P.E.I. transplants not Just Passing Through, but repping their Island in midtown
Transplanted Islanders, Robbie Moses, Jeremy Larter and Geoff Read sit inside a humid World Class Bakery.
It’s drizzling outside, the windows glazed with condensation, and the creators of the hit Youtube comedy, Just Passing Through, are sharing anecdotes about life on P.E.I.
One had them borrowing one man’s jalopy, found in a hotel parking lot, for a trip to New Brunswick by main characters Terry and Parnell Gallant (played by Humewood native, Moses). The two misfits live off of pogey and give their cousin Owen Stephens a migraine while crashing at his midtown pad.
“We found out who owned it and asked if we could rent it, and he said, ‘No, just buy me a case of beer and you can have it for a couple of weeks’,” Humewood writer and producer Read says with a laugh. “He didn’t drive it during the winter, so we could just take it. (We) left him no contact information.”
Just Passing Through, which has earned over 200,000 views on YouTube, is about two Islanders who travel to Alberta to look for work. However, the aforementioned beater breaks down outside of Toronto, so the duo look up their cousin Owen. Then the real fun begins, as the first season’s seven episodes catalogue the crass hijinks they get up to: including sex with strangers, barroom brawls and pubic hair on a “cleansing bar” (soap).
Of course, all characters are exaggerated representations. Owen is the near-upwardly mobile midtown yuppie, and the Gallants are the blue collar East Coasters.
“Terry and Parnell are the classic Canadian hoser characters,” co-creator and writer, Larter says. “We never refer to them as hosers, but it goes back to Bob and Doug McKenzie.”
SCTV is a big inspiration for the show, in particular the John Candy-Joe Flaherty sketch, Goin’ Down The Road. There are also elements of other Canadian concoctions: Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar, Trailer Park Boys and Fubar.
As for the stereotypes, it’s all in good jest.
“That’s what you hear back on the East Coast, is how people from Ontario are arrogant,” Annex resident, Larter says. “I’ve been here a while, and I don’t sense it.
“You could argue Islanders have too much patience.”
A second season was shot in P.E.I. where the show celebrates a Pogey Summer on the Island after Owen’s is turfed from his job. Terry and Parnell only make it to Saskatchewan to work in a pot ash mine.
“They probably worked the minimum amount to go back on pogey,” Read says. “They conspire with Alex, one of the female leads, to trick Owen to go back for a dream pogey summer by telling him that his grandmother is about to die.”
Ribald with a dash of cringe-worthy shenanigans, the trio say their show has received positive feedback, even if it is rife of foul language.
The next adventure is to get the show on Shomi or CraveTV, in the same vein as Letterkenny, another Canadian comedy. Until then, filming is on hiatus, as the costs a hefty sum.
“We’d love to keep filming the show, but most of our funding came from the (Independent Production Fund) for Season 1,” Larter admits. “And Innovation P.E.I. dropped out because of some of the complaints about the content.”