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The deal with Picnicface 

With Roller Town launching the Atlantic Film Festival’s 31st edition and two other new projects, the Halifax comedy troupe pretty much owns 2011.

click to enlarge Andrew Bush, Evany Rosen, Mark Little, Scott Vrooman, , Bill Wood, Brian Eldon MacQuarrie, Kyle Dooley, Cheryl Hann
  • Andrew Bush, Evany Rosen, Mark Little, Scott Vrooman, , Bill Wood, Brian Eldon MacQuarrie, Kyle Dooley, Cheryl Hann

Andrew Bush, Kyle Dooley, Cheryl Hann, Mark Little, Brian Eldon MacQuarrie, Evany Rosen, Scott Vrooman and Bill Wood ---known collectively as comedy powerhouse Picnicface---have a TV show (Picnicface on The Comedy Network), a feature film (Roller Town) and a book (Picnicface’s Canada from HarperCollins) all available to enjoy in the next month or two.

So before you see the discotastic Roller Town at the AFF, or watch the absurdly comic TV show, or buy the book, here are a few important details for you to know about each member of Picnicface.

Andrew Bush
Bush has been acting on TV since he was 17. He also directed Roller Town and episodes of the TV show. He owns the most Apple products of any member, a total of four. On his computer he has 30 or 40 terrabytes of Picnicface material. He's done web shorts and a feature film, but says TV is a whole other beast, which he didn't really get until he went behind the camera. "I learned a lot on this television show: You gotta get your day, you gotta make sure it's funny. The pressures of television-making, you just don't really get it until you have 40 people going, 'Well, whataya got?'"

Evany Rosen
Rosen is totally convincing playing a middle-aged man or woman. And neurotics. She's constantly working on short films in Halifax, also appearing in Pardis Parker's The Dance, screening at the AFF this year. She explains the self-referential threads that are woven into every episode of the new TV show: "Those will break up what will feel more like our online content, the (adopts a car-salesperson voice, slapping one hand against the other) fast-paced sketches. What other words can I used to describe them? Absurd. Whimsy."

Mark Little
Mark is the lead in Roller Town, and the self-described Eeyore of the group. In reaction to the thought at the top of this piece, that Picnicface will own this year due to having so much stuff out, he responds, "That's the advice they give, spread yourself as thin as possible and see what sticks," he says with a dry chuckle. "If it all does, I'll look back at this interview and laugh!" Little is a big fan of the Wu-Tang Clan, but resists any Picnicface comparison to the legendary eight-member hip-hop group. Except for Cheryl Hann's rapping. Little says, "There's no father to her style." That's how RZA described Ol' Dirty Bastard.

Scott Vrooman
Vrooman is an economist. Mark Little has referred to him as the Bruce McCulloch of the group. (The Kids in the Hall connectivity is completed by Mark McKinney, executive producer on the TV show.) Vrooman's the guy who's put the book together, with illustrations from Mike Holmes and Yo Rodeo. "I'm excited to get peoples' response to it," he says. "We're trying to get a certain cover for the book that we all love, and the marketing person said no way. So that's still a battle to be fought."

Bill Wood
In the premiere episode of Picnicface, Tim Dunn pees on him outside 2053 Gottingen Street. If he was a cartoon character, he'd be a duck in a smoking jacket. "The house where Picnicface lives," a conceit of the show, actually belongs to Wood and his wife. He just bought a scooter, though covets sportscars. "Only with the vague possibility of money coming into my life did I go, 'That's a beautiful Mustang.'" he says. "I'd love one of those. My wife is the person who manages the budget, but Mustangs make her wet, so she would let me buy one."

Brian Eldon MacQuarrie
He used to have a beef with Mark Little because Mark would constantly write him in sketches where he'd have to strip and cry. "He can express anguish and pain in a way that's never not funny," says Little. Dooley says MacQuarrie is the "most-quotable" member of Picnicface, though MacQuarrie always tries to escape from interviews. "I'm always afraid I'll say something just a little offputting," he admits. He's writing a new feature film. (So are Wood, Little and Vrooman.) "[The screenwriting] is definitely for the group," he says. "I think it's stupid not to utilize the fact we have great people who are funny."

Kyle Dooley
Dooley's comedy superpower is undeniable charm. And altitude. And "snake eyes!" He and Mark Little were the first members of Picnicface. Dooley specializes in over-the-top characters. He's working on becoming a Photoshop wizard. He was born on the same day as Live Aid in 1985, though has shown little evidence of being a Phil Collins fan. He has tweeted that he loaned a quarter to a stegosaurus who said, "I'll will it to you when I inevitably die before you."

Cheryl Hann
Cheryl Hann is studying at Dal and gets excellent grades. She demands that the media is no longer allowed to describe Picnicface comedy as "high-octane." "We are not Nascar," she says. ("We tried low-octane but it didn't last," Dooley adds.) She's a crazy good rapper. She encapsulates the future agenda of Picnicface as this: "I think what we all want to be is funny, and to become increasingly funny."

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