The Trailer Park Boys are very busy. On top of just releasing their new film Swearnet, which broke the record for most cuss words in a movie, they recently released season 8 of their popular television series on Netflix on top of currently being in production of season 9. On top of that they’re launching an online platform based off of Swearnet while also gearing up to release a few more films and go on tour. It’s exhausting even typing all this. In the midst of all this craziness Mike Smith (Bubbles), John Paul Tremblay (Julian) and Robb Wells (Ricky) took the time to speak to us about all this and much more (it was mainly Mike). I need a nap.
SwearNet has premiered now in the US, congrats on that! Can you tell fans what they can expect from the film?
It’s a pretty crazy movie. We shot it a couple of years ago and have been working to get it out since. We’re really happy with it. We broke the world record for the most f-bombs ever in a feature film; we beat The Wolf of Wall Street, and it was completely by accident. We weren’t trying to do that, but it turns out we demolished the record, just because it’s the way we talk, and apparently, we swear a lot.
How did you find out that you broke the record? Did somebody else count, like the Ratings Board, for example?
Somebody said they saw on Good Morning America that Wolf of Wall Street broke the record, and they had five hundred and something. This was a three hour movie. We’re like, “Jeez, it seems like we would have more than five hundred, we should count them.” So we hired a guy and we had 935 in an hour and a half, so we demolished the record pretty good.
You’re also doing an online movie with SwearNet; can you talk a little about that?
The movie is about the three of us in our post-Trailer Park Boys lives just being frustrated with trying to get new material on the air. In SwearNet, we’re being censored and we’re up against that kind of stuff. We decide to start our own network – an all-swearing network named SwearNet. The movie tells the story of how that network sort of comes into existence, but in reality, we actually have started SwearNet at swearnet.com. We’re trying to develop it into a bona fide all-swearing network.
You’re currently working on Season 9 of the television series. How did you get involved with Netflix for that show?
The previous seasons were on Netflix in different degrees and in different countries on and off. Rob, JP, and I bought the Trailer Park Boys franchise back from the previous producers, so once we were in control of it, we put the show back into production. Netflix is the perfect fit for us because, on a network, you’re always dealing with censorship and notes from the network. You’ve got suits trying to tell you how to make things funnier, and there are a lot of restrictions. But Netflix doesn’t try to meddle in stuff; they just say, “Send it to us when you’re done.” We don’t have to censor ourselves. We don’t have to worry about cutting the episodes to a specific length. It was just the right move for us, plus, the reach they have is global. Putting the show on in Canada is one thing, but Netflix, where they have fifty or sixty million subscribers – that’s a powerful outlet.
Personally, are you guys big Netflix fans? Do you binge watch anytime?
Yeah, big time. There are a lot of great documentaries on there, too, and I binge watch a lot of stuff regularly.
What are you guys into? I’m sure some fans would want to know what you guys have been watching.
Their original stuff, like House of Cards, is amazing. Orange Is the New Black is amazing, Derek is great. I like what they’re doing with the original stuff. Lilyhammer is great. It’s cool for us to be called a Netflix original series now. That’s pretty neat.
I have so many friends who are just diehard fans of you guys. You’re nine seasons in, so what’s the secret to longevity for you guys?
As long as the fans are enjoying it, and we keep making them laugh, then we’re going to keep doing it. We love it. We have a good time doing it, and as long as the fans have a demand for it, we’ll keep putting it out there.
You guys have done live shows, movies, and TV shows. Are you guys the trendsetters for something brand new? I can’t think of anybody that’s done something that you guys have done.
We own the Trailer Park Boys brand now, but we didn’t originally. When we didn’t own it, the producers decided they didn’t really want to make the show anymore. The only way to satisfy the demand of the fans then was to start touring live. We got thrown into that, but now that we’ve got the brand back, we’re doing the show again as well.
I was looking at your IMDB pages today, and you’ve been really, really busy the past couple of years. Is there any reason for that, or are you just always working all the time?
We had a number of products on the go before we brought the brand back. But once we had it back, we had to do all the Trailer Park Boys stuff on top of it just to satisfy demand and keep the fans happy.
What’s a normal day like for you workwise? Do you film all the time? Do you take a break together and start writing? What do you do?
We just bought a new building to put SwearNet studios in, here in Halifax where we live. It’s kind of our headquarters now, so we come here in the morning. Depending on what time of year it is, we’re always writing, shooting, editing, or doing something. Today, we shot one thing already; we have more interviews, and we’re doing a bit of writing.
How do you go about setting up your live shows? Do you write while you’re on the road? How do you work around that schedule?
We definitely brainstorm while we’re on the road. All three of us are on our phones making notes constantly, because we’ve got so much time with each other. That’s where a lot of the creativity comes from: actually being on the road and touring.
Who would you say are some of your own comedy heroes from back in the day?
Monty Python was a big influence for sure. Mr. Show, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, Robin Williams, Peter Sellers.
Have you guys met any of the Python or Mr. Show guys? It seems like you all have similar things. I’m sure they would be huge fans of yours as well.
I met Bob Odenkirk and Brian Posehn, with whom I did a movie. I never met David Cross yet, but we’d like to. We’d love to meet any of the Python guys, but we haven’t yet.
Did they say anything about Trailer Park Boys?
Posehn and Bob know it for sure. I’d like to meet Ricky Gervais too. I think he’s sort of at the forefront of comedy today.
Are there any plans for doing another tour at any point soon?
Yeah, actually. We’ve got a Christmas tour coming up in November. We’ll be on the road for almost a month.
For the fans, can you go through all the upcoming things that you have? I know there are a couple of different films coming out too.
SwearNet is out now in all different kinds of US cities. You can see those dates on SwearNet.com. Then the Christmas tour comes up in November and December, and it’s called “Dear Santa Claus, Go F*ck Yourself.” It’s happening in Canada and the US, and the dates for those can also be found on the SwearNet website.
There’s another Trailer Park Boys special coming out sometime in October on Netflix. We have a liquor brand coming out called “Liquormen’s Ol’ Dirty Canadian Whiskey” early next year. Then we’ll be shooting, and a live Christmas special will be coming out on Netflix as well sometime in November.
Do you guys ever sleep? How do you do all this stuff? This is amazing.
We probably went a little too hard the last few years, but we really just love doing it.
It seems like you all get along really well too. I guess that’s a big part of it.
Somehow. Although we do hate each other a lot of the time. (Laughs)
What’s the creative process like when you guys come together? Do you fight or do you just talk through stuff? How do you work it?
We don’t really fight when we’re writing. It’s pretty relaxed. You can basically throw out any idea no matter how fuckin’ crazy it is. You can put it out there in the room without getting chastised. There’s never stress in the writing room; that’ll destroy any meeting creativity.
I know you have websites and everything, but how can fans reach you online?
Swearnet.com for sure. We’re on there constantly, and are always putting stuff up on there. We shoot a thing every week for the fans called State of the Union where we just tell everybody what we did for the past week. We interact with fans on there. We look at all the comments; we address any problems fans have. We’ll get online and say “Chill out, man.”
Thanks so much guys, I really appreciate it!