HOLLYWOO, CALIFORNIA — If the border between the United States and Canada remains closed for too long, officials fear there could be a major deficit in the importation of comedians from the north. This deficit could absolutely cripple the production of sitcoms and open mic nights throughout the U.S., those same officials are warning the country today.
“The United States and Canada have long-enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship when it comes to the trade of comedic talent,” Canadian Comedy Minister Pierre L’Blague told reporters today. “We of course understand the need to be extremely cautious in these times, but we hope that the border can open again soon, so that we can keep exporting our country’s finest funny people to the land of freedom and guns…mostly guns these days.”
This week, the Trump administration announced the border between the two countries was being closed in order to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus. Since late last year, thousands of people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, many of them needing to be hospitalized, and several hundred have passed away. Though the border is remaining open for trade purposes, the U.S. does not deem the importation of Canadian comedians to be “essential” enough to give them a waiver.
“This could seriously impede the newest season of Schitt’s Creek making it to Netflix,” L’Blague warned. “From SNL luminaries like Dan Aykroyd, Phil Hartman, and Mike Meyers, to actors like Ryan Reynolds and Michael J. Fox, the comedic trade lines have always been quite important to both nations’ entertainment. We certainly hope this border closure ends sooner rather than later.”
American comedy reserves could start to dwindle if there aren’t enough Canadian comics, comedians, writers, and actors to keep pumping material into them. Experts say that it’s possible shows like The Kids In the Hall might never have gotten the chance to air if the border between the U.S. and Canada had been closed back then. Actors like John Candy and Rick Moranis might never have become household names, they say, if the border situation had been back in the 1970’s what it is today.
There are several outposts on the Canadian/U.S. border that regulate the flow of joke tellers and their jokes into and out of each country. As of this morning, those outposts have been closed to all but a very barebones staff, officials say. If and when they get the signal from their respective governments, the offices will reopen, fully staffed.
“There are places all over the U.S. that are in dire, daily need of Canadian comedic content,” L’Blague said. “We all know what closing the border is aboot — containing the coronavirus — and we totally agree with it, for now. But we just don’t know how long Americans can go with-oot top-notch Canadian comedy. It’s been a long, long time since anyone had to even take a guess aboot such things.”
The White House has indicated that extreme measures such as limiting gatherings of more than 10 people and staying sheltered in place in homes may need to last for some time ahead. While it’s unclear at this time what kind of impact will be felt on the trans-North American comedy pipeline. However, Mr. L’Blague had some suggestions for Americans jonesing for Canadian-tasting comedy during the quarantine.
“Stream yourself some episodes of SCTV. It’s some of the best comedy Canada’s ever produced,” L’Blague said. “Or of course there are the Kids. Pretty much just use your streaming service of choice, take a deep breath, and laugh out loud with your favorite comedic artists of the northern territories.”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.