Leslie Seiler and Lauren Ash are basically twinsies. After having been hired into the Toronto Second City Touring Company on the same day, the two have been practically joined at the funny bone ever since, eventually developing the comedy duo known as Cory! Collectively, they’ve won a bunch of Canadian Comedy Awards (Ash won this year for her role in Almost Heroes), and when they’re not performing together across the city, they’re shooting TV pilots.
We chatted with the ladies about Ryan Reynolds, eating corn with ranch dressing and a special young boy named Cory.
How did you ladies get together? Leslie: We were hired on the same day in Dec. 2001 to understudy the Second City touring company. We became fast friends and bonded over things like cheese-filled sausages and mini bottles of icewine. We had such a great rapport and could not stop doing “bits.” We found that our directors didn’t always like the stuff we were coming up with, so we said, “why don’t we just do our own shows, then we can do whatever we want and like!” So we did.
What’s up with the name? Leslie: When we were touring, we were always in the back of the van together creating havoc and breaking into full giggle fits. One day our friend turned around and said: “It’s amazing, individually you are two strong, independent women, but when you get together you create a special young boy — I call him Cory.” And it stuck forevermore. We added the exclamation mark though.
Describe the first time you performed together as Cory! Leslie: The first time we performed would have been at the Tim Sims Playhouse. It was incredible — I was still famous for my corpsing and had a very hard time not laughing the whole time. But it was also such a pleasure to be doing our own material that we loved and wrote ourselves. It was really addictive, and I knew I wanted to perform with Ash basically for the rest of my life.
Best moment onstage? Lauren: Every moment onstage with Seiler is the best. It sounds cheesy but she is a massive source of joy in my life. Getting to perform with her is awesome because we get to share that joy with an audience. There’s really nothing better.
If your duo could become a threesome, who would you ask to join? Lauren: Oh gosh, I think a third member would take away some of our magic. But if Ryan Reynolds was interested in trying sketch comedy I suppose we’d consider adding him to the group. But he wouldn’t be allowed to wear a shirt at any rehearsals.
Funniest person you know? Leslie: Wow — I know a lot of funny people: my fiancé, my friends, people I’ve worked with. But who are we kidding? I’d have to say Ash. Lauren: Seiler. No question.
Anything new on the horizon? Leslie: We are always looking for excuses and reasons for Cory! to perform together, so I’m sure we will find a way to do that. For me, I just finished shooting a new TV series called 24 Hour Rental premiering on Super Channel, so look for that in 2013. Lauren: I recently booked a lead role on a pilot for ABC called Super Fun Night. It was created by and stars Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect). I think she is hilarious so it’s going to be amazing to get to work with her on such an awesome project.
What do you know about the other that no one else knows (until now)? Leslie: Well there are lots of things that I cannot reveal as is our pact about certain things — but she will eat a whole can of corn with ranch dressing. I think I can reveal that. Lauren: Oh gosh, we will take each other’s secrets to the grave! But she probably wouldn’t mind me telling you that she has a tendency to exaggerate the size of things, i.e., she told me she found a 12 foot tall inflatable snowman, but it turned out it was actually about 4 feet tall.
Year started: 2003 Influences: Madeline Kahn, Ricky Gervais, Kristen Wiig, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks (in their early days), SNL Next gig:The Imponderables and Friends, Music Palace, 526 Concession St., Hamilton, ON. 905-383-9000. Dec. 15