Have you seen Don McKellar?

Eric Toth of Bill & Sons Towing hilariously refuses to tow the line.

Bill_and_SonsEric Toth of web series Bill & Sons Towing, a web series set in Hamilton, (but filmed in an industrial part of Toronto) detailing the goings-on of four brothers, (whom, strangely, do not look even the least bit like brothers), along with their health-challenged Dad, (Nicholas Campbell of Da Vinci’s Inquest and Backcountry) that run a not-so-successful towing company, and is a refreshingly not-ready-for-TV show.

To give an idea of what Toth is really like, we met him in noisy, and yet very classy restaurant and bar. Almost immediately, he says to us, having met for about fifteen seconds at this point, “You know what is a really great excuse? I shit my pants. Like, ‘sorry, I can’t come into work today, as I shit my pants’. Would any boss question that?”

In fact, Toth draws much of his charm from being a really clean-cut, normal-looking guy, but featuring an absolutely filthy mouth, along with eyes that bug out at the most reactionary moments, and a deadpan delivery with a really low chuckle of amusement, making us want to crack him up even more. But despite the really loose and improvisational feel of Bill & Sons, (which concluded its second season with a pretty epic cliff-hanger, we are shocked to discover that each episode of Bill & Sons is extremely well-crafted, and a lot of planning and effort goes into making every episode feel entirely spontaneous.

Says Toth, of the creative process that goes onto the show, that, “(I)t’s definitely fully scripted. Mark De Angelis, Charles (Ketchabaw), and myself, we write all the stories, and Mark and I write all the episodes, because we’re a sketch troupe, (The Imponderables), we’re kind of used to going off-book on stage, we kind of leave that open, when we’re shooting, to just whatever happens”.

The message astutely imparted by Toth is that Bill & Sons would not be able to work on a conventional TV station. He imparts that ultimately, this is a show about not-nice people, which would not play very well on TV, despite the rise of antihero characters on Netflix originals and on cable channels. This is a show that is perfectly suited to the web, where the viewer can consume each episode back-to-back, (though Toth does suggest watching chronologically, as each season features a mostly coherent narrative), and pausing long enough only to laugh, or perhaps to replay the episode and catch the jokes that you missed by laughing so hard.

Concludes Toth, as to the ultimate process that goes into Bill and Sons Towing, after imparting a hilarious story about a man named Bronco who lived near the set of the show, and somehow was worked into being featured in an episode: “So there’s a lot of stuff that does feel loose, but a lot of it is tightly scripted, but you know, it’s good to get what’s on the page at least once, and from there, we do a couple of takes where whatever happens, happens, and then leave it up to the editors…it’s their problem”.