Letterkenny Interview: Tyler Johnston & Evan Stern Talk Break Dancing, Skids

ComingSoon Senior Editor Spencer Legacy spoke with Letterkenny stars Tyler Johnston and Evan Stern about the show’s 11th season. The duo discussed the development of Skids and the physical demands of breakdancing. Letterkenny Season 11 is now available to stream on Hulu.

“Locals in Letterkenny deal with influencers, lost dogs, a Church Bake Sale mystery, unwelcome visitors to the beer league and trouble from the Degens in the 11th season of the Canadian comedy,” reads the season’s synopsis.

Spencer Legacy: Tyler, 11 seasons is a huge milestone. Has your approach to your characters changed over the past seven years of portraying them?

Tyler Johnson: Absolutely. Spencer. Yeah, the first few seasons we were pretty heavy…in the drug world.

Evan Stern: Methamphetamines.

Tyler Johnson: We had scars and we had black eyes and we didn’t sleep very much – not that our characters have changed much in that regard – but Evan and I used to slam only 12 cups of coffee before we got set and we danced our hearts out out, and that was kind of our method of choice back then. And now our characters are a little bit more word-perfect and have all sorts of other things that they go into. So we have to prepare a little bit more these days.

Evan Stern: We have a lot of preparation. We have a lot of preparation. Ty and I like to run our lines 400 times, as we like to say, the night before. The fact that we have less drug references and we’re more … investigating crimes and starting businesses, those are new words for us. Lots of new things to learn.

Tyler, the church bake sale episode is really Stewart’s big episode. What was it like filming it?

Tyler Johnson: Oh, that was so much fun. Whenever we get a group of people together for a day, we tend to have fun, you know? So we had Coach, Gail and then Katy, Rosie, Glen and Tanis and then of course Roaldie and I rolled up to the venue. If you throw a bunch of characters together in one place, it’s usually going to be chaos. It’s clear that the cast gets along well, so we know when to be professional and when to try to push each other’s buttons a little.

Evan, the scene in the drug deal episode where you walk around Stewart in the chair like a Disney villain and tempt him, that was incredible. How many takes did it take?

Evan Stern: Well, I thought they were going to wrap them in, clip them together to make it look less crazy, but they just kept the one wide shot of me doing that. Didn’t expect that. Actually I was surprised to see it yesterday. It took a few. You keep laughing!

Tyler Johnson: The first thing is like, look…he just…we didn’t practice it. We didn’t talk about it. All of a sudden we just started saying the lines and Evan is all over me. I must be stoic, sitting on this chair. He rubs my shoulder right down to my fingertips. And then he comes around this … he goes up my neck and around my other side and then his, his lips touch my –

Evan Stern: I thought, my hot breath on your neck. At one point I was like –

Tyler Johnson: Inside my ear.

Evan Stern: I still remember that feeling.

Tyler Johnson: Yes. So that’s what happened that day, Spencer. Sometimes Jacob [Tierney], our director, just wants to let us go and kind of just leave us stranded out there. And that might have been one of the cases where it happened to Evan.

Evan Stern: Yes, it was Jacob’s fault.

Tyler Johnson: Yes, definitely. Jacob’s fault.

It would be easy for the Skids to wear out their welcome or be one note, but you guys keep them consistently entertaining. What is your approach to it?

Tyler Johnson: Well, I’d have to say, Jared [Keeso] and Jacob has done a great job writing Skids. I think Jared said that earlier [that] the Skids are some of his favorite scenes to write because he can pretty much get away with doing anything, which has been pretty cool — being a part of this evolution of the Skids. Again, we started as drug dealers in the basement selling dollar cigarettes, and then we became weightlifters and break dancers and business owners.

Evan Stern: We do it all man. We do it all. Endless.

Tyler Johnson: Every season is refreshing.

Evan Stern: Yes, yes, it’s true. It’s really just a matter of Jacob and Jared saying, “Oh, we can do anything with them.” So the one tone aspect was that they walked away from like neck sores and threw up on the patio and said, “Let’s give them something else to do.”

In a way, you’ve become like the Kramers from Letterkenny, where any adventure just fits.

Evan Stern: Two Kramers, oh no.

Tyler Johnson: Kramer and Kramer! Yes.

Tyler, now that 11 seasons have passed, has the lightning quick pun become more natural to deliver? Or has it become easier?

Tyler Johnson: Easier is a rather difficult word. As Evan says, we practice a lot and a lot and a lot. And some of these words that I say as Stuart, I never use in my vocabulary.

Evan Stern: Tyler needs a dictionary handy. Continually.

Tyler Johnson: I have a very, very limited vocabulary, Spencer. So when I read Stewart’s lines, I have no idea what I’m saying when I first read them.

Evan Stern: The number of times you’ll hear Jacob yell from across the room, “It’s charcuterie! Charcuterie!”

Tyler Johnson: “Char-cut-for-ree? Char-ka-turry?”

Evan Stern: “I’ve never seen this word before! What is this? Little cheeses?”

Tyler Johnson: I’m from the suburbs of Vancouver, dude! I don’t eat these cheeses and meats and these crackers!

Evan Stern: Only green juice!

Tyler Johnson: Cheez Whiz and Ritz. So it’s going to be easier because Evan and I have a great relationship.

Evan Stern: Report.

Tyler Johnson: And chemistry. We also always have each other’s backs out there. Whenever Evan forgets a line, which is all the time, I jump in and cover for him.

Evan Stern: Yes right!

Evan, what’s it like filming the Skids’ iconic dance sequences?

Evan Stern: It feels exhausting.

Tyler Johnson: Talk to his loins!

Evan Stern: Yes, it’s a lot of fun, and it’s hype, and when we know they’re going to happen, we stretch out, we feel good, and then when we don’t know when it’s going to happen… like, for example, someone surprises us like, “Oh, you guys have like a dance sequence now,” and we haven’t warmed up … the 30-year-old of us really settles in. I really started to feel it, doing the handstands and jumping around. But it’s fun. It’s a good time.

Tyler Johnson: Evans, right, Spencer. In the first couple of seasons, they’d see a cool set or a cool room, and they’d say, “Hey, let’s get Skids in the wardrobe and have them dance against this wall. Now let’s get Skids in the wardrobe, but let them dance against this wall.”

Evan Stern: He’s standing in the back like, “Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance!”

Evan Stern: 20-30 minutes of dancing sweats.

Tyler Johnson: Just playing a song.

Evan Stern: Blood in my shoes. Yes.

Tyler Johnson: No, but things are good, Spencer. Yes, thanks for asking!

Evan Stern: Yes, we are fine. 10 out of 10.

You are totally selling it. It looks completely natural and energetic. I wouldn’t think you need any Advil after.

Evan Stern: Oh thank you!

Letterkenny has quite a significant following, even outside of Canada. How does it feel to be part of a major piece of Canadian entertainment now?

Tyler Johnson: It feels incredible. Spencer. Growing up in this industry, we often have to hide our Canadian accents. In Vancouver here we mimic Seattle and in Toronto they mimic New York. It’s just kind of cool to be able to just let our Canadian flag fly.

It’s nice to see other countries catching on. I mean, America, the trip we did was out of control fun. We had amazing crowds every single night, every single city we went to. It was just incredible. There is no other way to describe it.

Evan Stern: It is true. No other way.

Tyler Johnson: Yes. You go on your Instagram or your Twitter and you look at the analytics and it’s also 80% America. So they’ve really gravitated and stuck with our show. The live tour was a big indicator of that.

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