“I’m so excited about it, I’d talk about it till the cows came home,” says Mary Walsh. Actress, comedian, social activist, and now novelist with her 2017 release Crying for the Moon, Walsh is currently turning her focus to her much-loved CBC series, Hatching, Matching and Dispatching.
First airing in 2006, the comedy series will return with a Christmas special — “A Christmas Fury” — December 3rd on CBC Television.
In the series, Walsh plays Mamie Lou Furey, the matriarch of a family in Cats Gut Cove, NL, owner and operator of the town’s all-in-one wedding parlour, ambulance service, and funeral home. The show ran for a single six-episode season in 2006 on CBC Television. It re-aired once that summer. No official DVD release, not available on VOD, and not available for any sort of distribution from CBC.
So, how does a show like Hatching get a new life more than 10 years after its initial run? “I think the enduring appeal of the series is that it’s really funny, and there are a lot of really funny people in it, doing a lot of funny things,” says Walsh, who credits the combined comedic strength of the ensemble. Returning for the special is the full original cast of Canadian talent, including Mark McKinney, Jonny Harris, Sherry White, Susan Kent, and Shaun Majumder. “Enormously funny people, getting the chance to be funny,” says Walsh. “I think that’s the key to the enduring affection for Hatching.”
As a sketch comedian, Walsh has had characters that she’s played multiple times, like Marg Delahunty: Princess Warrior, and the original men’s rights activist, Dakey Dunn. For Walsh, returning to a character after 10 years was an easy task. “All those extraordinary people, we got them back in the room, and back in the woods, to play the same roles again,” says Walsh. “When we worked together on Hatching, things went really well. It was like a perfect fit. The crowd worked well together. And when we came back together, it was exactly the same. It’s like they say about good friends … even though you don’t see them for 20 years, it all just works.”
If the audience appears for the Christmas special, Walsh has designs on a full-fledged return for the show. “We’re hoping to do a new Hatching series,” says Walsh. “That’s the long-term goal … we’re keeping our fingers crossed.”
If there is hope for Hatching, is there hope for an official release of some of Walsh’s other work on an iconic series like NL sketch comedy CODCO? “People have been asking for CODCO for a while,” says Walsh. Since the series ended in 1992, the rights have changed hands several times, and music licensing becomes a challenge, but as ever, Walsh remains optimistic. “Hope springs eternal, as they say!”
Hatching, Matching and Dispatching: A Christmas Fury airs December 3rd at 8:30PM (NL time) on CBC Television. It will be available online sometime thereafter, follow their facebook page for those details: https://www.facebook.com/hatchingmatchinganddispatching/