Cock’d Gunns is the rock ‘n roll-mockumentary series that picked up a fistful of Gemini Awards (that’s a Canadian Emmy) last year. Riddle: We recently got to interview the four stars, four writers and four producers from the show, but only talked to four people. How is this possible? Morgan Waters, Leo Scherman, Andy King and Brooks Gray do it all. These talented renaissance men gave us some insight into their process. — Jocelyn Matsuo, Video Editor
Hulu: Tell us about your characters.
Morgan (Reggie): I think above all, we are really ripping on ourselves for a lot of it. I mean, yeah we are poking fun at each other, but more than anything I think we’re making fun of ourselves; taking the worst aspects of our own personalities and exaggerating them and making them sort of an over the top character of them. Reggie is as much a part of me, he’s definitely sort of an exaggerated more a**hole-y version of me. Everyone is sort of similar to the characters. It’s almost therapeutic.
Brooks (Barry): It’s weird when one’s playing a character, they feel the most ownership over that character that they are playing. But there was always that little bit of push/pull, where they are like, “What if Keith does this, or Dick does that? ‘Cause I think that’s funny, even though I’m not the one playing it,” there’s always a little bit of co-ownership of all the characters. There’s always that push/pull which is fun. Some of the best stuff came out of that.
Leo (Keith): Funny to think about being able to subject you, knowing that you were going to have to play the character, it would be funny to me to think “Oh good, now we can make your character have a sun burn” or whatever it is. It’s mildly abusive, in a fun way. Think of it this way, Andy, you were the one, I remember specifically, who said “Keith should get roofied and then show up and have scratches all over him and basically have been attacked.” And I remember, at first thinking “That’s-really? What?” [And then,] “Is that what I want to have happen to my character?” To see how much you laughed at that idea, and then everybody else, was a way of knowing, “OK maybe that should happen.” Everyone seemed to be laughing at the idea that that would happen to me.
Brooks: I always thought, even including my own character, all the characters were just these idiots that you get to torture and humiliate. The entertainment of being able to do that and there not being any consequences. My character is sort of meek and passive to a fault. Deep-seated resentments and anger, I just love being able to torture Barry. And of course his small victories are fun too, and all that, but —
Andy (Dick): Yeah, it’s fun you torture them, but with Barry, I remember the same episode where you got roofied, Leo. Barry scores. He ends up with two chicks. I don’t know if that was just to torture Dick, but it was kinda nice to see Barry get some action. Have something good happen to him for his ego. Only negative things had been happening to him for about five episodes straight.
Leo: I found the tendency was for each individual to want nothing but negative things to happen to their character. And for everyone else to be like, “Hold on a second, maybe something good should happen to the character.” It’s funnier to you to know that your character is going to have some awful things happen to you, versus “In episode eight, my character scores three gorgeous women and then wins a gold medal –”
Andy: That’s just not funny.
How are you all finding international fame?
Andy: It’s a very Canadian experience up here, we walk down the street, we definitely don’t get recognized. Or noticed. Or anything.
Leo: Morgan does.
Brooks: Morgan’s also on stage, and Morgan looks exactly like his character,
Leo: That’s the thing, Morgan looks like his character, none of us do. I think that’s what that is. Morgan says he gets recognized all the time.
Brooks: But he was also recognizable, had his own show, and he was on The X, he was people sort of know who he is more.
Leo: I think the phenomenon with me is probably gonna be the same in the US as it was here, which is much more of a slow burn. It never launched on huge networks here and made massive noise. It was always a slow thing that came out, that’s sort of grown. A bit more word of mouth and roots kind of thing. It surprised everybody that we won those awards up here. I think why you would like Cock’d Gunns is because it’s something you feel like you stumbled across. You weren’t sold or marketed.
Andy: Well, we do have die-hard fans, we do get online-people contact us all the time. Up here, it’s just kinda funny, there wasn’t a huge splash here. People have found the show, and lucky for us, it’s actually been on TV since it came out, perpetually. More and more people are sort of catching on. We get emails from South America, where it’s playing now.
Brooks: A lot of Argentinean fans, a lot of Chilean fans. Even for Canadians, it’s an extra obscure Canadian channel. Most people don’t get. Even people that do have it, don’t necessarily know they have it. Like myself for the longest time. It’s the kind of thing that takes people a while to find it. When people actually see it, they get into it.
Morgan:Yeah, I’m a big fan of the show. It’s amazing to do your own thing, working with your friends. Basically getting to do every aspect of it and having it turn out well. I didn’t have any Hollywood aspirations or anything like that. I was just a nerdy kid who liked to make stuff.
Many thanks to the guys from Cock’d Gunns, check the out all the episodes on Hulu.