Eugene Levy happy to be invited back to the Emmy Awards party — 36 years later
|Toronto Star 17 Jul 2019 at 06:45|
He couldn’t get his car serviced, someone left just a “few chunks” of cereal in the box and the milk had expired five days ago. He was hungry, so he braved it anyway. Then the phone started ringing, he told the Star on Tuesday.
“It was our PR person from Schitt’s Creek on the phone and I said, ‘Hello Gab,’ and then I heard (my wife) Deb say, ‘You got nominated,’ and I said into the phone, ‘Oh Gab, good morning, I hear we got nominated,’ and she said, ‘No, you got nominated.’ ”
Suffice to say that Levy’s day got a lot better after word of the four nominations for Schitt’s Creek: Best Comedy Series, Best Lead Actor in a Comedy for Levy, Best Lead Actress in a Comedy for his old friend and co-star Catherine O’Hara, and Outstanding Contemporary Costumes for Debra Hanson and Darci Cheyne.
Getting nominated on a shared project isn’t new for O’Hara and Levy, but it has been a long, long time since it happened.
SCTV, the show that made them both stars, dominated the comedy writing nominations in 1982 and 1983, with several episodes nominated each year, as the rules then permitted. Both were credited as writers on the show so that meant nine Emmy nominations in two years for Levy (and two wins) and nothing for the next 36.
“In 1983, the last time we were nominated for the Emmys, we actually won by acclamation for SCTV, because we had taken all five nominations. We actually knew we were winners going to the award show, which is something that I don’t think anybody else has ever experienced,” says Levy.
The Emmy nominations are the latest set of accolades and acclaim for a show that is aging like a fine wine.
These are the show’s first Emmy nominations and Levy can only appreciate how the show has gotten to this point.
“Our fans really love the show, but the awareness factor on the show, I would say, was not necessarily great. We were always grateful to Pop for picking us up in the States, but it was a young, fledging network that was just starting out. I’ve always looked at Pop and Schitt’s Creek as similar, because we were both starting out and growing together,” says Levy.
Levy says he always thought O’Hara had a chance at a nomination.
“I was really more shocked at my nomination, only because I have always considered myself the straight man on the show. I always thought that our big shot at possibly getting an Emmy nomination would have been Catherine, because of the glorious work that she has been doing on the show” — playing the histrionic, self-involved actress wife of Levy’s character — “so to be nominated with Catherine is just a terrific, wonderful feeling.”
He faces tougher competition at the Emmys this year but says he’s just happy to be able to attend.
“Oh, I can’t say I’m holding my breath on this. There are shows that are critical success and fan favourites, like The Marvelous Ms. Maisel or Barry. I know Bill Hader and I think he’s just terrific on that show,” says Levy.
“Here’s my thing. It gives us a chance to actually go to the party and that to me is really the name of the game, and the fact that we are nominated in the same category as these really terrific comedy shows, to me, honestly, that’s about as good as it gets.”