Bursts of laughter regularly punctuate the conversation around the small table in the room where Brock Pennie, Caileigh Anderson and Lara Deglan are seated, chatting casually.
The three Langley comedians are celebrating the fact they have just made the cut for the next phase of competition in CBC’s Comedy Coup and figuring out how to drum up enough support to carry them through to the next phase.
Their group, called The Country Club, is one of 30 B.C. entries still standing after the field for the national online competition was narrowed from nearly 300 hopefuls to the top 110 last week.
The vast majority of those 30 are from Vancouver, while Anderson, Pennie and Deglan make up the only group representing Langley.
After this round of voting, which finishes on Sunday, Oct. 26, the top 55 groups will move on, and the Langley comedians are hoping for a little help from the public to get them there.
Although they don’t know exactly where they placed in the last round — that information isn’t made available to competitors — the group likes their chances.
“Our strength is we have differing senses of humour,” said Pennie, 25, who met Deglan, 24, in high school and was introduced to her childhood friend, Anderson, 25, just over a year ago.
Even before they knew about the CBC contest, the three had decided to collaborate on a web series about the antics of a group of employees at a golf course, who have suddenly been promoted beyond their abilities after almost every member of senior management at the club is hired away by a competitor.
In the series, also called The Country Club, Pennie plays the golf course owner’s son, whom he describes as having a misplaced sense of self confidence.
He’s not a dumb guy, but he’s a slacker.”
Anderson’s character, Raquel, meanwhile, was recently hired to drive the beer cart.
“I end up getting promoted, just because I’m there,” she said. “And suddenly, I think I’m hot sh*t.”
The only remaining member of the club’s former management team is Julie Lefray — the wedding co-ordinator — played by Deglan.
“Julie’s a man eater, said Deglan. “She’s got a hot boyfriend and she walks all over him.
“She’s really confident in who she is. Because she’s played by me, she’s a bigger woman, but it’s never addressed,” Deglan added.
“She’s just the best wedding planner in town.”
While the trio was taking turns writing webisodes — they’ve completed seven so far — they learned about the CBC competition.
It seemed like a natural fit — the rules were practically written with them in mind.
Three of them? Check.
Canadian? As a matter of fact, yes.
The hook was that they had only 10 days to get their act together before the contest closed. Luckily, they realized, their project fit the contest parameters perfectly.
The trio’s web series is set at a fictional golf course in “beautiful Stanston, British Columbia” — essentially, a fictionalized version of Langley, they say.
Filming is done at Newlands, where Anderson, who studied marketing and design at UFV, has worked, “my whole life.”
It was a series of stories begging to be told, she said.
“The stuff that happens at a golf course — I’ve seen ridiculous things.”
Pennie, an SFU international studies alumnus, has also spent more than his share of time on the links.
Deglan, meanwhile, found her dramatic side studying theatre at UBC, where she and a friend produced a series of comedy shorts called Baseball Men, Football Men and Volleyball Men.
Ostensibly, a series of sports interviews, it’s really just the two women hitting on the male athletes in creative ways, chuckled Deglan.
Since beginning their current project, Anderson, Deglan and Pennie have taken turns writing. At first, it’s obvious who penned each episode, they say. But once they have a draft, they work on it together to make it flow and give the series a consistent voice.
The first episodes can be viewed at comedycoup.cbc.ca. Viewers can also cast votes on the CBC page.
The Langley trio has also set up a Facebook page at Facebook.com/thecountryclub where readers can also find contest details.
The Langley comedy troupe is hoping to garner plenty of support from local audiences as they make a bid to be among a minimum of five projects that ComedyCoup will option for development.
According to the CBC website, one project will be greenlit for $500,000 production financing to create a half-hour comedy special which will air in the fall of 2015.
“It’s tough,” said Deglan, “because we’re up against established comics with 500 (Facebook) followers. We’re doing really well for a small town.”