CAUTION: May Contain Nuts is a sketch comedy series with a little something extra in the bag. Written and performed by a world-class, multi-ethnic cast of improv masters, entertainers and stand-up comics, CAUTION roasts pop culture and skewers social trends and politics in the most delicious ways. Told as a series of stand-alone and intersecting stories, music videos and improvised scenes, the comedy buffet includes everything from commentary on treaty rights to the impending zombie apocalypse to an all-out battle between ninjas and space rangers (duh). Guest stars include Canadian film and comedy royalty like Colin Mochrie, Graham Greene, Adam Beach, Kevin McDonald and Joe Flaherty. In the river of social commentary and political satire CAUTION: May Contain Nuts is pop culture comedy gold. And sometimes? Sometimes stuff is just funny for its own sake and you’ll LOL for real.
THE HISTORY AND LORE OF CAUTION
In the beginning, there was Blacklisted, a sketch comedy troupe of epic proportions. Sheldon, Matt, Jeff and Ryan honed their craft in front of small playhouses, filled to the capacity throngs of ten. Taking their talents to the comedic battleground of the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, their throngs grew en masse to sold out performances. The razor sharp edge of their humour would sometimes offend the delicate sensibilities of the meek, causing them to storm out overwhelmed.
The Fellowship of Blacklisted was threatened when Sheldon, a founding member, was enticed away by the fame monster. He starred in Canadian Idol, making it to the Top 14 before being slain by those 12 that advanced. But Sheldon just wouldn’t stay down, and followed the fame monster to the land of television where he landed a role on Hank Williams: First Nation.
Now that Sheldon was officially a successful actor, he attracted the attention of young budding producers called Mosaic Entertainment, who were interested in changing the landscape of sketch comedy. The producers approached Sheldon with the purpose to cull a new brethren for the show’s cast – a new “Fellowship of the Sketch” so to speak. Sheldon, remembering his Blacklisted brethren, said “Listen, I already got some brethren. Maybe we could just use my brethren?” And then the producers were like, “Well, we already had one brethren in mind; his name’s Howie Miller and he’s one funny dude,” and then Sheldon was all like “I know that guy! He’s totally my brethren too, for sure.” And so it was that Sheldon, Matt, Jeff and Ryan, joined Howie, then added a few more brethren (Aimée Beaudoin, Dana Andersen, Mark Meer and James Higuchi to be exact), and together they became CAUTION: May Contain Nuts.
For three seasons and 26 episodes of television, the new Fellowship cut a swath of hilarity across the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, until finally the powers that be struck them down with one mighty blow. Five long years the Fellowship lay dormant: quietly waiting, not quite dead, plotting their revenge. Then the magic words were whispered… “renewal”… and season four sprung to life! The Fellowship looked around at each other, “What do we need?” The answer so clear “More women!”. So Joleen Ballendine was recruited to write and star, as well as Jana, of the clan O’Connor. A generous dashing of Jesses (both Lipscombe and Gervais) and a little more help from Belinda Cornish made season four the season to rule all seasons! (Brethren Ryan was tragically lost to the theatre, but swam his way back for a few guest appearances.)