Meet the stars of 'The Amazing Gayl Pile'
Everything you need to know about the brilliant minds behind the CSA-nominated series.
The Amazing Gayl Pile is one of Canada's all time weirdest and most successful digital series. What seems to start as a fairly conventional comedic series satirizing home shopping channels quickly morphs into a surreal show set on a farm called Rootopia where Kangaroos are being harvested for their pouch mucus and nuclear war seems imminent.
You know, just a super normal and predictable trajectory.
The latest season, The Amazing Gayl Pile: Apocalypse Soonish, picks up three years after the end of season three, and has garnered 2019 Canadian Screen Award (CSA) nominations for Morgan Waters in the Best Lead Performance category and Inessa Frantowski in the Best Supporting Performance category.
- Watch the Canadian Screen Awards Gala Honouring Digital Storytelling this Thursday, March 28th streaming live on CBC Gem.
The series was created and written by some incredibly talented Canadian artists, and also managed to score some high profile Hollywood talent in a number of hilarious guest roles. So who are these brilliant, bizarre minds?
Morgan Waters is one of those multi-hyphenate talents who works as a musician, writer, editor and actor — and seems to excel at all of it. Waters plays the titular role of Gayl Pile, a strange sweetie on a dark journey towards success, and this is his second CSA nomination for the role.
He was first seen in a CBC children's show called The X, then his own CBC children's sketch program The Morgan Waters Show, before co-creating, writing and starring in the IFC mockumentary series Cock'd Gunns. Formerly the bassist of Toronto music collective Dwayne Gretzky, Waters has been touring as the guitarist with his band Weaves who were shortlisted for the 2018 Polaris Music Prize.
Inessa Frantowski writes for the series and plays Renee LeMans, an over the top personality who Gayl worked with at the Shop At Home Network. This season, Renee is attempting to leverage her nonuplets (nine babies) into reality tv stardom — and her Kardashian-eque show within the show "Realness x 9" is one of the funniest parts of the entire season.
Frantowski is an alumni of the Second City Toronto mainstage and was one of the founding members of Canadian sketch super troupe The Sketchersons. She now calls Los Angeles home and can be seen in the upcoming film Greener Grass later this year.
Co-creator of the series Brooks Gray plays the role of Reverend Dave, a meek religious man who sells cheap religious merchandise and is constantly steamrolled by everyone around him.
His scenes with Linda Kash this season are painfully funny — and a near death experience towards the end of the season shakes Revered Dave, and everything he believes, to his core.
Before Gayl Pile, Gray co-wrote, produced and starred in the IFC series Cock'd Gunns with Waters and King. You can also see Gray in Rebecca Addelman's 2018 film Paper Year.
A long time collaborator of Gray and Waters, Andy King plays JD Castlemane, Australian beauty expert and kangaroo pouch mucus farmer, as well as writing for the show.
In addition to writing and acting, King is also a director and producer. Along with Waters and Gray, King co-created, wrote and starred in the mockumentary series Cock'd Gunns on IFC, and he is the co-creator and executive producer of CBC's True Dating Stories.
Linda Kash joins the cast in the latest season as another religious merchandise salesperson named Kitty. Kash's comedy background as an alumna of Second City shines through in her pitch perfect performance.
Kitty initially seems like an ideal match for Reverend Dave, who is completely smitten with her, but as the season progresses, her religious schtick is uncovered as a scam to sell more apocalypse-themed food products.
Kash's career spans hundreds of hit television shows and films, from cult fan favourites like Christopher Guest's Waiting For Guffman and Best In Show, to FX's Fargo.
Writer, comedian, actor, producer and podcaster Paul Scheer was so won over by the early episodes in the series that he decided to come on board as a guest star as well as an executive producer.
Scheer's involvement definitely helped draw in bigger name guest stars like Jon Hamm, June Diane Raphael and Rich Fulcher. Scheer has recently produced the new Comedy Central digital variety show Unsend, co-wrote six comic books for Marvel, and can be seen acting in both the upcoming Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen film Long Shot and the darkly comedic wall street series Black Monday on Showtime.
That's right — Don Draper himself plays a role in Gayl Pile, as the voice of Gayl's high tech automated condo C.A.M. (Condo Automated Module). Hamm has cited the weirdness of the script as an incentive for joining such a small scale production. Recently, Hamm attended the SXSW launch of his new series Good Omens.
Stream it now on CBC Gem
All four seasons of The Amazing Gayle Pile are streaming now on CBC Gem.
Haven't seen an episode yet? Check out the trailer for The Amazing Gayl Pile: Apocalypse Soonish below.