Foley comes home to helm Canuck office comedy 'Spun Out,' suss out Kids future | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Foley comes home to helm Canuck office comedy 'Spun Out,' suss out Kids future

Actor Dave Foley (left) as "Dave Lyons" and Paul Campbell as "Beckett Ryan" are shown in a promotional photo for the television series "Spun Out." THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO Bell Media-Steve Wilkie
March 05, 2014 - 1:15 PM

TORONTO - If there's a "NewsRadio" vibe to Dave Foley's new Canuck sitcom "Spun Out," the baby-faced Kids in the Hall member welcomes it.

The funnyman admits his successful run with the celebrated NBC comedy served as a bit of a template for his latest Canadian offering, an office laugher revolving around a gang of misfits.

"And I get to come in and play the older guy now," says the 51-year-old Foley, noting the switch-up allows him "to be a little crazier than when (he) was the central character."

"Paul Campbell plays the character I would have played on 'NewsRadio' and so I get to play more of the Stephen Root role."

Although he's technically a supporting player, Foley's presence looms large on the CTV series.

The comic veteran says he was involved in script development and worked in the writers' room to help craft a lot of the episodes.

And with "Spun Out" being mounted as one of Canada's rare multi-camera series shot in front of a studio audience, the show draws heavily on Foley's years of experience with the distinctively U.S. format.

"Obviously, I have many, many years experience doing American sitcoms," says Foley, whose network credits include "Will and Grace," "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and the recent shortlived comedy "How to Be a Gentleman."

"The goal was, from a production standpoint, to do a show that's equal to anything being done in the U.S. And in terms of the process, bringing that level of rewriting and that intensity of getting the show ready for the Friday night audience shoot, bringing that whole tradition to a Canadian show. So it felt very comfortable and very familiar to me."

Foley plays Dave Lyons, head of the public relations firm DLPR, which prides itself on being able to help its clients out of any jam. Nevermind that its own staff is often tripped up by their own zany personal affairs.

Campbell ("Knight Rider," "Battlestar Galactica") stars as new-to-the-firm Beckett Ryan, Rebecca Dalton ("My Babysitter's A Vampire," "Lost Girl") is the boss's daughter Stephanie Lyons, Holly Deveaux ("Baxter") is Beckett's former flame and current roommate Abby Hayes and comic Darcy Michael ("Endgame") is office screw-up Gordon Woolmer.

"The learning curve is very steep," Campbell says of the live studio format.

"I think the first few episodes are a bit shakier than the others, except for Foley and J.P. Manoux (who plays Lyons' fanny-pack wearing assistant Bryce), who probably have a combined 300 years of experience between them.

"It's the energy that makes the difference, with multi-cam. And with an audience, there's an electricity you don't find anywhere other than theatre."

Deveaux admits to being terrified in front of the audience, but took cues from Foley's breezy confidence with a crowd.

"The thing they find the joy from is when we drop character," she says. "Dave isn't afraid to do that or swear a little bit to get the crowd laughing. It's like a dance, and he does it very well."

Although he's no stranger to Canadian TV, Foley admits he doesn't work north of the border as much as he'd like to.

He blames that squarely on well-documented legal woes surrounding child-support payments owed to an ex-wife and two children — ages 21 and 18 — in Toronto.

"Spun Out," he says, opens the door to a possible Kids in the Hall reunion tour.

The five-man troupe recently mounted a limited run show in Toronto called "Rusty and Ready" that brought the gang together on stage for the first time in five years.

It got them musing on hitting the road with a formal show, says Foley, and plans are afoot to start brainstorming what that would look like.

"We're going to try to write another 90 minutes of material and put it up for a few days and maybe get enough material together to do another tour," he says.

Before that, he says the group plans to take their "Rusty and Ready" show to Austin and Dallas this spring and the Kids will do a live reading of their 1996 film "Brain Candy" in Toronto on Tuesday.

Playful one-offs like that wouldn't have been possible without "Spun Out," says Foley.

"Spun Out" debuts Thursday on CTV.

— With files from Adrian Lee

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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