Catherine O'Hara on the 'sweetness' that defines Canadian comedy

The Schitt’s Creek star on why the comedy series was essential pandemic viewing.

The Schitt’s Creek star on why the comedy series was essential pandemic viewing.


Since the comedy series Schitt's Creek ended with its sixth and final season last year, many are finding the series provides a place to go for love and comfort, which is felt behind a biting Canadian style of humour, says star Catherine O'Hara in an interview with The Guardian

O'Hara won an Emmy Award last year for her infamous role of Moira Rose during the series' record-breaking sweep - O'Hara's second Emmy since her 1970s comedy cult stardom on SCTV, where she first met Schitt's Creek co-star Eugene Levy. 

Another sweep could be in the books soon, as the series is nominated for five Golden Globe Awards.

How O'Hara defines Canadian comedy

The sweetness between the on-screen-family feels realistic, partly because of the long-held chemistry between Catherine and Eugene, as well as co-star and Eugene Levy's son, Dan Levy. 

"We laugh at each other but we also laugh at ourselves, much like people in the UK and Ireland," says O'Hara. 

Catherine O'Hara and co-star Eugene Levy behind the scenes of Schitt's Creek. (CBC)

"You're being made fun of by someone who you know loves you, so there's sweetness, but an edge, and it means everything doesn't have to be soft, because you know you're safe. But the love in the show, that really comes from Dan and Eugene, because that's the world Dan wants to live in, and so do I," she says.

Comedy made for the pandemic

Simply looking at the plot of the series, it's understandable that it's something many can relate to and find humour in. 


Schitt's Creek follows the Roses, a wealthy family that goes bankrupt, and they are forced to relocate and live in a motel in the middle of nowhere, a small town called Schitt's Creek.

The Roses believe this situation will only be temporary, and as time goes by with them all under one small roof, the stages of grief and acceptance feel familiar. 

"We were a family holed up together, forced to get to know each other, and in the Roses' case, they ended up loving it,"  says O'Hara, who plays Moira Rose.

O'Hara says the series could be a "lesson in embracing the situation." 


It's Schitt's Creek Week! We're celebrating the 'little show that could' ahead of Sunday's Golden Globe Awards. For everything Schitt's Creek, follow CBC Comedy on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter

Don't forget you can stream all six seasons of Schitt's Creek, for free, on CBC Gem!