I would give a Texas-sized ten-four to anyone who claims that Letterkenny is one of the most explosive pop culture dynamos to come out of TV in recent years. An essential key to the surprisingly vast appeal of this commentary on life in rural Canada, steaming exclusively in the U.S. on Hulu, is how the show pays tribute to recognizable moments in pop culture, such as The Social Network, for instance.
For being a mismatched assortment of hicks (led by series creator Jared Keeso’s Wayne), skids (led by Tyler Johnston as Stewart), and hockey players (Dylan Playfair and Andrew Herr as the inseparable Jonesy and Reilly) in the middle of nowhere within the Great White North, the cast of Letterkenny seem to know a great deal about what is popular in the States. They provide intellectual commentary on (or merely pure indictment of) well-known movies, TV shows, music, and web content either in brief discussion or by practically basing entire episodes on them. The results are some of the most refreshingly unique and clever examples parody on TV today.
Given the rapid-fire structure that Letterkenny has become iconic for, there are only so many shots at pop culture from its current eight season that one keep up with. To be fair (“To be FAIR”), we decided to narrow the selection down to just eight references that we believe are the funniest and most memorable thus far. Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er.
DMX’s Barks - Season 6, Episode 5
This fun Letterkenny cold open, at first, becomes a hilarious discussion of radio’s evolution from “terrestrial” to “extraterrestrial” with internet streaming and such before circling back to Katy's (Michelle Mylett) “low-key” love of DMX. Wayne also expresses his admiration for the “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” rapper, particularly as an animal lover “on account of him always barkin’ like a dog in his songs.” After Daryl’s (Nathan Dales) fails to imitate the gruff essence of DMX’s signature “arf, arf,” earning comparisons to a cat, Katie demonstrates the barks' power by concluding an impromptu hardcore rap verse with an underwhelming "meow."
Dating Apps - Season 1, Episode 1
The very first episode of Letterkenny made it clear how far the series was willing to go for the sake of ridicule with this bit that comments on the oversaturation of online dating in a risqué fashion.
Daryl takes the recently dumped Wayne to a singles function at the local church where they run into devout Christian Margaret (Kelly Lamb), to whom Daryl explains that Wayne has been spending a lot of time on Tinder. Margaret, under the impression that Tinder is just gay dating app Grindr in disguise, condemns the use of such technology with an unnecessarily in-depth description of its users’ activities, also introducing the series’ trope of side characters who tend to be a little too open about their close-mindedness.
The Social Network - Season 1, Episode 3
In the aptly titled Letterkenny episode “Fartbook,” Dan (K. Trevor Wilson) invents a flatulence-based social media platform in which users can catalog the various ways they let ‘er rip online. Curious about cashing in are skids Stewart and Devon (Alexander De Jordy), the latter of which seems more interested in recreating key moments from The Social Network, the Academy Award-winning dramatization of the rise of Facebook, but at the least appropriate opportunities. For instance, Devon suggests dropping the “the,” as just “Fartbook” sounds cleaner (like Justin Timberlake’s Sean Parker does), to which Wayne points out there was never a “the” to begin with.
Cable Access TV In General - Season 7, All Episodes
While “Fartbook” would be the first of many episodes almost entirely made for lampooning (more on that later), by Season 7, the show had graduated to basing an entire season on a central topic to make fun of. In this case, it was cable access television. Wayne, Daryl, and Dan try their hands as hosts of the agriculturally minded call-in program Crack N Ag, which is really just a way to move the series’ traditional cold opens to a new location. From more of its typical profane meta humor and roasting side characters calling into the studio, Crack N Ag is basically a Letterkenny-style Wayne’s World, complete with its own, much different Wayne.
K. Trevor Wilson’s Cap’n Crunch Bit - Season 2, Episode 3
In one cold open, the male hicks toss around a baseball talking about the differences between Canadian and American food practices when Squirrelly Dan mentions how six different kinds of Cap’n Crunch exist in the U.S, something he learned from a comedian. The stand-up in question is the K. Trevor Wilson, who stars on Letterkenny as Dan, whose commentary on the popular cereal brand is one of his better known bits. This was only Dan’s first reference to the comedian who plays him, whom he describes as a “big feller, hell of a storyteller, handsome as the day is long” despite not being able to remember his name in the Season 4 episode “Letterkenny Talent Show.”
America’s Got Talent (Season 4, Episode 4)
Speaking of “Letterkenny Talent Show,” said episode is host to a number of pop culture tributes, including the set up itself, which sees Wayne and Katy judging the locals’ “talents,” equipped with buzzers to express their disapproval, much like on NBC’s popular competitive reality program America’s Got Talent. One notable participant is Pastor Glen’s (Jacob Tierney) "Christian post alt-rock emo super band” My Tattered Journal, whose outfits resemble My Chemical Romance in the “Welcome to the Black Parade” video.
The first act, however, is Modean’s owner Gail (Lisa Codrington) with a passionate monologue from an adult film parody of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator with a clever title that, apparently, exists in real life.
Shark Tank And Many Other Reality Shows - Season 2, Episode 5
America’s Got Talent is far from the only reality show that has fallen prey to lampooning on Letterkenny (in fact, the previously mentioned episode was not the first time the NBC competition series was referenced).
The first time came about in this episode in which Wayne and Katy decide to invest their recent inheritance in something to benefit the community and set up a meeting in the style of Shark Tank, complete with Bonnie McMurray (Kamilla Kowall) unnecessarily volunteering as a pitch announcer, for locals to present their ideas. Each pitch just happens to be a scathing, unsubtle riff on a certain reality show, from Intervention to The Bachelor and more, concluding with a send-up of Duck Dynasty’s anti-gay controversy from 2013.
A Few Iconic TV Ads - Season 2, Episode 2
Earlier in the second season, Letterkenny had a similar concept in mind to take shots at the marketing industry which also pokes fun at political campaigns. When Wayne decides to run against McMurrray (Dan Petronijevic) as Agriculture Hall President, the hicks, skids, and hockey players team-up to produce an attack ad in his favor that also recreates a couple of famous commercials for no other reason than to laugh at their random inclusion. Katy channels an infamous Carl’s Jr/Hardees ad with Paris Hilton by simultaneously eating a cheeseburger and suggestively washing a truck while Stewart, Jonesy, and Reilly bring back the Budweiser “Whassup!” all the while proclaiming McMurray to be “a piece of shit.”
What do you think? Are these the pop culture references on Letterkenny that made you laugh the hardest or is that hard no for you? Well, we would appreciates it if you let us know how you fell in the comments and be sure to check back for additional information and updates on this modern Canadian comedy classic, as well as even more retrospectives on the most essential moments of your favorite TV shows, here on CinemaBlend.