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Harland Williams

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Harland Williams...You can catch this Ontario-born comedian on a distinctly Canadian and distinctly un-serious TV special called Get Serious tonight at 11:30 on ITV - a six-part showcase of Canadian comedians in unlikely settings - but Williams has much more lucrative buffoonery to contend with since he moved to Hollywood. After getting his green card four years ago, he's appeared in least two feature films and landed his own TV series, Simon, airing on the new Warner Brothers Network, which, ironically, we can't get in Canada. After working the comedy clubs of Canada for seven years, Williams' first major claim to fame was playing a cop who accidentally drinks Jim Carrey's urine in the hit film Dumb and Dumber. "It wasn't the most glamorous part," Williams admits, on the phone from the studio in Hollywood, "but for some reason it became a very memorable scene. "People just really liked it." Williams was also a hit on David Letterman, if only because he smeared peanut butter all over his boots right before he went on. It was a promise Williams had made to his college pals years before he ever went into show business. He recalls, "(Letterman) was so amused by the peanut butter, I ended up sitting down and doing and interview with him, even though I wasn't scheduled for one. I just felt great because I fulfilled a dream. If I get run over by a DC-10, I can die happy." Williams hints that he might be "pulling a pack of bacon" out of his shorts when he appears on Conan O'Brien next week, but he has a special place in his heart for peanut butter. "I think it comes from birth. Most babies are born and the doctor slaps them on the (butt), but I had this demented doctor that had an open-faced peanut butter sandwich and he slapped a piece of Wonderbread to my bum with Kraft peanut butter on it. I've been hooked on it ever since. I love peanut butter! It makes me grow!" It actually takes a lot of sweat and tears for a Canadian to even be allowed to be this dumb in the U.S. The ordeal of getting the almighty green card is something Williams suggests makes Canadian performers hungrier. But it could also be that "quirky Canadian sense of humor" that American audiences are finally starting to understand. "I'm proud as hell," says Williams. "I've always known that Canadian talent had the ability to be superstars."

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