Interview with Bernard Robichaud of Trailer Park Boys
Bernard Robichaud is best known for his role as the drug dealing, pistol toting, excellent leather jacket wearing Cyrus from the hit Canadian franchise, Trailer Park Boys. We had the opportunity to interview Bernard about his upcoming roles in the new Trailer Park Boys movie and seasons, as well as some other projects he has in the works.
It’s a big year for Trailer Park Boys; new movie and 2 new seasons coming to Netflix Canada. Trailer Park Boys 3: Don’t legalize it is just a few short weeks away.
Yeah, the opening was at Scotiabank theatre; the premiere red carpet event was last Thursday (April 3rd 2014) in Toronto and there’s another one on April 16th in Halifax and then nationwide on April 18th.
Cyrus is back and looks to be teaming up with Sam Losco in this movie. How did that partnership work out?
That worked out pretty good I think. Certainly wasn’t a first since Sam and Cyrus were together in season 2 and got arrested. So, nothing new I don’t think. I certainly think the two of them… if anyone were to be together, it would be Sam and Cyrus for sure. Of course, Sam and I have known each other for a long time, as we all have, so we are pretty tight and it worked out well. I think the Sam and Cyrus show will be good up against the boys. It’ll be a good antagonist.
It seems [from the trailer] that you’re also doing a partnership with the boys?
Yeah, there’s something going on there. But, we’ll see how the movie plays out. It’s only a couple weeks away and I don’t want to give that away.
Without giving anything away, are we going to be seeing the Sam and Cyrus show in the new seasons?
Yes, you will see that.
Lots more Cyrus, I hope?
Yes, lots more Cyrus. I think we did 10 episodes in season 8 and I think the Sam and Cyrus show is 5 episodes, maybe 6. The boys need more antagonists around and Cyrus has always been their arch nemesis. It always seemed weird that Cyrus is by himself. Besides from season 5 when he had the “Flappy Bird Brothers” (Dennis and Terry) with him. It’s nice to have a sidekick so you don’t feel like you’re going into battle against 3 guys by yourself.
Did you ever expect Trailer Park Boys to be as popular as it is, especially worldwide?
Worldwide, definitely not. I think with the first 2 seasons — first season we were happy to be getting work because we were in the Maritimes and the second season we just kind of marveled that we got work again. It wasn’t really until the 3rd season when it kind of took off. Globally definitely not, that would have the been the furthest thing from my mind. The popularity in Canada alone was immense. That in and of itself is something to be grateful for. The mere fact that it’s done what it’s done now in syndication and with the new Netlflix deal, I think is just a tribute to what the show is and the team of player that were put together by [Mike] Clattenburg.
With seasons 8 and 9 coming to Netflix, can we expect more seasons after that? Or no word yet?
I’ve got a funny feeling that’s probably the case. It seems a little odd that Netflix would sign on and just get 2 seasons and a movie.
Hopefully lots more.
Yeah, hopefully lots more. Maybe we’ll get Cyrus and Cyrus Jr.
Cyrus Jr. I would like to see that!
Ya, little kid with a leather jacket and a gun in his pants.
I can definitely see that in Sunnyvale Trailer Park that’s for sure. Aside from all the Trailer Park Boys work, do you have any other projects in the works?
I was just approached by Haven again this year to find out whether or not I was available from April until December. I’ve got a recurring role in the show as the character named Kirk.
We’ve also just uploaded The Adventures of Black Bart onto YouTube, which is just titled Black Bart online. It’s a 16 minute short that myself and my co-writer, producer, Andrew Young from Toronto put together a year ago. We’re feeling it out to see what kind of reaction we get. We put it up maybe a week ago and it’s getting about 100 hits a day. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not because I don’t YouTube that often. But I’ve heard other people say “Oh my god, you get that many in a week?” and I say yes and they say “my video been up for this length of time and I’ve only gotten a thousand people”. So, I guess that’s a good thing.
I’m just into Ontario right now for the premiere [of Trailer Park Boys], but I have a couple of appearances up here as well. I just signed a contract today with Yuk Yuks to do standup St. Johns, Newfoundland. May 15th to May 17th I’m over there. I’m looking forward to that; its not easy getting into the Yuk Yuks family but I think once you get in there, and if everything goes right, you’re locked in, so that can be exciting.
With Yuk Yuks you can do the United States as well and for me that would be an opportunity that I would like to have. I think there’s enough fans in the United States. Maybe Mr. Breslin (Mark Breslin) can pick the right venues to put me out into. But, I would certainly like the opportunity, that’s for sure.
Are you preforming anywhere else right now or just that one Yuk Yuks?
Just that one right now. It’s kind of like my launching pad. I mean, I’ve been doing the show for three and a half years so it’s kinda set it stone. It’s not like other stand ups who can change their routine or take out jokes that don’t work and try new material. It’s hard to change it around when you are preforming as a specific character from a franchise like Trailer Park Boys. You have to keep within the context of who this guy is; every once and a while you can fit a new joke in there. Jeez, you can write stories and jokes about drugs, women and cars and probably spend two hours on stage. I’ve been down that road with this show; I have done some shows that last almost two hours, and that’s just because of the character. A lot of hecklers follow that character and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad comic, it just means that people want to yell shit at Cyrus. I can take a half a hour to deal with them off and on and then I’m left trying to find where I was in my standup/one man show which can be a little bit of a daunting task sometimes.
Do you get any chance to explore outside of the character of Cyrus on stage?
Right now with the comedy, I haven’t but I think that’s something myself and my team have been discussing recently. I’m not sure if its not an impossibility or improbability down the road but at this point with everything that is happening but it just makes sense to stick with what’s working and look at something like that down the road.
Cyrus definitely brings out the fans. If it ‘ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ kind of thing?
Yeah, that’s kind of it. I still get to spend time by myself because its difficult — it’s one thing to be Cyrus while you’re up there doing it, it’s a little difficult to be Cyrus the entire evening. Generally speaking, I’ll have my jacket around so people can take pictures with me if they want, but I try to be just who I am and not play the character the entire evening. I think that would be a little bit hard on my head, actually. Psychologically I don’t know if that would be good at all; they might have to wrap me up in a blanket ans=d take me away after that.
As a huge Trailer Park Boys fan I need to ask one last question; does Cyrus ever get his Grade 10?
He hasn’t yet! It’s a good thing that I did or it would be a real dumb-ass character up there!
At this point I don’t know whats going to happen in season 9; they just started writing it, so anything can happen. I suppose the more seasons they do, anything is possible. I’m not sure at this point if it matters so much. He did go back and try and get his G.E.D. with Ricky in the second movie, so I guess technically it’s a lost cause for Cyrus. There was a lot that was missing from the second movie with regards to Cyrus. I don’t know if it was on the outtakes of the DVD, but if it was then people got a pretty good idea of what they missed from Cyrus or at least parts of it. I guess that could be explained, there’s no question about that, but I’m not one of the writers so I’ll leave that to the powers that be and let them come up with everything. I’ll just be there to play my character to the best of my ability.
Thank you to Bernard for taking the time from his busy schedule for this interview! Trailer Park Boys: Don’t Legalize It hits theatres April 18th with season 8 of the show coming to Netflix Canada in the fall.