Badlands humour

A new animated series based in Alberta is brimming with inside jokes for Canadians

Badlands humour


The U.S. is full of Canadian comedy writers, but they usually don’t get to make many jokes about their native country. That’s where Crash Canyon comes in. The new animated series on Teletoon was developed by a Calgarian writer for The Simpsons, Joel H. Cohen, who hired several other Canadian writers, including Simpsons colleague Tim Long and How I Met Your Mother’s Chuck Tatham.

Though shows like The Simpsons and HIMYM frequently have Canadian jokes, they’re usually obvious ones about Tim Hortons and hockey. On Crash Canyon, a mix of Family Guy and Gilligan’s Island about a Canadian family stuck in a canyon in Alberta, Cohen told Maclean’s that the writers finally had the opportunity to put in Canadian insider jokes like an ice cream store called “Don and Cherry’s” and a Monopoly game called “Moncton-opoly.” There are other possibly lost-on-Americans jokes, such as a stylist character who calls himself “the René to her Céline” and a road sign that says, “Now entering Saskatchewan—Welcome to our Nothing.”

“Americans love to make fun of Canada, so this is a chance to show another thing Canadians do better than the U.S.,” Cohen says. “In that sense, I guess we’re being patriotic. Now where do I pick up my Order of Canada medal?” Of course, not all the Canadian references are for insiders; Teletoon’s advance trailer includes a joke where the family daughter mixes up Anne Frank with Anne of Green Gables.

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