With the mockumentary becoming a predominant comedic subgenre from NBC’s “The Office” to Universal’s “Bruno,” Canadian comedian Jon Dore puts his own spin on the format.
In “The Jon Dore Television Show,” which ran for two seasons on Canada’s Comedy Network and will be given a Stateside run on IFC in August, Dore turns the mirror on himself rather than on another subculture.
Part scripted, part docu interviews, each episode finds Dore debating a life change, such as weight loss or gender questions, then needling noted experts with a Morgan Spurlock-like inquiry.
In the end, Dore learns that whatever quandary he was considering just isn’t for him.
“The show’s agenda has been to get some information from these professionals and try to get some comedic moments,” Dore explains.
As he searches for love in one episode, Dore’s troubled by the fact that most relationships fail. So he has a chat with those people who have found a loophole in romance: swingers. But as enticing as their lifestyle appears, Dore realizes that he could never be one, griping, “I’m way too jealous for that shit!”
In another episode he thinks he’s a woman trapped in a man’s body, but Dore has a quick change of heart after speaking with a transsexual, coming to the conclusion, “He’s a man living in a man’s underdeveloped body.”
A 10-year vet of standup whose act focused on the woes of a thirtysomething single guy, the Ottawa native cut his teeth on “Canadian Idol” as a comedic co-host for three years before creating his own series.
Dore’s man-on-the-street stylings, shaggy beard and flannel get-up are apt to draw comparisons to Tom Green. However, his humor is far more self-deprecating than the blunt shenanigans of his Great White North compatriot.
Nor does Dore have a hidden agenda in the vein of Ali G or Borat with the plastic surgeons, army officers and psychoanalysts he interviews.
“Sacha Baron Cohen exposes the ignorance of people with his characters,” Dore notes. “If anything, I’m ignorant while trying to pull their pants down from time to time.”
“I went out with a lovely lady and used the date rape drug for the first time. But you know what? It just made me really tired. I’m not taking that pill again.”