'Run the Burbs' with Andrew Phung, Rakhee Morzaria is so engaging, fans keep pitching their own ideas

"My barber pitches me ideas nonstop," Phung said

CBC's Run the Burbs, co-created by and starring Andrew Phung, acting alongside Rakhee Morzaria, is back for Season 3, diving deeper into the comedy of family dynamics.

Where to watch Run the Burbs Season 3: Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBC TV
How to stream Run the Burbs: CBC Gem
Creators: Andrew Phung and Scott Townend
Cast: Andrew Phung, Rakhee Morzaria, Roman Pesino, Zoriah Wong, Ali Hassan

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"It's a season focused on family, so for me it was ... seeing the ups and downs of family, seeing kids turning 17 and 13, finding their independence, seeing a family dealing with, how do we spend time with each other? How do we find the work-life balance?" Phung told Yahoo Canada. "Having Camille's dad move into her house, so having multiple generations in a house."

"We just want to explore relatable things that a lot of families deal with, finding comedy within that."

Camille (Rakhee Morzaria) and Andrew (Andrew Phung) in Run the Burbs Season 3 on CBC
Camille (Rakhee Morzaria) and Andrew (Andrew Phung) in Run the Burbs Season 3 on CBC

Canadians keep pitching Andrew Phung, Rakhee Morzaria ideas for 'Run the Burbs'

Part of what makes Run the Burbs resonate with so many people is that the hysterical situations in the show are very much connected to real life. It proves the power of really amping up the comedy in our everyday interactions.

"We have a group chat between myself, Scott Townend, the co-creator, [co-showrunners] Nelu [Handa] and Jennica [Harper], where we're just sending each other articles and memes of things that we see in the world happening," Phung said.

"So the early hours nightclub was a news clip, that someone was starting a nightclub at like seven o'clock."

Season 3 begins with Phung's character, Andrew, taking bribes from parents trying to get their kids into summer camp.

"The bribing comes from like registering for anything from the city, camps, camping spots, and those things, it's like a fight to the death," Phung revealed. "And I just thought it would be really funny, once Andrew was on the inside, of him taking bribes. But also just the idea of bribes I think is really funny, and then it challenges Andrew's moral code."

"It's so much fun to see what people are doing and then bringing that into the show."

Now some of these scenarios may be too relatable for people, with fans of the show coming up to the series creators and stars with recommendations for upcoming episodes.

"What happens is on the off-season, as in when we're not working, and people recognize us from the show, they are constantly ... pitching me ideas," Morzaria said. "I'm like, 'Can I give you Andrew's account? Go to Andrew.'"

"My barber pitches me ideas nonstop," Phung added. "When I'm in the chair he's like, 'Andrew, I got a story for you!'"

Rakhee Morzaria, Zoriah Wong, Roman Pesino and Andrew Phung in CBC's Run the Burbs Season 3 (Ian Watson)
Rakhee Morzaria, Zoriah Wong, Roman Pesino and Andrew Phung in CBC's Run the Burbs Season 3 (Ian Watson)

'Run the Burbs' collaboration, from comedy to sneakers

When it comes to the development process for Run the Burbs, collaboration is very much a core aspect of getting the series right, including Season 3 with Nelu Handa and Jennica Harper coming in as new co-showrunners

"Nelu has been writing on the show since Season 1, and so it was a natural evolution, and Jennica is someone that I've respected so much, she worked on Jann, and she had worked with Nelu closely on Jann, as well," Phung said. "For Nelu, she's maintaining the voice of the show, with Jennica, she's trying to elevate the show."

"Our process is really, what's the nugget of the idea? Is it a current event? Is it something that we all relate to? Is it a new story? ... And then, what's the comedy? And the comedy is where [Rakhee and I] come in and we take it, and morph and shift it, and make it our own."

"Andrew and I have a process in which we both attack scenes individually, and then when we get together on set, like right before, we attack them creatively together, as a collaboration," Morzaria added. "Also, we pitch ideas to the director, or we'll pitch ideas to each other."

"We've just really honed in on that working relationship and I think that that's where you get the elevated comedy, because we're making funny choices. We're trying stuff with each other, we're chatting about it."

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Morzaria stressed that the real collaboration on the set of Run the Burbs is evident through the evolution of the footwear of the cast and crew.

"I think the true collaboration though is that year after year, more and more cast and crew are wearing Nike shoes, because Andrew is talking to everybody about shoes, and Nike shoes, and what's the next new Nike shoe," Morzaria revealed. "People start to become sneakerheads, just from doing the show."