March 4, 1954– Catherine Anne O’Hara:
“The people who present themselves as normal and nice and good are often the scariest monsters in the world.”
Schitt’s Creek has been airing since 2015, and for those who can’t get enough of Moira, Johnny, David and Alexis, Season 5 began on CBC and in America on the POP network in January, and it will be available on Netflix in Fall 2019.
CBC’s site claims:
The Roses are finally thriving in Schitt’s Creek and find themselves ready to take their personal relationships and business pursuits to the next level, and Moira finds a ‘renewed sense of purpose’, Johnny struggles to manage the motel staff, David and Patrick’s relationship continues to flourish, and Alexis toys with leaving town.
Season Four of the show has a 100 percent positive score among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 98 percent positive score among audience members. And buzz surrounding it just continues to build. It is rich, delightful, demented and the stars O’Hara and Eugene Levy, two truly great comedy legends, have worked together on stage; in films like Christopher Guest‘s Waiting For Guffman (1996) Best Of Show (2000), and A Mighty Wind (2003), and on television on SCTV. Though they don’t want to call it chemistry, both actors admit that their familiarity makes working on Schitt’s Creek easy. O’Hara:
Half the job is just hanging out together, so it’s really nice to be with good people who are always insanely talented.
The series focuses on the Rose family, who struggle to adjust to a new life in Schitt’s Creek after being busted for tax evasion and losing their fortune. Their possessions, as well as their luxurious lifestyle are gone, and the deed to the tiny town is all they’re left with. They’re hilariously out of place and out of touch, but over the years have inched their way toward making the town their home.
Levy and O’Hara play Johnny and Moira Rose, a video-store tycoon and his wife. With their two adult children, the Roses had to move out of their stately mansion and they take up residence in Schitt’s Creek which Johnny Rose purchased online as a joke. The show presents the same sort of surreal, absurdist city-meets-country world as our American sitcom Green Acres (1965-1971), but with an added dash of digital age satire. It is quite popular at my house, most especially for the presence of O’Hara, who I would watch read the phonebook, if we still had phonebooks. I guess, she could read her contact list from her iPhone. Her Moira Rose accent is everything.
And, gosh almighty, can I tell you how I love Canada? I am zany for so many Canadians that have contributed to out popular culture: k.d.lang, Joni Mitchell, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Goulet, Justin Bieber. Canada even elected that handsome six-foot, two-inch Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. But none are more loved by me than those great comic actors out of Canada: Jim Carrey, Dan Aykroyd, Margaret Atwood, Martin Short, the cast members of Kids In The Hall (1988- 1994) and especially SCTV (1976-1984) starring: O’Hara and Levy, John Candy, Harold Ramis and Rick Moranis. SCTV made all the difference for my being able to get through the 1970s and 1980s. I like to watch Schitt’s Creek after smoking a little weed, just as I did for my SCTV viewing back in the day.
O’Hara and Levy are such an important part of why those Christopher Guest mockumentary films work so well. O’Hara also does such funny, terrific work in one of my favorite Scorsese flicks, After Hours (1985); she is beyond nutty in Beetlejuice (1988); and with Warren Beatty‘s Dick, Dick Tracey (1990) that is. Other films include Home Alone (1990), Orange County (2002), Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events (2004). O’Hara also had a swell story arc on my all-time favorite television series, gay writer Alan Ball‘s Six Feet Under, back in the early aughts.
O’Hara brings depth to many a shallow character. Schitt’s Creek’s Moira is an actor, an ex-soap star, who became a socialite, chairing major charity events around the world. She has the wildest wardrobe of anyone outside of Empire‘s Cookie Lyon and that difficult to place accent. O’Hara really carries the show. Her constant deadpan threats of suicide (“I need a bathtub and a very long extension cord”) are as hilarious as they are relentless. Her harried asides are delivered with the sort of timing only a comic genius could pull off.
It is great fun watching O’Hara and Levy together. They seem even more inventive this season as the Rose family learns to settle into the town. The nice, normal people of Schitt’s Creek could have been portrayed as hillbillies, but they show that the real freaks are this formerly rich couple with their crazy careers, cellphone charms and the dozens of Moira’s wigs.
O’Hara always brings something so creative to her projects. She has added an extreme affectation for her Moira character. Her dry wit and trademark deadpan lends a surprising complexity to her crazy characters. She is a fearless actor. Her Cookie Guggelman Fleck in Best Of Show was a performance worthy of an Academy Award, or at least a Blue Ribbon. It is not easy to be talented actor playing a really terrible performer, so I have to name Waiting For Guffman as my favorite of her performances.
In 2014, Canada honored O’Hara with a postage stamp. That’s right, you can lick O’Hara! I would like to be on a stamp; I understand in our country you have to be dead to get a stamp, so, I am working on that.
For her role in the television film Temple Grandin (2010), O’Hara earned her nominations for the Emmy Award, Satellite Award, and the Screen Actors Guild Award. She has won an Emmy for SCTV, and National Board Of Review named her Best Supporting Actress for For Your Consideration.
If you are smart with your arithmetic, I’m not and have to use my fingers, she is celebrating her 65th birthday today and she looks smashing. O’Hara is one of those funny women who are also crazy beautiful. She really is the successor to Madeline Kahn. I feel she deserves status as a true Gay Icon.