Fake news and funny takes on current events and politics are common on the national level, but Toronto comedy writer Dan Speerin is hoping to tap into a large audience by going local.
While many comedians garner a following showcasing on small stages in the back rooms of bars, Speerin has been writing and shooting online material for the past few years and landed a spot on community television.
Speerin, who finds inspiration in Jon Stewart and Bill Maher, believes satire on the hyper-local level provides more provocative material.
“[Canadian television tries] to literally go for every single person on the face of the country and then appeals to no one,” he told CityNews.ca. “It’s so broad.”
His show, Dan Speerin’s Truth Mashup, airs every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:30pm on Rogers Television Toronto. He and his Cynically Tested team put together a half-hour of sketch, satirical news bits, rants, music and panel discussions.
The first episode, which aired last week, dealt with the municipal election. This week’s will take a look at the Canadian media. The group is working on an episode about advertising in the city and the issue of illegal billboards.
Speerin noted that no matter what stage in your career, getting a new television show made in Canada is a daunting task.
“The CRTC has let off the big channels and they haven’t had to make anything,” he said, which prompted him to go the route of Mike Myers and Tom Green and break into the industry via community programming.
“It’s just nice to be able to promote people in the city that you know are in the same struggle,” he said. “We do have some really talented people, especially musicians … so it’s really cool to feature them.”
He said local businesses, including the Cadillac Lounge in Parkdale, Kensington Market bar/theatre Bread & Circus and The Underground Cinema have opened their doors to the makers of the show for filming.
While Speerin’s work is predominately rooted online, he said the process of breaking into the business is still as challenging as it ever was.
“It hasn’t changed a whole lot. You still have to work really hard, knock on doors and grassroots it. People have to find out about you, you have to get word of mouth.”
Speerin on Twitter: @danspeerin