This week features some interesting guests. Four of the guests have a connection to This Hour Has 22 Minutes and six of them have a connection to the CBC. Seven guests are from the East Coast with one from Saskatoon, another from Scotland and two others from outside Canada. So without any further adieu, let us get to know our guests a little bit more.
Mary Walsh was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She grew up in a troubled home and left to study theatre at Ryerson University in Toronto. She did not complete her degree in pursuits to work with CODCO, produced on the East Coast, which ran on CBC from 1987 to 1992. CODCO transformed into This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
The 60 year old award winning actress, comedian and social activist lives with macular degeneration. The condition affects older adults with a loss of vision due to a damaged retina. Mary uses her experiences to occasionally serve as the spokesperson for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. She married an English professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Don Nichol, in 2002.
Maggie Cassella is the youngest in a family of six children. Her Italian heritage and Catholic-Jewish roots have influenced her along with her degrees in Philosophy and Women’s Studies. She taught Philosophy and Religion to Connecticut students in a boarding school. She later became a lawyer for 8.5 years helping marginalized individuals and the gay community.
She fell in love with a girl from Toronto and relocated where she became a Stand Up Comedian. She performed Because I Said So in Provincetown for 21 years before appearing regularly on STAR. She turned that experience into her own talk show called Because I Said So, which allowed her to interview high profile celebrities and produce a stint at TIFF. She’s written a book and two screenplays while doing comedy on radio.
She currently stars in The Vent and has a production company, A Sweet Little Production Company, in Toronto.
Trailer Park Boys is a Canadian mockumentary takes place in the fictional Sunnyvale Trailer Park in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The series ended in 2008, but the films continued afterwards in 2009 and 2013.
Mike Smith was born in New Glasglow, Nova Scotia and grew up in Thorton. He has an English degree from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He was once considered a guitar prodigy and even played in the band, Sandbox. He has played with Rush and Guns N’ Roses.
Rob Wells and John Paul Tremblay grew up on the same street in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. They attended the same high school. Rob was born in Moncton, New Brunswick and moved to Cole Harbour when he was eight. Rob is also a distant cousin to Stephen Harper.
Frank Spadone attended Humber College in the Photography program, which led to his career as a Comedian. He worked with some of the top photographers and entertained crew with his sense of humour and imitations. He began his career as a Stand Up Comedian in 1997. He credits Second City and his grandparents for perfecting his craft. He also starred in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle like another guest coming up this week. In addition, he has appeared on CBC's Laugh Out Loud.
He currently stars as Aidan Black on Cracked as a police offer who transfers to Emergency Task Force after struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The show revolves around people with mental illness.
He also explores his background in his HBO documentary, Every Word Is Absolutely True. Shaun’s new show, Majumder Manor, aired their season finale two weeks ago. It tracks his quest to build an eco-luxe and modern four to five bedroom house in Burlington NL.
Shaun has a long career in theatre, stand-up comedy, and improv. The Gemini winner has appeared in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, Pushing Tin, Unhitched, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, 24, Republic of Doyle and The Firm. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Shelby, and their dog Jazz.
Ron James was born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia but later moved to Halifax. He has a History and Political Science degree from Acadia University and intended to be a History Teacher. James headed into theatre instead and eventually joined Second City in Toronto. After spending time in Los Angeles doing mostly voice work for Star Wars: Ewoks and appearing in TV shows like Wings, he came to Canada where he won a writing award for This Hour Has 22 Minutes. He separated from his wife in 2011 and currently lives in Toronto.
Jonny Harris is originally from Whitehorse, Yukon before spending most of his life in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He currently stars as George on Murdoch Mysteries where he has received two Gemini nominations for Best Supporting Lead in a Dramatic Series. He’s also been a guest writer on This Hour Has 22 Minutes along with a long career in comedy.
He’s starred with Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Whoopi Goldberg, Dame Judi Dench, Malcolm McDowell, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robin Wright Penn, Renee Zellweger, Gerard Butler, Ken Watanabe, Timothy Spall, Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman. He married Pamela Stephenson in Fiji in 1990. He’s enjoyed a long career in comedy, theatre, BBC, and film.
Chuck Byrn has been a professional comedian for 19 years. He’s done several comedy festivals, commercials and appeared in Monk and Last Comic Standing.