rhythms in the way they talk to one each other. It’s really fascinating. I don’t think anyone has ever really captured it to be honest with you.
“It truly is a whole different world. I really do the relationship Josh and I have is pretty close, especially when we’re driving down the street in the Suburban. A lot of those conversations are priceless. I think [Canadian series creator and writer] David Shore has a real ear for that.”
On screen the pair investigate a series of wild cases—“The crimes we are investigating on the show you won’t see anywhere else,” says Duhamel.—like an illegal maple syrup ring and the murder of a cereal company mascot. “We have to take it seriously as police officers,” says Duhamel, “but it is kind of funny.”
With thirteen episodes in the can Battle Creek Duhamel and Winters have had time to get to know one another since their first meeting and have become close.
“I just really like him and wanted to be his friend,” laughs Duhamel.
“I just want to stand near him.” Winters says of his handsome co-star. “He makes you look good.”
Richard interviews Josh Duhamel & Dean Winters on “Battle Creek”
JOSH: Being the committed actor that I am. I wanted to go see it and feel it and talk to some of the local cops to see what kind of stiff they really deal with. See how they felt about this show. It was a lot more informative than I expected it to be. I expected to wander around. I didn’t tell anybody I was going until I got there. I had somebody call the police department and they took me out on a ride along with their undercover guys, their drug enforcement guys, the gang unit. There is some real stuff happening in this town. Nobody would ever suspect because it sits right in between Detroit and Chicago and they get a lot of riff raff fleeing either city and hiding out there. They get a lot of crime you wouldn’t expect in what seems to be a very all-American town.
Josh: It was actually very… he puts in in the back of this car and I can’t really tell you what we did or bought…
JOSH: He put me in the car, in the backseat. He drives this old crappy Suburban with a cracked woindow and a windshield wiper that never stops, but he’s a cop and he has these CI’s these Confidential Informants he uses to get information. He could put these guys away if he wanted but they help get the big fish. He’s building a case against this guy and I’m in the backseat and he introduces me to this heroin addict who is an informant for him. “This is my friend Milt.” That’s who I play on the show. We bought drugs and did the whole thing. A ew weeks later he sent me a text saying they had gotten the guy they were trying to get.
I’d never been in that situation. It’s pretty real when you’re actually in it. It doesn’t feel like TV anymore.