It’s been an absolute hoot for Patrick Roach to work for years with the same individuals who are embraced by fans of a crazy show known as The Trailer Park Boys.
The Canadian legend is known for playing Randy, the Nova Scotian gut exposed for being allergic to shirts in fictional Sunnyvale Trailer Park. The mockumentary television series has been an escape for those on both sides of the International Boundary since 2001.
Hold the pepperoni, it was still the 20th century when Roach first shared the screen with the boys. Rewind to 1999 — black and white — the original Trailer Park Boys film shown at the Atlantic Film Festival featured series staples Ricky (Robb Wells) and Julian (John Paul Tremblay) as young boys trying to kill their alcoholic neighbor’s poodle, Caesar. It only got wilder when you found out the owner of the pup was Patrick, played by Roach.
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Tremblay and Wells were “pet assassins” who took issue with Patrick not cleaning up after Caesar. Roach now claims his character was justified in letting the pooch lend some organic fertilizer. Have no fear PETA stans, no animals were harmed.
“You had a real pain-in-the-ass poodle that was barking hard. Neighbors hated that poodle. They called up Ricky and Julian, phone ringing off the hook, and they would go take care of that poodle. Because they would kill that poodle for you,” Roach said.
Unfathomable as it may seem, there are those who have never heard of or seen TPB. Roach recalled his favorite episode, a season three classic, to show what you’ve been missing from Sunnyvale.
Roach’s favorite was when Ricky and Julian were in the midst of stealing barbecues, eventually nabbing Randy’s. Meanwhile, Bubbles (Mike Smith), Ricky and Julian’s partner in crime at the trailer park, was throwing the stolen barbecues into the lake wearing water wings so they would sink but not float all the way to the bottom. Makes sense.
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After all the shenanigans taking place in the trailer park, the whole fictional community is a family.
“If Ricky was to have a heart attack, someone would try to give him CPR. Even if they really didn’t like the way he was. In the end it’s true, people love each other,” Roach said.
The show should be a break from the serious stresses of life, according to Roach. Fans going through treatment for cancer tell Roach watching TPB brings a smile to their face.
Members of the military, with jobs the actor can’t even imagine, approach Roach and detail their appreciation for his work on the show.
“They’re away from home, fighting for our countries, freedom, also I guess bad guys. They’re watching from their laptops, brings them back home,” Roach said.
Along with his friend Sheldon Valleau on the bass ukulele, Roach will be performing in Madison at the Majestic Theater for his nationwide tour, Randy’s Cheeseburger Picnic. You can expect the material Roach performs to be predominantly based off Randy’s character.
The audience will be encouraged to yell out some choice words, so long as they aren’t being as wild as Randy.
“I’ll tell them to frigg off,” Roach said.
People genuinely like Randy’s protruding belly, especially in person if you ask Roach.
“My belly is a nice belly. It’s round, it’s got hair, but what people like most is that Randy’s a sweet character and makes sure people get along,” Roach said.
He explained Randy’s character likes his nice white pants, a piece of clothing he can’t afford to mess up by fighting. Complemented by his black shoes and belt, the fit without a shirt allows for more movement in a fight.
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If needed, Randy removes his pants, moving a lot better in tighty-whities, according to Roach. It bodes well for wrestling moves.
“Monkeys, when they get in a fight will show their erection to intimidate one another. I mean if a monkey comes at you with an erection, I’d run the other way. If Randy comes at you with his tighty-whities — and maybe an erection — you might run, cause you don’t know what might happen,” Roach said.
The purpose Randy plays is to comically represent why everyone should be comfortable with how they look, whether they have a six-pack, or a keg like the assistant supervisor of a trailer park. Fans with kegs are ecstatic Randy can run around with no shirt on. Heed this as a warning — there’s always a few shirtless fans that come out to the shows.
It’s almost been a year to the day since TPB lost one of their own. Best known for playing the alcoholic trailer park supervisor of Sunnyvale Jim Lahey, John Dunsworth passed away at the age of 71 last October. Lahey was the lovably deranged example of what too much liquor can do, especially when opposed to characters like Bubbles, Julian and Ricky throughout a dozen seasons of the show.
Roach said when he first found out, it was totally unexpected.
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Before the Randy’s Cheeseburger Picnic Tour Roach, Dunsworth was right by his side, doing comedy in their TBP characters under the act Randy and Lahey. Roach never knew until they toured together how much of a seasoned actor Dunsworth was, whether it was on stage, screen or even Shakespearian work.
“He’s the type of guy who didn’t want people to be unhappy. He wanted people to move forward. He would be very pleased that Randy went back up and did Cheeseburger Picnic,” Roach said.
The two would always rehearse their lines together, Roach sometimes catching Dunsworth reading lines from other characters out of a binder whenever he had a free moment on set.
Dunsworth was so committed to his character, his daughter Sara got a call that her dad was drunk, again. Roach swears it’s a true story.
“She said, ‘My dad’s not drunk, he’s just acting like Lahey!’ He was always keen. His favorite episode was always the next one we were going to film,” Roach recalled.
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Roach said Dunsworth could teach everything an actor needs to know. He was one of the few cast members who had acting experience prior to TPB.
All of those on the show benefited from his tutoring, and Dunsworth excelled in the role.
“I’ve been learning from him for the last 12 years of my life. Now I’m not scared to be up in a crowd,” Roach said.
From filming episodes to the hundreds of shows they performed together across the continent, Roach and Dunsworth spent more time with each other than their own respective families and friends.
Dunsworth always had Roach’s back, a personality trait he said you can’t get enough of from people in the world.
“We would go on boat rides and talk to each other every day. John was like a big brother to me. He was the coolest big brother. I don’t have any brothers or sisters, but it was him for me,” Roach said.
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Dunsworth’s portrayal of Lahey isn’t only known for his addiction to alcohol, but his disturbing love for it. Fans know the famous line, “Randy, I am the liquor.” Roach now has his own quote to compliment the classic phrase. After going through a multitude of fast food options as comparisons, a decision was made.
“I’m more like the cheeseburger, or the pizza, or the onion rings. Let’s go with beer, not so much into hounding large quantities of hard liquor,” Roach chuckled.
Starting in late November, Roach will be going on a Christmas tour with Bubbles, Randy and Ricky. They’ll stop in Green Bay at the Weidner Center on Nov. 26. Roach is also involved with content being produced by the TPB crew for their own news network, SwearNet. You can imagine what new shows might be in the works for the platform.
Roach will stop by The Majestic Theater on Tuesday, October 16 at 8:00 p.m. After he finishes his current tour, Roach will be spending time with friends and family back home, just trying to keep it real.