For Dan Levy, ‘Schitt’s Creek’ was a ‘master class in character comedy’

"Schitt's Creek" showrunner Dan Levy
“Schitt’s Creek” showrunner Dan Levy.
(Elena Doukas)

It was a sad day when “Schitt’s Creek” said goodbye to its audience after six funny, charming and very gratifying seasons. But perhaps no one will miss the fish-out-of-water comedy quite as much as series creator and star Dan Levy, who spoke with The Envelope during a Zoom call with several other television showrunners behind critically acclaimed projects this season.

“Schitt’s Creek” was special to Levy beyond the joy of bringing his creation to the screen. In the series, he got to work with his father, veteran comic actor Eugene Levy, who played his father in the series as well. And having Catherine O’Hara play his mother just added to the fun.

When Levy, who was joined in conversation by Steven Canals of “Pose,” Kerry Ehrin of “The Morning Show,” Susannah Grant of the limited series “Unbelievable,” Chuck Lorre of “The Kominsky Method” and Dahvi Waller from the limited series “Mrs. America,” was asked about good times on set, he turned a little wistful.

“Our show was so collaborative, you’re working with my dad and Catherine, who have worked together for so many years and had started in Second City and come from this background where character is front and center. And if you really nail your characters down, you can take them in any kind of direction and it still feels kind of grounded and real. And Catherine never did a single take that was the same. Every take was a different, unexpected choice, and every take was an unexpected laugh, because you had no idea where she was going,” he said, his admiration for the two palpable.


“That was the great joy for me, getting to watch the two of them play, because I don’t think they necessarily got a ton of opportunities to just do what they did best, which is great character work. For me, it was really about letting them play and then kind of writing around it or listening to things that they would say and try to incorporate it into our world but just giving them that kind of freedom,” he added.

“Sitting back and having a master class in character comedy was probably one of the greatest takeaways I’ll have in the show.”

Series creators, including Chuck Lorre and Dan Levy, exchange ideas on what new TV productions might look like. Think cellophane for starters.

June 2, 2020