Where does Shaw Media air Drunk and on Drugs, then? The channel it was originally slotted for, Showcase? No, Shaw Media burns it off on an obscure Showcase spinoff channel, in the middle of July, two episodes at a time. That’s a shame, as The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour is the best Canadian television I’ve seen so far this summer.
Robb Wells, Mike Smith and John Paul Tremblay play themselves, as they try to figure out why they’re in random predicaments (in a trashed motel room, inside a giant wooden penis) at the beginning of each episode. Dr. Funtime (Maury Chaykin), who may or may not be a real scientist and/or Maury Chaykin, has created a blueberry-based hallucinogen that keeps the residents of Port Cockerton in line.
Wells, Smith and Tremblay are also kept in Port Cockerton, for reasons as yet unexplained. Meanwhile, television executive K. Money (Amy Sedaris) is pissed off, as she tries to assemble hours of show footage into something remotely coherent. I’m not sure what any of this means, if anything.
Wells, Smith and Tremblay play multiple characters throughout the show. In lesser hands, Drunk and on Drugs would be a vanity project in the tradition of Single White Spenny and Good Dog. Thankfully, The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour is an ambitious attempt at weaving multiple narratives into a cohesive whole. Based on the first two episodes, it actually succeeds on this level.
Even given the show’s more outlandish elements (the armless Papa Karlson’s Feetza Pizza, the DJs of all-gay radio station CGAY, the geriatric mob family, Dr. Funtime), Drunk and on Drugs is fairly tightly plotted. If Trailer Park Boys is Danger Man/Secret Agent, The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour is The Prisoner. That’s not to say Drunk and on Drugs is as good as The Prisoner, just that the two shows inhabit the same plane of weirdness. I’m interested to see how the remainder of Drunk and on Drugs pans out.
If you’re curious, the first two episodes of The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour are online at drunkandondrugs.com. The episodes aren’t viewable outside Canada, but one can get around the geoblocking. See? Canadian television not meeting its potential. I hope The Comedy Network doesn’t wrap a similar geofence around Picnicface.