Actress, writer shares about ‘Corner Gas’ days

Actress and writer Jean Freeman spoke about her children’s books and her experiences on the comedy series “Corner Gas”, during a reading held at the Weyburn Public Library on Saturday afternoon.
Freeman was born and raised in Weyburn, and was on hand to read excerpts from the book, “Inside the Mental”, by her friend Kay Parley, who is a former Weyburn resident who was both a patient and staff member of the Weyburn Mental Hospital.
In talking about her experiences with “Corner Gas”, she said, “Brent Butt came up with reality before there was reality TV. There was a call for auditions for a pilot being shot in Saskatchewan. I got called back to do a walk-by part, and I was blessed by the writers of the show,” noting she was cast as the mayor’s grandmother.
She went on to appear in 26 of the 107 episodes of Corner Gas, and said, “It was a wonderful and unexpected experience.”
Freeman noted that April 13 is still known as “Corner Gas Day”, and she spoke about one of her favourite episodes, where Dog River adopted a giant hoe as its symbol.
“Brent had to explain to me why it wasn’t good to have a giant hoe,” chuckled Freeman, adding another favourite episode was when police officer Karen was hidden behind the “surveillance bush”.
“There are still people who drive out to Rouleau to look for the surveillance bush,” she said. “Fans still make the trip to the Ruby.”
Freeman noted the series was shown in 20 countries on six continents, and in many places it was dubbed into another language. “Small town is small town, whatever your background,” she said.
Asked about her children’s stories, Freeman said many came from observations or comments that people made to her.
Her book, “Do Trees Sneeze?”, came about after they exited their condo for an appointment, and her husband noted a tree with its leaves lying in a circle around it and asked, “Did that tree sneeze?”

article continues below