Current Conditions

Light Rain
5.8°C

'FUBAR' creators bring the headbangers into the modern age on Viceland

Actors Paul Spence (right) and David Lawrence are shown in a handout photo from the new series "Fubar: Age Of Computer," which debuts Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Viceland MANDATORY CREDIT
November 02, 2017 - 3:00 AM

TORONTO - Three years ago, "FUBAR" star David Lawrence got into costume for his beloved headbanger character Terry — long, scraggly wig, plaid shirt and black leather cap — and started video chatting with fans online "just for fun."

He'd opened a Skype account as the antiquated character from the 2002 Canadian mockumentary cult hit and its 2010 sequel. When fans added him as a friend on the app, he'd call them and record the experience on GoPro cameras.

"It was a blast because the character, it gave him something fresh to talk about and to experience," said Lawrence, who is also the co-writer and co-creator of the "FUBAR" franchise.

"I went on an online date with this girl from Olds, Alta., and then I got another Skype call and it was some other guys from Olds who were like, 'Let's party, Terry.' Then I'm like, 'Do you know this girl in Olds? We can do a three-way Skype call,' and then I introduced some people who lived in the same town who hadn't known each other."

The experience helped inspire the new Viceland series "FUBAR: Age Of Computer," in which Terry and fellow Alberta hoser bud Dean (played by co-writer and co-creator Paul Spence) explore the wonders of the Internet for the first time.

The online adventures go down in the illegal basement suite of Terry's cousin in Calgary, where the two seek refuge after fleeing the wildfires of Fort McMurray, Alta.

The first episode, debuting Friday, features some actual wildfire footage that was shot by civilians and posted online at the time.

"We got the rights to the original footage and then tried to create something to grab people in the pilot," said Michael Dowse, co-writer and director of the "FUBAR" films and the new series.

"We just thought it made sense. We needed something to get the characters down to Calgary and something dramatic and interesting that could work as an arc throughout the entire season."

The creators said the wildfires also gave them a good reason to put Terry and Dean on the Internet (in the series, they need to go online in order to register for a fictional emergency relief fund for Fort McMurray evacuees).

"We felt like we weren't making fun of people who had lost their houses," said Dowse. "It was a perfectly good reason for them to leave town and then we'd provide a bit of comedy in terms of them thinking they might have started it."

"FUBAR" got its start in Calgary, when Lawrence first performed as Terry while doing improv at Loose Moose Theatre in Calgary. Dean came into the picture when they did a stage play together.

"There are still people who, I'm not sure how, but they think Terry and Dean (are real)," said Lawrence.

"I'll still get emails or messages from people saying, 'Hey, if I buy you a bus ticket, you can come to our party and you can drink as much as you want. I'd love to have you.' I think people want Terry and Dean to be alive, they want them to exist."

The headbanger culture is thriving, they say.

"If you go to an Iron Maiden concert, they're alive and well," said Lawrence.

"But there are new young bangers coming out with the same classic ripped denim vest with black leather under it, patches."

"But it's not headbangers watching headbangers," added Spence of the show's potential audience. "It's normal people who are really interested in the 'Letterkenny' way of life, or the 'FUBAR' way of life, or whatever, 'Trailer Park Boys.'"

Added Dowse: "When you're younger you're in a bit of fear of them but as you get older, you go to a football game and there's this heckler and you're like, 'How is that guy still going and how is he still surviving and living like this?'

"So I think there's an appreciation of a guy who just lives a simpler life."

These days, they're not sure exactly how old the characters are, noting they have a "stunted adolescence" and don't want to grow up.

"Somehow there's this timeless aspect of those guys. They just didn't have an age," said Spence. "They're just like 'headbanger uncle guy.'"

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

  • Popular penticton News
  • Comments
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile