What’s endearing about “Letterkenny Live” is that all the performers are there to prove that it’s not just behind-the-scenes magic that imbues each episode with its trademark signatures. The show’s machine-gun barrage of fast-paced puns, the Skids’ dance moves, everyone’s ability to (almost always) keep straight faces while the jokes escalate — ‘Letterkenny Live’ proves that it’s is natural. Stewart (Tyler Johnston) and Roald (Evan Stern) start the show off going groovy like they would in a convenience store parking lot, only for Roald to bust some competition-level breakdancing chops with lap after lap. It’s just a taste before Wayne (Jared Keeso), Katy (Michelle Mylett), Daryl (Nathan Dales) and Squirrely Dan (K. Trevor Wilson) get back to their usual pace of building puns like the Jenga towers that never collapse.
They are professionals – I get it. That’s not what I commemorate. “Letterkenny Problems” began as this “Hicks from the farmland” web series, and you can tell Jared Keeso is more than overwhelmed with the show’s success from Canadian fame to international fame. That goes for the entire cast, roughly 10+ seasons. Keeso onboards “Letterkenny Live” attendees asking, “How are you now?” and thrives on the fuel of his audience’s laughter, primarily when locating one-liners to destroy the city host that night. There’s already an episode about Los Angeles jabronis who can’t stop talking about tacos and hiking, but the added UCLA potshots were a nice touch.
The entirety of “Letterkenny Live” revolves around giving back to the fan base. Not only that, but COVID-19 has derailed this particular journey of remaking “Letterkenny Live” (multiple times if memory doesn’t crash). It almost feels like a Letterkenny talent show – minus Darry’s line dancing – as stand-up comedians K. Trevor Wilson, Mark Forward (who throws trash as “Coach”) and Jeff McEnery ( who cleans toilets as “Alexander”) performing sets for the audience out of character. Wayne and the gang are also unboxing new goodies for “Letterkenny” fans (exclusives not to be spoiled). Everyone wants to contribute, not just through non-televised skits, making the whole production feel like they’re in for a hug that reeks of sweat and Gus N’ Bru. In accordance with the show’s strict no videos or photographs policy, no secrets will be spoiled.
As a “Letterkenny” fan myself, this personalized experience is unique because it’s not just about meeting convention, or just cashing in on extra content quickly. Coach interrupts Wayne’s jokes to explain how the public only wants to hear bands playing their hits – K. Trevor was the only one who burst onto our show when Mark said Van Halen’s “Panama” as awkwardly as possible – and Wayne obliges without falling into the formulas of issuing clips. It’s impossible not to feel the joy Keeso feels when making the audience beg Wayne to kiss Pastor Glen (Jacob Tierney), or assaulting puck pals Reilly (Dylan Playfair) and Jonesy (Andrew Herr ) with blazing eliminations on both of their mothers like Shoresy. Impeccably, without shocking, these verbal gymnastics of rudeness never stop or stumble over a single word. Keeso and company don’t need to test themselves on stage, but they do it anyway.