Saturday, January 31, 2009

Joe Canadian

Last Wednesday night, during 'American Idol's commercial break, a TV spot for the new film 'He's Just Not That Into You' aired that contained a very quick 'Beaver shot' so to speak. If you blinked, you may have missed it. A day later, I went to the Internet to find out if I really saw what I thought I saw. The TV spot was nowhere to be found on youtube, only the movie's official trailer, sans Beaver. Interesting? Not really. What I actually thought I saw in the TV spot amidst faces belonging to Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Connolly, Scarlett Johansson, Drew Barrymore, Justin Long and many others was a familiar Canadian face. An actor that I recognized from a lot of commercials as well a short lived sketch comedy show from a few years back. I wanted to figure out if I was right, since it's kind of a big deal to see a local guy that used to get by on commercials in with such a big Hollywood cast, but I had no clue what his name was. The Internet Movie Database has a cast list of about 80 members for this film, over ¾ of which have careers important enough to warrant headshots. I hadn't seen the film, I had no idea what the character's name was or how big of a role he even plays, not that it matters as there's no order to the long list anyway (the bit parts are all listed first with the stars all grouped near the bottom). Plus I didn't even remember the name of the sketch comedy show he was on, and commercial credits are not listed on IMDb. Since I didn't know what I was looking for, I was about to deem the task hopeless and certainly not worthy of the time I had already spent on it. But just before reaching the point of defeat, I thought to myself “I could look for a Canadian- sounding name” whatever that is. I kid you not, less than 2 seconds later my eyes landed on 'Mike Beaver.... Cousin Jay.' I clicked on it and sure enough it was him.

Born in Saint Catherines, Ontario, this Ryerson theatre school alum has actually done a lot more than I had previously given him credit for. He's written two films with Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones. 'Ham and Cheese' in 2004 and 'Cooper's Camera' in 2008. These films also featured Beaver in co-starring roles along with Jones, his fellow Daily show correspondent/ wife Samantha Bee, and David Foley rounding out the Canadian club, probably with a glass of it in his hand most of the time. Beaver can also be seen in 19 episodes of 'Billable Hours' and was a co-founder of the sketch comedy group 'The Bobroom' (IMDb calls this group 'famed' but I found their television show easily forgettable). Okay, so Beaver has popped up in more than just a couple commercials, but it looks like this new film is his first role in something that wasn't shot in Toronto. Even though I've never seen most of his work, he was memorable enough for me to want to find out more about his career. Needless to say, I would have never figured who he was if it weren't for the name association. I hope Mike Beaver's "Northern star" continues to rise with this new movie that I will never see. I will try to see those Canadian films he wrote though.

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