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Ethan’s Excerpts: The creative genius of “Letterkenny”

I’m not much of a TV watcher. It usually ends up being more time and energy consuming than a film for me, and I just do not have that kind of time. However, there’s one show that was able to draw me in enough to watch every single episode: “Letterkenny.” It is the only series to do so, giving it high marks in my book. So, in the wise words of the protagonist, Wayne, “pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er.”

Created by Jared Keeso on YouTube, the web series was adapted to TV by streaming service Crave in 2016. It ran for 12 seasons on both Crave and Hulu, with the final season having been recently released in late December 2023. The show centers around the fictional 5,000-person town of Letterkenny in rural Ontario and its main groups: the “hicks” (farmers), “skids” (drug addicts), hockey players and to a lesser extent, the indigenous Canadians, Mennonites and Quebecois.

The “hicks" are the main focus of the show, with the main group consisting of Wayne (played by Keeso), his sister Katy (Michelle Mylett) and friends Daryl (Nathan Dales) and Squirrely Dan (K. Trevor Wilson) running a produce stand on the family farm.

Growing up in a rural farm town in northern Indiana, the similarities between the show and my own childhood experiences were clear from the start. The farming culture, the town having drug issues, the religious presence hanging over public life and even the Mennonites were all concepts and issues I had witnessed growing up, until eventually moving to Cleveland in my teens. Maybe that is why I connected so quickly with it. Or maybe it was due to the dry, vulgar humor of it all.

The opening scene of the first episode is strewn with vulgarity, name-calling and innuendos, all while being relatively calm and collected. That would quickly become a theme throughout the series, with even fistfights sometimes ending in a handshake. Each episode starts with a mockumentary-style cold open, reminiscent of “The Office” or “Modern Family.”

Dry humor is the best way to make me laugh, and Keeso and the crew do it flawlessly. With Wayne’s overall stoic nature, Daryl’s clumsiness, Dan’s honesty and Katy’s wit, the crew come together to make a binge-worthy experience.

Each season revolves around a different premise, with the first three focusing on Wayne trying to keep his reputation as the toughest guy in Letterkenny. As the seasons progress, topics such as drug use plaguing the town, the local hockey team winning a championship and the “degens from upcountry” coming in to wreck life in the community come more in focus.

Aside from the parallels to my own childhood, the show feels as though it could happen in real life. Rather than occurring to add to the plot, topics and events happen similarly to what would happen day-to-day in a small town. With the bar brawls, the local sports team being terrible and the family produce stand on the side of the road, it feels as if the viewer is one of the 5,000 residents of Letterkenny.

In 2022, Keeso also launched “Shoresy,” a spinoff focused on a side character hockey player from the original show, also played by Keeso, who moved to Sudbury, Ontario, to advance his hockey career. 

With “Letterkenny” having ended, “Shoresy” is going to be the next show that I binge watch. If Keeso has proved anything with both the original web series or the full-on show, it is that he is the master of using dry humor and vulgarity to create a truly great TV series.

Ethan Herx is a freshman studying media arts production at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to share your thoughts? Let Ethan know by emailing or tweeting them at or @ethanherx.

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