TORONTO — It’s virtually impossible not to laugh while watching Marty Adams.
The Ontario-born actor is a comedic powerhouse who evokes late greats like Chris Farley and John Candy and, although he has worked extensively with Toronto’s Second City, he is most often recognized for commercials.
“The times I get recognized for a Second City mainstage show I did I’m super excited and happy because I helped write it and helped produce it. That’s the stuff I’m most proud of in my career,” Adams said.
“It’s when I get recognized for the [Fallsview Casino] Lucky 7 commercial, where I tattooed my chest and it’s backwards, I go ‘Oh, I appreciate it’ but in my head I’m like ‘I do so much more!'”
Adams shows more of what he does best in The Second City Project, a series of hilarious sketches posted online that culminates Sunday night with a special on Global.
Adams said he was anxious to be a part of the unique project.
“This is exactly what I thought it would be, which never happens,” he said. “It was better than what I thought.
“This thing is a juggernaut. It’s going to run through people’s televisions, into their homes, and it’s going to smack them in the face but they’re going to love it.”
The Second City Project is a combination of slickly-produced comedy sketches and glimpses inside the writers room.
“It’s a parody of what goes on,” explained executive producer Bob Martin, “but it’s not far from the truth.”
Martin is the Tony-winning co-writer (with Don McKellar) of the Broadway musical The Drowsy Chaperone and a writer on shows like Sensitive Skin and Slings & Arrows. (He also earned a Tony nomination for starring as Man In Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone.)
The Second City Project, though, offered Martin something new.
“I’ve never actually been in a writers room before,” he explained. “All the TV writing I’ve done, I’ve done on my own.”
Martin said he was quickly hooked. “It was really fun. Ideas flying around, pitching to each other, getting to know everybody’s comedic voice,” he said. “And then there was this huge improv component to the show that allowed me to perform.”
The Second City Project takes full advantage of the power of the Web and social media. Sketches posted on Globaltv.com and YouTube have had millions of views combined and the project is on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine and Twitter.
Martin and Adams have disparate views of social media, though.
“We’re different generations,” said Martin. “I fully embraced Twitter. Facebook takes up too much time. Facebook I’ve sort of put aside.”
“I’m the exact opposite,” Adams said, “because I always looked at Twitter as a minimized Facebook and I thought Facebook was so much fun because you get to see what projects your friends are working on, things your friends are doing.
“I’m a voyeur by trade. I like being able to share stuff.”
The Second City Project airs April 19 at 8:30 p.m. on Global.
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