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Comedian Nathan Macintosh wraps season two of Trapped in Truro

Comedian seeing success in show, new standup special from New York


TRURO — Hanging out in an oversized suit his character borrowed for a funeral, comedian Nathan Macintosh is thrilled to be “Trapped” again in Truro for season 2 of his series.

“As somebody from the east, it's the best,” said Macintosh, who grew up in Halifax. “I'm so happy that I get to do a show on the East Coast with basically all East Coast people.”

It’s a different setting from the top-end comedy clubs he performs at in New York, where he lives now. After pandemic shutdowns since making it big on shows such as Conan, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and Just For Laughs, he is excited to be performing in person again. “Money Never Wakes,” a standup comedy special filmed at the Gotham Comedy Club, is premiering on Youtube on Dec. 14, while the audio is now on listening platforms.

Growing up in Halifax, money was always a problem for Macintosh and his single mother. He learned money sense early on and eventually realized he needed to use it as a tool – not an obstacle.

“Since I was little, I've been very aware of money and what happens when you don't have it,” said Macintosh.

He said his mom used to roll pennies using loose leaf, writing “50 cents” on them – and while that was a tough situation, there’s humour to be found in looking back.

“Sometimes she wouldn't even put the 50 cents in, so I'd go down to the store with it and I'd have to count it out and it's like 47 cents," said Macintosh. “At the time that kind of sucked. But now I started looking at that and I don't know, it's sort of funny that my mom didn't even put in the three extra pennies for this thing.”

One clip of him joking about how pilots deserve more money has been reposted thousands of times with pilots layering the audio over clips of themselves landing planes.

“It's wild, it's nuts – so happy that they saw it," said Macintosh. “Like, pay these people more. My God, if they mess up at all we're dead. We need to give them more money – and I'm happy that they're seeing it and flight attendants have done the same thing. It’s crazy.”


Based on his life, Trapped follows Nathan – main character of the same name – who visits home and ends up with his comedy career on the line with his former boss confronting him and his mother wishing he would get a “real job.”

“It's based on my life,” said Macintosh, who wrote the show. “So seeing Trina Corkum play my mom as well as she did is just crazy. And also to see Ron James say things that I wrote is also just wild.”

The show is directed by Jonathan Torrens, who also acts. Other special actors this season include comedian Dave Merheje and – who Macintosh calls an “East Coast hero” – comedian Nikki Payne.

Airing on Bell Fibe TV, last season left off with a case of blackmail from James’ character. The stakes get higher with the whole family getting brought to the Human Rights Tribunal.

Macintosh described Torrens and Sylvia Beirnes as the “nicest, sweetest, greatest people” and is so happy to be doing a second season with the crew, including some new folks. Working with comedians in the past, Torrens said some are not used to the different filming environments

and lack of laughter.

“Nathan is a surprisingly great writer and a really good actor, because not all standups are,” said Torrens. “They’re very different crafts. They’re both in the realm of comedy, but acting is very different

... he’s somehow annoyingly great at both.”

Canadian Content Studio is run by Torrens and Beirnes, with many of the crew members having connections to the province.

Torrens, a well-known Canadian TV actor, has made Onslow his home and runs Canadian Content Studios with Beirnes. The crew has many connections to Nova Scotia and shot season two of Vollies last summer in the Truro area and One Man’s Treasure in the Brookfield area. The projects were creatively sparked during COVID.

The Engine Room is featured in a big scene and St. Andrew’s United Church was used for courthouse and funeral scenes. At Macquarrie’s Pharmasave on the Esplanade, filming took place in the basement and in a grocery aisle. The store remained open, with people still reaching around and shopping for their items.

“It was so cool to shoot in there and it’s so nice of them to let us do that,” said Macintosh. “There’ll be some people that are extras in it and they didn’t really know they were extras, because they’re just there shopping.” Torrens said the Truro area features beautiful settings that do well cinematically. People are starting to notice and get excited about the production company utilizing those spaces and filming content in the area. He mentioned there is the economic spinoff of injecting cash into the region as well, including hotels, gas, groceries and catering. The naturalness of a small town.

“One of the nice things about shooting in a town this size is if you’re shooting in Toronto, people are annoyed and jaded, but Truro ... we were shooting in Macquarries’ yesterday and people are like, ‘oh, this is cool, what are you guys doing?’ There’s no cynicism.”

It’s a fast timeline – one 10-minute episode is shot per day, resulting in the season over a jam-packed week. Torrens said their strategy depends on moving quickly and shooting as much as possible in one location.

“We’ve kind of cracked the nut of the best way to execute a show this size and it’s been super fun, morale is high. The crew is happy and that’s always the big tell to me because I have worked in a lot of different environments. People are leaving with a smile on their face.

“I think that’s actually palpable watching the show. I always say if the performers are having fun then the people watching it will be too. And being able to do it is a luxury,” said Torrens.

“Offering people a bit of reprieve from the real pressure and tension of everyday life also has its place, and so keeping that in mind, especially compared to how tough some people have it at work, it’s a pretty big thrill to be able to try to make jokes for a living.”

As a performer, it can be hard to know what the future looks like. Macintosh said he is just going to keep on doing what he enjoys. Currently, he is working on material for another comedy special and wants to keep writing Trapped. He also joked he might want to work at Macquarries, which seemed to have “pretty good hours,” and then maybe become the (not existing position of) mayor of the Village of Pugwash.

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