Where It All Started
Series creator, star, showrunner and comedian Brent Butt grew up in a small farming town in the middle of Canada. Like, the middle of the middle of Canada. Saskatchewan. What’s it like in small town Saskatchewan? Let’s put it this way – Brent’s grandparents moved there from Ponca, Nebraska, because they wanted to find a slower pace. There’s only one gear down from Nebraska, and it’s Saskatchewan. So Brent knows rural life. Simple, down-to-earth, real people, no crime… how’s there going to be crime? The cops would ask, “Can you describe the man who robbed you? – Yeah, he was Dwayne.” Every crime solved in nine minutes. “Calling both cars, calling both cars, keep your eyes peeled for Dwayne. Last seen wearing that green sweater his sister made for him.” No secrets in a small town. Everyone knows everyone and everyone is in everyone else’s business, whether they want to be or not. That dynamic makes for some great comedy.
As a kid, growing up in a small town made for a lot of downtime. Brent read comic books, watched cartoons, and doodled. That led to him becoming a cartoonist for some small weekly newspapers, and at 19, he and a buddy created a publishing company and produced their first comic book, entitled Existing Earth, which was nominated for an Eagle Award. At 20, Brent was accepted to the Sheridan College Animation Program, but the itch to do stand-up was too great. He left Sheridan before he completed his first year to pursue a life in entertainment. Lucky for him, it all worked out. Within a year, he was performing stand-up comedy across Canada.
Corner Gas is really the answer to the question, “What if Brent hadn’t become a comedian?” He grew up hanging out at the local gas station and coffee shop. If his comedy career hadn’t worked out, he’d probably still be at the gas station, leaning against the counter, reading a comic book, cracking wise with the other locals and watching their lives spin out of control any time there’s the slightest wrinkle or change in their daily routine.