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Why David from Schitt's Creek looks so familiar

Thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, Canadian television has enjoyed a burst of (northern) exposure with American audiences. Shows like Letterkenny and Kim's Convenience have developed loyal followings, but the most prominent of them all has been Schitt's Creek. The half-hour sitcom, which finished its six-season run in April 2020, started moderately successful, but grew to become a pop culture phenomenon. Much of this is due to its eminently quotable characters, portrayed with surprising empathy by a cast headed up by comedy legends Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara. The breakout star of the show, however, is Daniel Levy, whose David Rose is both comedy gold and Schitt's Creek's heart. Oh, and he also created the thing.

So, who is David Rose? The adult and only son of Johnny (Eugene Levy) and Moira (O'Hara), David masks his neurosis in a bitter flamboyance. His struggle to connect with his new surroundings is even greater than that of his family, but he more quickly finds his place — first as manager at a local clothing store, then as owner of his own business, Rose Apothecary. There, he meets Patrick Brewer (Noah Reid), and their romance is one of the show's best elements. Through this personal triumph, he never loses his razor-sharp sarcasm, his out-there sense of style, or his ability to torment his sister, Alexis (Annie Murphy).

How did Daniel Levy find his way from America's Hat into our hearts? Grab a stiff drink and let's find out.

Daniel Levy's family ties

The first thing that might strike you as familiar about Daniel Levy is a family resemblance, as he's not only Eugene Levy's co-star, but also his son. Eugene Levy has been around a long time, getting his start on the cult classic sketch series SCTV and subsequently embarking on an epic movie career that has spanned decades and included iconic work in films like A Mighty Wind and American Pie. While the concept behind Schitt's Creek was Daniel Levy's idea, he developed the show with his father, and the two pitched it together to Canadian and American television before landing it at the CBC and Pop TV. What's more, the Levy line runs even deeper on the show, with Dan's sister and Eugene's daughter, Sarah Levy, playing Café Tropical Waitress Twyla.

Family connections aside, Dan Levy got his start on television as a host on the now-defunct MTV Canada. There, he pioneered the kind of after-show that's prominent in today's television, hosting The After Show with Jessi Cruickshank and discussing the events on the networks' reality programming. He was something of a fixture on MTV Canada for several years, producing and starring in a Christmas special, Daniel Levy's Holi-Do's & Don'ts, and co-hosting the red carpet for the MTV Movie Awards. Once he left the network, he would bounce around a couple of acting gigs, most notably in a small part in the Tina Fey vehicle Admission.

Daniel Levy found his voice in Schitt's Creek

Daniel Levy's break as a producer and actor would come thanks to his experience with reality television. He came up with the idea for Schitt's Creek after wondering what a reality TV family like the Kardashians would do if they lost all their money. That's when he formed his own production company, Not a Real Company Productions, to pursue a pilot for a comedy series that explored that concept. With his father's help, Levy launched the show on CBC and Pop TV in January 2015, and the first season garnered generally positive reviews, both for its comedy and for its empathy toward its characters.

In subsequent seasons, however, Schitt's Creek would really take off, with both critics and audiences responding to the sharp writing from Levy and his team, as well as the show's likable cast and what was called its "big, beating heart." Particularly praised was the show's depiction of David Rose's pansexuality, and its sensitive and positive treatment of same-sex relationships and a small town population's acceptance thereof. Schitt's Creek so grew in profile that Levy decided to wrap things up with a sixth and final season after originally only planning five.

Daniel Levy's bright future post-Schitt's Creek

The success of Schitt's Creek has brought a mountain of praise and recognition to Daniel Levy, both for his depiction of David and for his work as a producer and writer. He's been awarded honors from the Producers Guild of America, SAG, GLAAD, and the MTV Movie & TV Awards, with Schitt's Creek getting a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards. Levy, meanwhile, has parlayed his profile as producer and star of the show into gigs hosting the Canadian adaptation of the BBC's The Great British Bake Off, as well as co-guest hosting Ellen with his father.

Of course, with this level of success, opportunity was sure to come knocking, and it has. In September of 2019, ABC signed Levy to a three-year deal to produce scripted content after winning out in a bidding war for his services against several other hopefuls. He'll also appear as an actor in the romantic comedy Happiest Season alongside the likes of Alison Brie, Kirsten Stewart, and Aubrey Plaza. Levy may be a Canadian treasure, but it's safe to say we'll be seeing plenty more of him on both sides of the border in the near future.