Low Speed, High Stakes: Bike Cops comedy hopes to win CBC's Comedy Coup
Story by Jeff Carson
Picture this: Toronto’s new mayor has a plan to improve the city’s bike lanes (gasp!). To show off the new routes the mayor organizes a bike parade through the city. But, just before the parade, the mayor’s bike is stolen.
Looks like a case for the Bike Cops.
Bike Cops is a new show from the Jefferies Brothers, Ted and Marshall Jefferies, and is produced by Erin Reid. The show is centered around the Toronto police bike patrol and follows them as they tackle small crimes with their own style. Fiascos in short shorts abound as the department looks to prove that they have what it takes to be "real" cops.
Right now Bike Cops is taking part in CBC’s Comedy Coup, vying for a half-hour special on CBC television and $500,000 in financing for a pilot episode. Teams of comedians, directors, writers and producers are sharing their best show concepts and competing against each other for fan approval. Each week the competitors respond to a new challenge and put out a video, leaving it up to fans to decide who moves on.
Bike Cops is looking to make it to the final 15 and they’re feeling pretty confident about their chances. “We have a lot of fans supporting us and they’ve come to expect us to be in the top 15,” said Ted Jefferies.
But the other competitors in the Comedy Coup won’t be putting down their kickstands and letting Bike Cops blow by. As Reid points out, “It seems that we are the youngest. I know there’s a couple [of teams] in the competition that have 15-plus years of experience and that’s kind of how they’re pitching their projects.”
“Our pitch is the opposite. We’re young and we have the energy and we really want to do it,” Reid said.
When coming up with a show idea, cops on bikes in little shorts seemed like a winning formula for comedy, according to Jefferies. “When we see bike cops in the city we turn our heads and kind of smile,” he said.
But donning the uniform and filming Bike Cops has not always been easy. “Imitating a police officer is very much illegal,” Jefferies said. But, this is art, and as Reid points out; “There are loopholes.” Winning the Comedy Coup would mean a higher production budget and the ability to hire off-duty police officers to watch over the set and make production much easier. It would also allow them to film in more parts of the city.
“We would love to be able to go through Chinatown, or Little Italy, or the Danforth and be able to show off all these cool parts of Toronto,” Ted Jefferies continued.
The final 15 in the Comedy Coup will be announced Monday and Bike Cops is looking to drum up some last minute support. They’ll be at Pauper’s Pub at 7 p.m. Sunday night (tonight) promoting their show before voting closes.
Related on the dandyBLOG:
Behind Bars: archive from issue 3 (a ride along with Toronto's bike cops)
Heels on Wheels: Evalyn Parry (win tickets to SPIN)