When the Rose family find themselves going from riches to rags, the one-time millionaires have no choice but to move to a motel in a dingy town called "Schitt's Creek." For the past six years, we've watched Johnny, Moira, David, and Alexis transform from self-absorbed socialites into kind-hearted folks. As the beloved show airs its final season, we're bidding farewell to our favorite TV family with 50 heartwarming facts about Schitt's Creek.
Schitt's Creek Facts
1. The Write Attitude
You know how most of us mope around when we have trouble finding a job? Not Dan Levy. Since he was having a hard time finding work after his days as a host on MTV, he decided to create his own series. He explained, “If I’m terrible at auditioning, at least I can write something to my own strengths and try my best at whatever that is.” Way to go Dan!
2. Dad on Board
Dan went to his dad, the famous comic actor Eugene Levy, once he came up with the idea. Although he had been firm about making his own way in the industry before this, his vision for Schitt’s Creek was as a realist comedy, which he felt his father did really well. The senior Levy was delighted with the idea of working with his son. He also thought the premise sounded promising, and there’s been no looking back since then.
3. Finding Moira Rose
It was Eugene who suggested Catherine O'Hara for the role of kooky Moira Rose. O Hara and Eugene have known each other since the 1970s, when they were both part of “The Second City”—an improvisational comedy troupe in Toronto. They also collaborated with each other on Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries, and Dan was delighted with the suggestion. “When he offers Catherine O Hara, you take it and run with it.”
4. Name Game
The name of the town, Schitt’s Creek, was all Eugene Levy's idea. He had apparently had a joking conversation with friends where they were imagining such a town, complete with businesses like “Schitt Grocers” and “Schitt Hardware.” The idea further developed as the Levys imagined the Rose family buying the town as a joke because of its name.
5. Say my Name
Many networks tried to convince the Levys to change the name of the show to something less eyebrow-raising, like “Up a Creek” for example. The Levys were having none of it. As a result, there are many channels who do not say the name in fear of being fined for profanity, so they either spell it out, or it appears as a caption or subtitle on the screen.
Dan laughs about it. He said they did the research and discovered that “Schitt” was a legitimate last name. So that was that.
6. Fans in High Places
One of the sweetest plotlines in Schitt's Creek just has to be the romance between David and Patrick. When the two admit that they love each other, Patrick gives David the greatest compliment in saying that David is his "Mariah Carey." Well, it turns out that Carey is actually a big fan of the show. She retweeted a video of the sweet moment with the caption "That's not bleak, watch Schitt's Creek!"
7. Preparing for Alexis
In order to better prepare for her role as Alexis Rose, actress Annie Murphy watched YouTube clips of reality stars like the Kardashians and tried to mimic their style of talking, dressing, and accessorizing. For instance, she holds her handbag in what she calls, a “broken wrist” style. Not sure if the Kardashians would be amused with that description.
8. The Stevie Audition
Emily Hampshire, who plays Stevie, had been going through a tough time before she came in to audition for the role. She had almost no money in her bank, was getting a divorce, and hadn’t worked for a year. Hampshire offered to send in a tape instead of auditioning in person, but her agent insisted she go herself. She does not remember anything about that day, but Dan says she did a wonderful job although she punctuated both ends of the audition by saying, “I’m sorry” and that she was “terrible.” Hampshire also hid her face in her shirt, which Dan remembers fondly.
Dan identified Hampshire as the right person for the role immediately.
9. It Runs in the Family
Dan and Eugene are not the only Levys in Schitt’s Creek. Sarah Levy (Dan’s sister and Eugene’s daughter) also has a role in the show, playing Twyla Sands, a waitress at the local diner.
10. Written in the Cards
Dan’s mom was certain he had a hit on his hands. But her confidence was based on something stranger than motherly intuition—more like faith in the tarot card reader. She had her cards read three times and was adamant that he would make it as a writer, sooner or later.
11. Not Alone
Emily Hampshire wasn’t the only one going through a tough time before she came in to audition for Schitt’s Creek. Annie Murphy had also suffered an unimaginable tragedy. Her house burned down just two weeks before she got the call, she had even less money than Hampshire in her bank account, and she had been out of work for two years.
