While life in Letterkeny is like many small towns and doesn’t change often, that doesn’t mean that some of its inhabitants don’t change as the years go on. Throughout nine seasons of the original comedy series, we’ve seen many of the Letterkenny change, grow, and evolve over the years. Though the hockey bros, Jonesy (Andrew Herr) and Reilly (Dylan Playfair), may still be hockey and girl-obsessed, they’ve also really integrated themselves into the group and made an effort to learn new things. In fact, this season, currently available on Hulu in the U.S. and on Crave in Canada, the boys learn about Judaism.
The changes and new knowledge never take away from who the boys are at heart, though, and there’s still time for hockey. This season will also bring the boys to a new hockey league where they find a familiar face in Coach (Mark Forward). To get a closer look into these characters and behind the scenes of the show, The TV Junkies recently chatted with Playfair, Herr, and Forward all about their characters.
The TV Junkies: All of the Letterkenny characters are so unique and fun. What’s your favorite thing about playing Coach and the hockey bros?
Dylan Playfair: To generalize it, I’d say how much fun it is. We have so much fun on set, in the scenes, prepping the dialogue, and hanging out off set. It’s like summer camp where we get to hang out and the show gets made. It’s a pretty special thing. We are all genuinely close off set and I think that comes through on set.
Andrew Herr: With Reilly and Jonesy, I really love the rapid-fire dialogue. Dylan and I have definitely spent lots of hours beforehand rehearsing that. It’s so fun in the scene because you know we’re a two-headed dragon. It’s as if I have a true brother in the scene every single time. It feels like our characters were friends at birth and we just have the ultimate bromance. I really enjoy that.
Mark Forward: For me playing Coach, most days it’s good, but these guys just don’t stop fighting. We have to take a lot of breaks to work all that out because they don’t get along at all. [laughing] No, Coach is an actor’s dream. You can eat the scenery with him, he’s crazy, out there, and just wonderful to play.
TTVJ: It seems like the hockey bros are trying to learn and grow this season. One of those ways is by venturing into and learning about Judaism. Can you talk about the journey they have taken throughout the show?
DP: To echo something Andrew has mentioned before, whenever we’re learning stuff it’s a great opportunity for comedy, especially given how their brains work in tandem. They’re never really on top of the subject they’re being made aware of, and that’s a ton of fun to play with Andrew. It’s also great to give them more dimensions, and they aren’t just the hockey bros. When you go this many seasons you have to explore different dynamics of the characters, and Jared [Keeso] does a really great job of writing those scenarios where we get to explore different areas of comedy. Seeing their brain working outside of a familiar setting is where the comedy comes from, so expanding in that sense has been so funny and rewarding.
AH: At the start they really cared only about hockey, but we saw when they were separated how much they cared for each other. When push comes to shove, we are for the whole Letterkenny family. Over the seasons, they’ve expanded and I love when they learn. They struggle, but they get there ultimately.
DP: We often interchange dialogue on set, and it’s crazy how interconnected we are. I’ll steal one of his lines accidentally and he’ll pick up mine. Very rarely do we lose our rhythm because there’s a pretty crazy telekinetic thing going on.
TTVJ: So would you say then that you guys are most like your character of all the cast?
MF: I would say that they’re not, but I’d say Dylan is closer. Andrew is nothing like Jonesy. Well, not nothing because it’d be crazy to say that some part of us isn’t in the role.
AH: Everyone brings a piece of them into the role.
MF: Coach has the same nipples as mine. [laughs]
TTVJ: Mark, will Coach ever be able to get over Barb and move on to someone new?
MF: I’d like to see that and play that. It’d be fun to play and watch him say goodbye to Barb and try to move on, but I don’t think he’ll ever stop loving Barb. The woman he describes, how could you get over that?
TTVJ: What do you all think life in Letterkenny during the pandemic would be like? How would your characters have handled it?
DP: I don’t think much would change. It’s one of those small towns where they’d be like, ‘do you hear what’s going on in the Big City? It’s crazy! Good thing we shut down the one road in and out of town.’
AH: I think Reilly and Jonesy would have a tougher time on Tinder, but I agree with Dylan. Things would just stay the same except they wouldn’t let anyone else in and just exist the way they were.
TTVJ: Pre-COVID you were all out on the road for the start of the Letterkenny tour. What was that experience like and are you eager to do it all again?
MF: Definitely! We had just hit our stride with a huge, great show in Detroit that felt like a rock concert. We then drove to Buffalo and that was it! The bus is just as fun as the show and we’re definitely looking forward to hopefully getting back.
DP: Yes, we are very eager to get back on that tour bus.
MF: Oh, and just so it’s noted, Jared’s not very good at cribbage. I just gotta say that!
Letterkenny Season 9 is available to stream on Hulu in the U.S. and on Crave in Canada.