Age gap laughs

Anomaly copywriter Ethan Cole co-wrote and stars in a new CBC web comedy series.

Some writers maintain that aspiring scribes should take day jobs that don’t involve writing – dishwasher, security guard, landscaper – so the mind is relatively untaxed and fresh for creative pursuits when the time comes. Ethan Cole seems to be managing OK having it both ways.

The copywriter at Anomaly has a new CBC web comedy series based on personal experience. Cole co-created My 90-Year-Old Roommate and stars as the aimless millennial living with his recently widowed grandfather, played by Paul Soles.

“I found the process of ideating wasn’t that different from coming up with an advertising campaign,” Cole says of the creative process.

The idea for the series is a couple of years old. Cole started by making videos with his actual grandfather, which became Explaining Things to My Grandfather for comedy website Funny or Die. Following its success, he and long-time friend David Lipson (a freelance copywriter who helped develop and write the show) and co-writer Josh Schultz began talking about turning it into a scripted comedy in the vein of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. The three would meet after work to hash out scenarios.

“It didn’t really feel like work,” Cole says.

After getting an Independent Production Fund grant and some more funding from CBC, Cole took nine months away from the advertising world to see it through.

He’s returned to agency life now, with Anomaly, and the series’ 10 episodes, all between four and eight minutes long, can be viewed at CBC.