12. An Eye for Detail
Dan Levy feels the show is his baby and cannot help acting like a helicopter parent. He is involved in everything, from writing to production to post-production. He also plans marketing strategies, attends wardrobe fittings, and has a say in the editing. As the proud creator of the show, Levy believes even the smallest details are crucial, so for example, the motel carpets mustn't appear vacuumed. Therefore, he always ensures they are sufficiently scuffed prior to initiating the filming process. “It’s in the details for me, and when the details aren’t executed perfectly, I get a bit…ornery.”
13. Fairweather Friends
Fans of Schitt’s Creek may have noticed that it’s always warm and sunny in town. That is because the cast doesn’t want to film in the cold, chilly Canadian winter (fair enough). All the filming, therefore, is done in the spring and summer. Murphy said they’d much rather stand at the corner of the local bakery in the sun eating warm butter tarts, than cry “tears of ice” in the cold.
14. A Wardrobe Affair
Any costume designer will tell you that wardrobe can make or break a character, and the clothes on Schitt's Creek are no different. Dan claims that the wardrobe tells the story of the characters. It reminds the audience of who the Roses were, what they lost, and how much they miss it. But as the show is on a budget, the costume designer gets most of the designer clothes from eBay and thrift stores. She never pays more than $200 for an article of clothing.
15. Wig Deal
Moira Rose’s unbelievable wig collection was all Catherine O’ Hara’s idea. She believes that wigs can be a real mood changer and a fun way for Moira to revel in her theatrical personality, even layering multiple wigs on top of each other sometimes. Dan Levy and Annie Murphy are also obsessed with the wigs and “drool” over them all the time. Murphy admitted they “may” have had a wig-off once or twice as well.
16. The Best Tune
Noah Reid, the actor who plays David's sweet boyfriend Patrick, came up with the acoustic cover of Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best” himself. Dan chose the song and asked Reid if he wanted to work on the cover. Reid did more than rise to the challenge. His cover was so popular it shot to #1 on iTunes Canada the next day it aired. Now that’s what you call a cover done right. Take a bow Reid.
17. Cry Me a River
O’ Hara was so moved by the “Simply the Best” sequence that she cried through the whole process.
18. Making a Statement
Dan Levy made the decision that David's orientation wouldn't be a significant issue for a particularly poignant reason. He felt there was no need for a major coming out moment for David because “that isn’t a cross that straight people have to bear.” Levy said he wrote the character as a response to what he had seen growing up, when there was no casual representation of gay people on TV. They were either there to teach a lesson or they were around to be a caricature. There weren’t any stories about them leading normal lives, falling in love, and just having things be okay.
19. Hair Scare
Eugene Levy is very proud of his full head of hair and apparently takes very good care of it to ensure that it sticks around.
20. Mutual Fan Club
Murphy considers it a great privilege to work with Eugene Levy and Catharine O’ Hara, whom she considers “two of the best comedic actors in the world.” She said she admired them professionally and as human beings, because they had been working together for over 45 years and yet were so “playful and so kind…and so respectful of everybody.”
O’ Hara is equally forthcoming in her praise and says Murphy is “truly funny” and “quick-witted” and that her work is always “touching and totally believable.”
21. A Working Relationship
Eugene is a big believer in letting his son find his own path. In keeping with that thought, he offered Dan very little feedback in his career, and gave him very little help as well. Dan was similarly adamant on charting his own course because he did not want people thinking he got in the industry because of his father.
Because of this distance, working with each other meant that father and son had plenty of surprises in store. Eugene discovered his son’s talents, saying “he pretty much out of the gate showed that he had great prowess as a writer,” and Dan learned to take some advice his father had to offer, like speaking up instead of whispering (as he had initially planned for David’s character). “It worked out. I spoke a little louder. We found that happy medium.”
22. A Big Move
When Dan and Sarah were born, Eugene and his wife decided to move to their hometown of Toronto because they wanted to give their kids a normal lifestyle. They felt certain that would be difficult to maintain in Hollywood, and also wanted to give them a chance to do things that may not fall “under the showbiz umbrella.” Funnily enough, both kids went into showbiz.
23. Creative Control
The team behind the Schitt's Creek Twitter account deserves a raise. In 2019, they revealed that for the last few months, they'd been planning one heck of an Easter egg for their followers. If people read the first word of the account's tweets, they'd realize that they read the lyrics to Schitt's Creek's favorite love song: "Simply the Best." It was a long con and it was beautiful.
24. Jokes Unlimited
The Levys have a great sense of humor. Dan claims that much of his sense of comedy comes from “growing up around funny people,” while Sarah says that the David Rose brand of humor is “the humor that we as a family have.” She never realized how bizarre those jokes might be because she is “desensitized” to them.
