Cult LGBT Figures Talk Comedy, Politics In Ann Arbor

By Shelby Clark Petkus

The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor's live music venue known for featuring everything from "nerd rock" to indie rap, recently played host to the comedy/music act of "Randy and Mr. Lahey LIVE" from the cult Canadian comedy, "Trailer Park Boys."

"Trailer Park Boys" is a mockumentary that's been around in various forms since 2001, most recently with its newly filmed seasons specifically for Netflix. The show follows a motley crew of of trailer park residents, ranging from the central characters of Ricky, Julian and Bubbles - men who frequently end up in jail for their failed "get rich quick" schemes - to the characters of J-Roc (an aspiring rapper), Sarah (a redhead who serves as the park's moral compass) and Corey, Trevor and Jacob (the "dumb" park residents who bend to the will of Ricky and Julian). Among this diverse group are the characters of Mr. Jim Lahey and Randy "Bo Bandy," played respectively by John Dunsworth and Patrick Roach.

Dunsworth and Roach acted in their May show completely in character, never once referencing themselves as anything other than "Mr. Lahey" and "Randy." Randy entered the show first, in his requisite khaki pants but also in a white dress shirt. "Take it off!" the crowd yelled, alluding to Randy's almost constant shirtless-ness on the show. "Mr. Lahey said I should dress nice for Ann Arbor, since it's a nice town," Randy responded, before more cheers led him to pull off his shirt with the cry, "This is too itchy!" Lahey quickly joined Randy on stage, clad in his standard trailer park "supervisor" uniform.

The pair are known for being same-sex lovers on the show, a fact that is introduced and then treated cavalierly on the show. Their tumultuous relationship was referenced throughout their Ann Arbor performance, including digs at each other for the female characters they've romanced during their relationship breaks (including Randy's dalliance with Donna, played by male actor Leigh MacInnis). "We're both bisexual," Randy noted to the crowd, "which means we'll have sex with anybody." He then grimaced as he looked at the crowd, gesturing to one man in the front of the audience, "Except you -- you look crazy."

The interactive quality of the almost two-hour show continued throughout the night, with audience members being pulled on stage for songs, sales pitches and even back massages. The sales pitches involved the two men sporadically referencing products they were selling during the night. "I have a book of shit poetry for sale - $30," said Lahey, reading excerpts from the book that involved odes to "shit hawks." "We have a special suit that can make you smoke weed easily," referenced Randy, before Lahey donned the trash-bag like contraption and took a drag from a joint.

LGBT issues were mentioned as well, with professed love for same-sex marriage and support of transgender issues. "For all you LGBT...Q...I..." Lahey drunkenly slurred, adding further letters as he took a swig of Crown Royal he then held up to the crowd. Lahey is known for drunkenness on the show, which was played up with great vigor by Dunsworth. In addition to drinking Crown Royal poured frequently by a Bling Pig bartender, Lahey also drank a beer offered by someone in the audience. Randy - known for his own cheeseburger "addiction" on the television show - referenced his food weakness and even accepted a burger from someone in the crowd. "Oh man, this even has onion straws on it? I can't wait to eat this back at the hotel," he said while inspecting the sandwich.

Despite the off-color comedy off the show, complete with the infamous swearing of "Trailer Park Boys," Dunsworth's Lahey had plenty of serious comments to interject into the act, particularly about veterans and war. "I think we should send a shit-ton of weed over to ISIS - that would settle them down for sure," he said to audience applause. At other times, Lahey noted, "I think it's ridiculous that veterans are treated the way they are," or raised his glass "to all the men and women sent to these despicable wars." The men even held a Canadian flag with a red marijuana leaf in the place of the famous maple one, urging that flag to fly over a world of "peace and weed."

The men also had a seemingly serious appreciation for Ann Arbor, and other LGBT-friendly cities if it can be inferred from where they played other recent shows (Ferndale, San Francisco and Seattle). Their love for the people and places in the city rang out the show. "This is the cleanest city I've ever seen," Lahey enthused. "I truly love this city."

Check out the movies and complete television series of "Trailer Park Boys" on Netflix.
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