Last laugh - 10th and final season for Ity and Fancy Cat show
The element of surprise has remained at a high for nine seasons of the popular Sunday night Ity and Fancy Cat show on TVJ, produced by Ellis International Limited. Ian 'Ity' Ellis and Alton 'Fancy Cat' Hardware had to learn to balance performing pre-planned skits with their usual stand-up comedy routines.
Unfortunately, the upcoming 10th season has been announced as the closing set for the family-oriented production.
"We never really put a time limit on the entire show, that is to say that we did not plan for it to end at any specific season. But as we went along, we enjoyed what we were doing and kept going due to the demand of the viewers," said Fancy Cat.
The Ity and Fancy Cat Show has been dubbed the longest running local television comedy series, and it is safe to say that is owed to the compatibility of both entertainers. Though the duo admits there were challenges along the way, none were too severe or rigorous to deter the entertainers or their production team.
Formulating show material was not one of the issues mentioned by the comedy duo for the closure, and neither intends for it to be a defining factor for their future projects. Already, 10 episodes have been planned for the new season, but the grand finale is still on the drawing board.
"Jamaica is a place where you can never be short of jokes, so especially for the show, we keep up to date with current events, get feedback from what is going on the street and use real-life situations to come up with material," said Ity.
January will mark two years since Ity chose to walk the path of righteousness. While he admits that his decision to become a Christian was slightly challenging (considering the occasional suggestive humour shared between the entertainers), it was far from discouraging.
"We built a family brand and the jokes were not raunchy; neither were any of the skits done to upset or disrespect anyone," said Fancy Cat.
"It is a testament of our compatibility as well," said Ity.
Ellis International Limited is embarking on two new projects for the upcoming year. One is a sitcom starring the comedic duo and the other a pilot project by Ity, who can call on his partner in crime whenever required.
"Together we used The Ity and Fancy Cat Show to introduce everybody in Jamaica to clean, creative ideas of comedy, all the while unearthing new talent," they said.
The idea of the pilot project is a new reality comedy challenge that will not only educate persons in the field, but prepare the emerging talents for the live performance setting.
"Of course, we cannot accomplish this without the support of sponsors, as there are noticeably so many tremendous talents out there. But because of the lack of support, they are either unenthusiastic or unable to achieve their goals. So to all our sponsors that journeyed with us day one to day 10, we are forever grateful," said Ity.