25. A Home on TV
The Levys pitched the idea for their show to different American and Canadian networks. In America, networks like HBO and Showtime weren’t interested, but ABC was. However, Eugene wasn’t happy with their enthusiastic response. One executive’s comment really worried him: He said, “we can’t wait to get our hands on this.” Eugene and Dan had heard that ABC was famous for “micromanaging showrunners” and decided not to follow up on this meeting.
There is very little room for improvisation on the show. It is traditionally scripted, and while the actors play with the lines when they’re on set, they don’t go “off book” once the filming begins.
27. The Moira Story
O’Hara made Moira’s character completely her own by adding her own eccentricities and having her say in how she thought Moira should dress and speak. She showed the Levys an iPad full of photos of the eccentric socialite Daphne Guinness and modeled her accent on a number of people she’s met (though she doesn't say who). O'Hara claims her only thought was “to create a character” that she could “live with for more than one season.” Mission accomplished.
28. On the Menu
Murphy’s favorite prop from the show is Café Tropical’s menu. It is mind-bogglingly huge and she loves it because “it’s very detailed and there’s literally every dish you could possibly imagine.” The Props department couldn’t find real menus that were large enough, so they had to create these specially.
29. An Unusual Romance
The fact that David is pansexual in the show is kind of a first, as that is an orientation that is never really discussed on TV. In this show, however, David ensures he communicates it clearly by using an analogy related to a famous beverage. For Dan it was important to show David’s orientation and his relationships in an offhand, loving manner, "to present a love story that was without fear of consequence.”
His ground-breaking idea paid off in a big way. Over the years, fans have reached out with praise for how the show had helped them and their families understand each other and resolve their differences from a place of love.
30. Craving More Creek
For viewers who just need more Schitt's Creek in their lives, may I suggest you check out the show's "Behind the Scenes" series titled "Behind the Episode" and extra sketches and scenes called "Inside Schitt's Creek"? My personal favorite? This webisode where David and Patrick act out their favorite romantic comedy moments. You're welcome.
31. Giggle Generator
Eugene Levy is a comedy legend, but there's one person who makes him lose his cool. Apparently, Levy just can't control his laughter when he shoots scenes with Chris Elliot, who plays the mayor Roland Schitt. In fact, Murphy said Eugene “giggles like a schoolboy” in his scenes with Elliot.
32. Big Feelings
The cast of Schitt’s Creek was very emotional during the filming of the last season, and especially the last episode. Dan had a huge meltdown after they had wrapped up. “I cried for…five straight hours…I had a splitting headache and didn’t know what to do with my life. I wept when I took David’s shoes off.” O’ Hara was left looking “like Alice Cooper” after a “weepy read through of the final two episodes,” and Murphy claims she too was “emotionally wrecked.”
33. Location Mystery
In the beginning, the location of the show was purposely left ambiguous. The Levys didn’t want to name a particular city or state as the town’s home because they felt it would detract from the focus and did not feel the need to anchor it in any one place. Later, Dan began to say that the town was in Canada. We do know now that the exteriors of the town, and any outdoor shots are in Goodwood, Ontario, the motel is in Orangeville, whereas the interiors of the buildings are shot at Pinewood Studios in Toronto.
34. New Directions
The Levys were happy to sell to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) though and eventually found a home for Schitt’s Creek on an American network they felt comfortable with, the TV Guide Network, which was rebranding itself as Pop. Father and son felt they had something in common with these networks, as CBC was charting a new course for its comedy shows, TVGN was rebranding itself as Pop, and Schitt’s Creek was making its own debut.
Good to look back and see that the new show and the new directions taken by both networks did so well.
35. Hosting Duties
Dan began his television career by hosting MTV Live. He stayed on with MTV for five years, hosting an aftershow about The Hills with fellow Canadian Jessi Cruikshank. Recently, he co-hosted the first two seasons of The Great Canadian Baking Show with Julia Chan, who also appeared in an episode of Schitt’s Creek in season three.
36. Home Alone Mom
Catherine O'Hara probably looks familiar to many viewers, and for good reason. Guess whose she played before becoming Moira Rose? Macauley Culkin, aka Kevin, in Home Alone!
