‘Schitt’s Creek’: Why Patrick Really Sang for David at the Open-Mic Night
Schitt’s Creek may have ended, but Dan Levy, the co-creator of the series, has a lot to show for his creative efforts. One of the most memorable episodes of the series is the one in which Patrick sings to David in the shop they run together. But why did the Schitt’s Creek co-creator make this very specific character choice for Patrick? Well, he had a very specific reason.
‘Schitt’s Creek’ discusses the season 4 episode where Patrick sings ‘Simply the Best’
In a profile from GQ magazine, the interviewer inquired about that famously adorable scene in Schitt’s Creek when Patrick (played by Noah Reid) serenades David (played by Dan Levy) “with a cover of Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the Best.'”
“How did that episode, and that scene, come together?” they asked.
“I guess I drew from my own experiences with…myself,” Levy explained. “And friends of mine who had been on dates with people who sang to them—and it was a deal-breaker.” But the Schitt’s Creek co-creator decided to turn that idea on its head — and make it not a deal-breaker.
… I thought, ‘Well, that’s a very clear, very big risk, and something that would deeply unsettle David as a character.’ The idea that things are going okay…and now his boyfriend wants to perform a song at an open-mic night. I mean, that is bone-chilling—and I think for David [especially] bone-chilling, because it means that if this goes sour, that’s it. There’s no coming back from watching someone you’re falling in love with massacre a song in front of a group of people.
That emotion — “bone-chilling” as a fun emotion for the writers to play with.
“What an interesting scenario to put David in, something that’s so vulnerable, and something that he is so skeptical about—and then reveal to the audience Noah’s voice and his skills,” Levy continued. The reveal, of course, was a huge shock to both the characters and the Schitt’s Creek viewers, who had no idea Reid could sing.
“Because we knew they were there, but no one else did,” Levy explained.
Why did Dan Levy choose this song for these characters?
But why this specific Tina Turner song, GQ wondered?
“I’ve always thought it was one of the most beautifully written pop songs in history,” Levy revealed. He expanded on what he loved so much about “Simply the Best”:
Because of the tempo of it, and because it plays as sort of a fast-paced song, a lot of people skip over just how profound those lyrics are. I, on the other hand, would listen to it and get completely emo on long walks.
Levy said the song choice also played into the “surprise” factor of the Schitt’s Creek episode.
“We wanted it to be a song that was unexpected, that felt like it could be a fun spin on something that people would sing at an open-mic night,” he said. The Schitt’s Creek co-creator expanded:
The minute I heard it, I knew that the scene was going to work. It was a huge relief to me when I heard his demo of the song—because I thought, ‘Not only is this going to work, but I actually think it’s going to change their relationship in a way that I hadn’t even seen coming.‘
And boy, was he right.