Gerry Dee Grades His Top Mr. D Moments, Shares Scoop on Season 3
April 17, 2013By Leah Collins
We're not ready for summer vacation!
School's letting out early, at least on CBC, with the Mr. D finale airing tonight at 8 p.m./8:30 NT, but the show's star and creator Gerry Dee tells CBC Live that the Mr. D team is already developing ideas for Season 3.
He gave us the scoop on what fans can expect next year - plus shared a few hints on the Season 2 finale.
But first, check out his highlights from the making of Mr. D.
Gerry Dee, star of Mr. D. -- CBC
CBC Live: What's your favourite episode of Season 2?
Gerry Dee: Gee, that's tough. I think it's "Gerry's Favourite Couple," the one where I'm trying to keep the two high school kids together but I butcher it.
Watch the episode:
GD: That was fun for me 'cause it's based on a real experience. And it's the awkwardness of watching a teacher be involved in the life of a student, which is also funny, but he comes from the right place, he's really trying to help them. But it's like, kids don't want that. Kids don't want a teacher to help them.
CBC Live: You say it's based on a real experience? Tell me about that.
GD: Yeah, that was based on a real couple, kids who I still stay in touch with, and they were named Sean and Miranda, so I named [the characters] after them, and they were just two of my favourite students that dated. You know, when they broke up I was like "What?! You guys broke up?!" and I would always - like, even post high school - I'd run into them on the street, and say "Are you guys back together?" and I'd try to set them back up, and it was kind of based on that.
CBC Live: How did they react to knowing they were going to be on the show?
GD: She laughed. They love it. I've got a lot of love with them and they like the show.
Sean, I haven't talked to him in probably a year, so I don't even know. These kids don't watch TV live, they watch it later on DVD or Netflix or CBC.ca, so I don't even know if he's watching it yet.
They're great kids. You know, that was the part of teaching I loved the most, those kids you connected with and they were certainly two of them.
Mr. D and "Searanda" in a scene from "Gerry's Favourite Couple." -- CBC
CBC Live:How often do you put somebody's real name, from a real situation, into the series?
GD: I always do. All the teachers are named after real teachers. The characters don't match the teacher, but any time there's a new character, I always try to throw a name to it. If it's a kid in the class who's a bad kid, I'll name him after a bad kid I taught or vice versa.
CBC Live: And no one's called you on that? GD: No. Jimmy's not named after anybody, really, but I have a kid in mind when I think about him every time, the kid I always kicked out of class.
GD: Dwyer (Wes Williams) dancing in front of me on the couch. That was hard! That was probably - I think we had to stop. And you can tell from my laugh that was crazy, genuine. That was the hardest. Watch the scene:
CBC Live: How many takes did you have to do?
GD: Oh god. I think I laughed - I ruined - about eight takes. I only ever ruined about 15 takes all year ... by laughing. I ruined other takes by screwing up lines.
CBC Live: There's a lot of improv in the blooper reel. How much of the show is improvised?
GD: Yeah, yeah. A lot. It depends on the actor. Most of our actors come from a comedic background, which means most of them are green lit to do as they want. And Jonathan Torrens is certainly at the forefront of that, and Mark Forward and Mark Little and Darrin Rose. I do it a ton, so when I do it, it's fair for them to do it.
Jonathan might have the most lines that stay, because he's really good. But they all do. When I was pretending to be Jesus (Episode 203, "World Religions"), there were a lot of lines that I ad libbed: kicking Jimmy out and calling him the devil, that was all improvised.
Watch Gerry Dee and the cast of Mr. D talk comedy:
CBC Live: I've talked to people on dramas like Arctic Air and Cracked about their finales. With the dramas, they're usually leading into some kind of cliffhanger, which isn't usually the case with a comedy finale. What's at stake when you wrap a season of Mr. D?
GD: You try to tie in the little arcs that you do have, but you're right: it's episodic. There's Gerry and Jean this year, the Scottish mom. What's going to happen there? We'll find out in the final episode, and you know, is anything happening with Lisa? Does Jerry's old girlfriend come back into play? It's about the teachers and mostly Gerry, what happens to him, but it's something we always think about, how we want to end. I think Season 3, some of the kids will graduate, so a natural fit would be a graduation type episode.
CBC Live: Really? So there will be new classes?
GD: We're trying not to. We love Maya, Jimmy, Ben, and there's ways to keep them involved. They've been senior students for two years. It would be a third year, so you have to watch that it makes sense, but you don't want to watch too much cause they're such great characters and great kids and actors that we might find a way to keep them.
I don't think Jimmy's ever going to graduate, to be honest. I think that's the joke: he's 22 and still in high school.
CBC Live: What else can we expect from Mr. D Season 3? GD: I think Gerry will get a taste of phys ed. Eventually, that's what he wants and that's what I did in real life so I think he'll see that parallel to my real life. In my third year teaching I started to get a little bit of phys ed in me. So you'll see that side of him which is a totally different side and I think we'll see how his relationship situation goes and where he's at in that world. Without spoiling it, we have some ideas about bringing back characters that might have a bigger role.
The Mr. D Season 2 finale airs on CBC Wednesday, April 17 at 8 p.m./8:30 NT.