37. Bye Bye American Pie
Eugene Levy is often remembered for his role as the flustered dad of a teenaged son in American Pie. However, approaching the sixth and final season of Schitt’s Creek he says that recently a lot of people who approach him don’t want to talk about his role in American Pie and would rather talk about Schitt’s Creek.
38. Town Favourites
The town of Goodwood was very happy to be the main location where Schitt’s Creek was filmed. Residents were very welcoming of the cast and crew and would stand in for extras if there was a need. They even changed their town baseball league’s name from “Goodwood Bears” to “Schitt’s League” for a month.
39. Company Matters
When the Levys want to get something done, they go all in. Father and son even started their own production company just so they could produce Schitt’s Creek themselves. The wry name of the company is pretty upfront about this fact, seeing as the Levys called it “Not a Real Company Productions.” They’re funny even when they don’t want to be!
40. The Truth About Stevie
Like the audience, Stevie tends to both judge and love the Rose family. That was something that resonated with Hampshire. “I think what I connected to in Stevie is that she really stands in for the audience in a way.” In the character description, Stevie was meant to be a small-town girl, who is also very deadpan, and who doesn’t want to get attached to anything. However, she has grown over the seasons and is blossoming into her own person slowly, best shown in the stunning Cabaret episode.
41. Sharing is Caring
Hampshire borrows frequently from Stevie’s wardrobe. Since most of the clothes in it are big on comfort and low on fashion, she loves them. Dan finds it strange that she likes borrowing those clothes, but she says the wardrobe people find the most comfortable hoodies and jeans in the world.
Ever since Schitt’s Creek made its debut on Netflix, there has been a steady rise in its ratings, with many people considering its fall launch on Netflix as a season premiere. Anything that boosts viewership is wonderful for all associated with it and I’m sure no one’s complaining.
43. Fan Base
Can you guess what Schitt's Creek fans call themselves? Why, “Schittheads” of course!
44. Playing Dress Up
Murphy helped O’Hara dress up for the Emmys in 2019. When O’Hara told her to get up from the floor and said she could put her shoes on herself, Murphy said, “please let me strap you into your shoes because it couldn’t be a greater honor for me.” She let her do it then and they took a selfie and hugged. Murphy called it “one of the greatest moments” in her life.
Do I hear a collective “aww”?
45. The Final Season
Dan was very clear about how he wanted to end the show. He originally envisioned ending it in the fifth season, but when the show was renewed for two years after season four, he decided to wrap the story up in 28 episodes instead of 14. Levy wanted to go out on a high note. His dad, Eugene, agrees: “Isn’t that the perfect way to go? We will be on an upward trajectory when this series actually wraps.”
Dozens of fans gathered in Goodwood, Ontario, on a June afternoon to bid adieu to Schitt’s Creek. The event was called “SchittCon.”
47. Inspirations IRL
Dan was inspired by the lifestyles of the rich and famous, like the Kardashians, and wanted to show how it might be for a family like that to lose everything. However, few people realize that another big star inspired the show's whole premise. Kim Basinger actually bought a small town in Georgia for $20 million, but ended up selling it for a fraction of the price. Dan Levy also reversed this situation, causing the Roses to purchase a previously defunct town for a mere pittance as a joke for their son. This is the town they had to relocate to when they lost their entire fortune.
48. Moving Forward
What are the Rose siblings up to after season six ends?
Well, Dan Levy may have said goodbye to Schitt’s Creek, but he is by no means a free man. The young writer signed a three-year deal with ABC studios to develop and produce scripted projects for their studio. As for Murphy, she is on the lookout for her next project, but is using the free time to try and do some writing of her own. She is also using the time to read and “eavesdrop!” Which is to say, she enjoys listening to conversations around her and finds them most fascinating. Who knows? Maybe she’ll come up with a stellar storyline based on one of those.
49. Priceless Memento
Eugene gave Dan a heartbreaking photograph on the last day of the show's shoot. It showed father and son together and was signed, “Daniel, it was an honor being your partner, son. Dad xo.” I’m not crying, you’re crying.
50. Alexis Who?
Saturday Night Live alum Abby Elliot turned down the role of Alexis Rose, because of dates and scheduling, which was lucky for Annie Murphy who eventually got the part. But at first, Eugene didn't want her to play the part. He just wasn't convinced she would make a good Alexis because she was a brunette. Dan, on the other hand, loved Murphy's audition and convinced his dad to hire her by taping blonde hair on her picture.
A good old box of dye: often a solution to many hair problems.