The Canadian sitcom, ‘Letterkenny,’ started as a web series on YouTube called ‘Letterkenny Problems.’ The show is created by Jared Keeso, who never thought that the series would gain such a wide fanbase, given that it is set in a particular part of Canada and uses language peculiar to the place. The series centers around the siblings, Wayne and Katy, who run a farm and local produce stand with help from their friends.
The town has several social groups such as the “hicks” (farmers), the “skids” (drug addicts and criminals), and the hockey players. The characters have such specific quirks that it is hard to imagine that they are all created from scratch. Naturally, you must be curious to know how much of the series is based on real life. Let’s find out!
Is Letterkenny Based on a True Story?
No, ‘Letterkenny’ is not based on a true story. The show is developed and primarily written by Jared Keeso and Jacob Tierney. In multiple interviews, Keeso has shared that the series is loosely based on his hometown Listowel in Ontario and some of the other places that he grew up in. Not very different from the fictional Letterkenny, Listowel is a town with about 7,500 residents.
Some of the specific traits that Keeso borrows from Listowel are the fight culture and the slang that the characters in the show use. In the series, we see how easily fights are instigated, and Wayne often finds himself at the center of a “donnybrook” (a fight). This is taken directly from the writer and actor’s life, who shared that one constantly lived in fear of getting beaten up or dragged into a fight. While growing up, he saw many fights in the town that kept people “on their toes.”
But it was important to be able to stand your own ground if a situation like that surfaced. Hardly anyone would ever be at the receiving end without retaliating. Although a comedy, Keeso and Tierney have been conscious not to cross a line, especially when it comes to bullying. Wayne’s character has a few similarities to Keeso himself, especially his love for dogs and the fact that he was a high school hockey player. He played competitive hockey and even wanted to play in the National Hockey League (NHL) before deciding to be an actor.
You may also find it interesting to know that the series has its own official beer! The signature Puppers beer that the characters in the show are often seen drinking is the product of Stack Brewing in Sudbury, Ontario. Puppers Lager was created by the brewery in collaboration with the creators of ‘Letterkenny.’ It is not uncommon for people from Keeso’s social circle back in Listowel to come to him and ask if a certain character is based on them.
Although the names of some of the characters in the show are taken from people in his life, Keeso has been clear that the characters are fictional. He has been careful not to keep things too close to reality, as his family still lives there, and he keeps going back home quite often. He also shared that despite everything, Listowel has a strong sense of community. Even though it may not look like it, people harbor genuine respect for one another and have unusual ways of showing it.
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