If you’re flying between Hollywood and Halifax anytime soon, say hello to Shaun Majumder. The Newfoundland-native has one of the busiest bi-coastal comedy careers since Colin Mochrie worked Whose Line and every other show in Canada a few years back.
As Dr. Freddie Sahgal, Majumder is one of the four main stars of the upcoming Farrelly brothers-produced comedy Unhitched (set to premiere March 2 on Fox). Craig Bierko (Scary Movie 4) also stars. My teens and I screened the first two episodes and laughed ourselves silly.
He also returns tonight for a This Hour Has 22 Minutes clip show, where he can be seen as sweatty Raj Binder, reporting from the NHL All-Star game (CBC, 8:30 p.m.; following The Rick Mercer Report).
Majumder says he’ll be re-joining 22 Minutes through the rest of the season. “I’m always excited about getting back and playing with Gavin (Crawford), Mark (Critch) and Cathy (Jones) and now Geri Hall as well,” he said on the phone from L.A. last week.
He’s lucky they keep his 22 Minutes anchor seat warm for him in Canada. As a lead on a U.S. series, Majumder wouldn’t have been able to work the pilot rounds this season. But even if he had been able to, the strike shot down all the Hollywood pilot shoots. With NBC’s Jeff Zucker saying pilots are a thing of the past, there may be far fewer Canadians flying to L.A. in future winter months.
“It’s kinda sketchy,” Majumder said of the tense atmosphere in Hollywood just prior to the settlement. “The overall feeling is that there’s a lot of support for the writers, definitely, but everybody just feels crunched. Hollywood is crippled right now, it’s kind of a bummer.”
Majumder admits he’s luckier than most. Besides the Fox series (his third counting Cedrick The Entertainer and a guest gig on 24), he’s got that 22 Minutes gig in Canada and he can always tour as a stand up comedian. “For those just acting, though,” he says, “it’s a really really tough time right now.”
Besides 22 Minutes, Majumder shot an episode of CTV’s Robson Arms and also stars in the upcoming City-TV series Less Than Kind. [UPDATE courtesy Denis McGrath: The series is created by Marvin Kaye and Chris Sheasgreen and is based on Kaye’s experiences growing up in Winnipeg.] Mark McKinney is also aboard as a writer/producer. The series stars Maury Chaykin as a guy who is always trying to pull one over on Revenue Canada. Majumder plays “Tito” and says the show is so funny, “it makes my face hurt.”