By Stan Ashbee
Southern Alberta Newspapers
What happens when you get a drunk trailer park supervisor and a sweaty half-naked cheeseburger-eating man-boy in a local Lethbridge night club? You get comedic gold with Randy and Mr. Lahey from “Trailer Park Boys.” The comedic duo were in southern Alberta last weekend at the Sound Garden.
Randy (played by Pat Roach) and Jim Lahey (played by John Dunsworth) can also be seen in all their glory in the latest and 11th season of the train wreck of a crime/docu-comedy “Trailer Park Boys,” now streaming and notably binge-worthy on Netflix.
Dunsworth, a Nova Scotia native, is no stranger to the stage, screen and radio. He has been featured in countless CBC radio dramas, has held leading roles in over 25 Neptune Theatre productions and the master thespian even created his own successful alternative theatre company. He is also considered one of Halifax’s leading casting directors.
Dunsworth also appeared regularly on the TV series “Haven,” had a role in the film “The Shipping News,” and donned a Santa suit in the documentary “Santa Quest.” But, Dunsworth has travelled across the globe and has wore his trailer park supervisor badge proudly as Mr. Lahey since the Canadian hit enticed Canadians and those abroad with his binge-drinking, over-the-top and “one with the liquor” antics.
“I don’t think things could go any better, as far as I’m concerned. Except for the very unfortunate world events,” Dunsworth noted, from his home on the East Coast. Lethbridge, Dunsworth noted, was the last show until September. He and Roach just wrapped up tour dates in the U.S.
According to Dunsworth, the disorderly duo performed over 100 shows last year and were in Europe with “Trailer Park Boys” for their Christmas show, which Dunsworth said is a nice little perk to be able to see what the world has to offer when out on the road.
“We’re taking four months off. We’re going to be shooting Season 12. I am going to take some time for myself this year,” he said.
Season 11 of “Trailer Park Boys” continues to entertain with great writing and out-of-this-world story ideas. The show’s writers and creators keep on delivering the goods in top-notch fashion.
“They started writing a couple of weeks ago and they’ll be rewriting and honing until we go shoot Season 12 in June and July, but they take it seriously and I’m glad because I really appreciate what they do,” he said.
Dunsworth has also been behind the camera directing episodes over the years. He said he enjoys the old-style look of the episodes with keeping it simple and keeping the stories set in the park. “I think that’s the reason we’re successful,” he said.
Aside from “TPB,” Dunsworth had a role in the series, “Forgive Me,” where he played a priest. And, he continues to return to the live stage, as much as possible.
“About every five years I do work just to keep my hand in it. I guess I better get back on the stage because there’s nothing like it,” he said. “It’s my passion.”
Dunsworth also encourages fans to check out his You Tube “Get A Hobby” videos, where he shows how he built a stone theatre out of granite, a swimming pool and a stairway. He also spends quite a bit of time creating shorts for swearnet.com.
“That’s our own Internet television channel,” he noted. There’s “The Jim Lahey Show and Randy,” “Gettin’ Learnt with Ricky,” Mr. Lahey’s “Liquor Stories,” a “Dear Julian” segment and ”Guitar Lessons with Bubbles.”
“And hundreds of hours of stuff you can’t see anywhere else,” he pointed out.
According to Dunsworth, he was really looking forward to returning to Lethbridge.
“I have a good friend there. I always enjoy that little drive down from Calgary,” he said.“It’s always a pleasant little drive, especially when the sun is shining.”