Darcy Michael’s feet are barely touching the ground right now. As one of the co-stars of the new CTV sitcom Spun Out, the out gay comedian is living high, at a peak in his long career.
“Between this and my stand-up, I am having the time of my life right now,” enthused Michael from his home in Ladner that he shares with his husband Jeremy and their 15-year old daughter.
Calling Spun Out “thirty years in the making”, Michael is also happy to have a little financial security right now, something that hasn’t always been the case as a stand-up comic in Canada.
Originally paying little attention to the copy of the Spun Out script he was given while working on another project, Michael says it wasn’t until he saw the writing on the wall for that project that he dug the script out of a suitcase. Originally auditioning for the role of Nelson, the smarmy PR guy now played by Al Mukadam, it was just after Christmas 2012 that he finally got the call offering him the role Gordon.
“I couldn’t even remember who Gordon was,” laughs Michael whose first reaction after looking at the script again was to lament Gordon’s lack of lines in the pilot. “But you know what, I have a 15-year old daughter to feed so I said yes, and I was on a plane four hours later.”
Filmed before a live studio audience in Toronto, Spun Out is a multi-camera sitcom about a struggling writer who ends up working at a public relations firm. In it, Michael plays the self-described “office weirdo” who is as skilled at non-sequiturs as he is at knitting.
“I love my stupid idiot character as he is so different from me,” says Michael who admits that he occasionally misses Gordon so much that he puts on his trademark wide frame glasses.
The show also stars Canadian comedy legend and former Kids in the Hall member, Dave Foley, as well as Paul Campbell, best known for his work on the television reboots of Battlestar Galactica and Knight Rider.
“Dave [Foley] is as amazing to watch and he is amazing to work with. He has every right to be an asshole and he isn’t,” says Michael. “The man is a national treasure.”
As for dishing on Foley or his co-stars, Michael says that there are plenty of secrets, but he isn’t the one who is going to break ranks. “Other than all the sex that Dave and I have on set?” he says with another laugh.
Joining the cast in a recent episode was a reunion of sorts with Foley being joined by the other members of Kids in the Hall, an experience that Michael says had his inner 12-year old “fan-girling”.
“I’ve worked with all of the members of Kids in the Hall at some point, but this was my first opportunity to work with all of them at one time,” he says. “Seeing how they work together was an amazing experience as they would talk over each other for 15 minutes and then would say ‘okay, let’s do it’ and the rest of us would be standing around going, do what?”
Currently a third through the 13 episodes of its first season, Michael and the rest of the cast are waiting on word of a renewal for Spun Out. For now though, Michael says what is more important than being on a nationally televised sitcom is finally being able to look his parents in the eye and say “it was all worth it”.
Spun Out airs nationally on the CTV television network on Fridays at 8pm. Check your local television listings.
(A version of this article first appeared online at Daily Xtra on April 5, 2014).