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Trailer Park Boys' Mike Smith: Details Only True Fans Know About The Man Behind Bubbles

"Trailer Park Boys" is inarguably the most famous TV comedy to take place in a Canadian trailer park. The show is made up of hilarious moments that revolve around a group of poor trouble-makers and the trailer park staff and police that are constantly getting in the way of their fun and money-making schemes. The main crew is made up of three friends: Ricky (Robb Wells), whose confused lexicon makes for a good laugh, Julian (John Paul Tremblay), who's always drinking, and Bubbles (Mike Smith), the lovable shed-dweller.

Bubbles is the backyard engineer of the group, who is prone to angry, swearing outbursts. He also loves kitties more than what most people would consider to be "healthy." He wears thick — and we mean THICK — glasses and lives in a shed in the Sunnyvale Trailer Park where the show takes place. If you watch the show, these are all things you already know about the character, but here are some things you probably didn't know about the actor who plays him, Mike Smith.

Bubbles' glasses are actually Mike Smith's

The iconic glasses that Bubbles wears in "Trailer Park Boys" were owned by Mike Smith before he ever stepped foot in front of the camera. That's not to say they were his prescription. Quite the opposite. The glasses gave the actor severe headaches when he first started on the show and had to wear them for extended periods of time, but now, according to an interview Smith did with The Big Issue, his brain "turns off" the eye pain.

Before the actor was Bubbles, he'd only wear the glasses as a comedic gig to amuse his friends and wasn't required to keep them on for any extended period of time. Smith found the glasses, he tells SHARP, at an estate sale in Texas. "They were 50 cents, and she [his girlfriend] knew that I would think they were funny because they were so thick, so she bought them as a joke," Smith said. Bubbles is actually wearing Mike Smith's glasses that he bought from a dead person. That's cool, right?

He was a musician, not an actor

Most of the "Trailer Park Boys" stars didn't come from an acting background. Julian actor John Paul Tremblay and Ricky actor Robb Wells were running a bar and pizza restaurant before scoring a gig on the show by being friends with creator Mike Clattenburg, which could explain why Julian is always seen with a drink in his hand. Mike Smith, on the other hand, was a musician before he was Bubbles. Like the other two mentioned, Smith was a friend of Clattenburg's, but he wasn't initially asked to act on the production.

Smith played guitar for the alternative rock band Sandbox. The band, according to a 1996 interview with Mike Smith, was nominated for a Juno Award following the release of their debut album "Bionic." The band didn't last forever, breaking up before Bubbles appeared in the trailer park.

"Once the band broke up I wanted to stay in the industry," Smith told SHARP Magazine. "I knew Mike was making a film. I had a little recording studio setup in my house so he asked me to record the audio." Fame follows weird trajectories.

Mike Smith has some sketchy charges on his record

This is where the unknown facts begin to take an allegedly dark turn. In 2016, "Trailer Park Boys" actor Mike Smith was arrested on charges of domestic battery after a loud argument with a friend, Georgia Ling, at a Hollywood hotel. Both Ling and Smith told USA Today that there was no battery involved, but the two of them did engage in a loud, heated argument. The charges were dropped shortly after the incident, but not until after Lucy DeCoutere, who plays Ricky's love interest Lucy on the show, left the production.

"If I find out that somebody is abusive, I cut them out of my life. It's very easy," DeCoutere said on Twitter. The rest of the cast released a statement, following the events, in support of Smith. A Vice investigation found a different allegation from Smith's past. In 2005, an 18-year-old woman filed a sexual assault complaint against the actor, but decided not to move forward with charges after being told "fingers could be pointed." Vice says the Bubbles actor has been cited for serving alcohol to minors, as well.

Smith's manager provided a statement to Vice, saying, "Mike voluntarily submitted to an interview and answered every question he was asked about his contact with this woman. The police did not seek any further information from him. They did not lay charges. It would be reckless and unfair to publish these allegations so many years later, when no police action was taken contemporaneously."

He played Cart Boy before he became Bubbles

Undoubtedly, "Trailer Park Boys" has made Mike Smith's Bubbles one of Canada's most prized fictional characters. The cat-loving icon is a go-to impersonation for all fans of the series, including superstar hockey players. However, what most fans do not realize is that the character of Bubbles, or a version of him, predates Sunnyvale trailer park and all its rambunctious residents. Years before the boys made their first appearance in the 1999 "Trailer Park Boys" movie, the originators collaborated on a short 10-minute film titled "The Cart Boy," which proved to be the thesis of what the franchise was built upon.

"The Cart Boy" was directed by series creator Mike Clattenburg and stars Robb Wells and John Paul Trembley in alternative versions of their Ricky and Julian identities, Ricky and Jason. As mall security guards, the two have a difficult interaction when they encounter a strange man stealing shopping carts. Investigating further, the mall cops discover that the thief has been selling the carts to pay for his pet cat's surgery.

The 1995 short film is not a direct connection to the mainstream timeline of the "Trailer Park Boys" franchise. Yet, the basics of how the series is filmed, fundamental themes, and, of course, the premise of Mike Smith's beloved character are present throughout the film. Some fans speculate that the short fits canonically with the franchise as a movie the character's created to try and make some extra cash.

Bubbles has a tragic backstory

All the main characters in the "Trailer Park Boys" franchise have proven themselves to be complex individuals over its two-plus decades of existence. Even the show's most rough and ruthless characters have shown a mushy heart when push comes to shove. One of the show's most dynamic players is without a doubt Mike Smith's Bubbles, whose tragic backstory has slowly been revealed to the audience over time. More than just comic relief, Bubbles represents the heart of the franchise, and it all stems back to his childhood and his connection to Julian.

"Bubbles was abandoned by his parents when he was five and just sort of grew up by himself, living in sheds and stuff," said Mike Smith in a 2003 interview with Ear of Newt. Of course, over the years, fans have learned more about the character's tragic upbringing, including that his father was a professional hockey player who left because of a bad fight. Left in the care of Julian's grandmother, the head Trailer Park Boy felt responsible for his friend and has maintained a living space for Bubbles on his property ever since. Meanwhile, Bubbles is just an eccentric self-made man, as Smith explains, "He's actually a pretty smart guy. He's not mentally challenged like most people think."

Mike Smith's other characters

After a dozen seasons, a collection of films, and an animated series, Mike Smith has been inclined to take on some extra performances in the "Trailer Park Boys" franchise. Notably, he has secretly, but not silently, voiced another Sunnyvale resident since the original 1999 black and white "Trailer Park Boys" movie: Smith has doubled as the character Donny, the unseen local who yells and aggravates the boys from the background.

More hilariously, it has also been Mike Smith's duty to portray the alternate personalities of Bubbles throughout the years. Everybody loves Bubbles' wrestling persona, the Green Bastard, who is almost a resident superhero in the trailer park. Meanwhile, Bubbles' other outlet has been much more controversial.

Fans will be quick to remember Conky, the ventriloquist dummy that often dominates Bubbles' personality. The degrading dummy was killed off in three different seasons, returning with a more sentient consciousness every time. While Bubbles has used the doll as an outlet for his emotions, not all fans agree that Conky fits well with the series. Still, the corrupted dummy adds to a dynamic list of characters created by Mike Smith.

Bubbles the spaceman

Aside from fixing up shopping carts and taking care of his precious kitties, Bubbles has always had one dream — to become an astronaut. Making the climb to outer space is a goal shared by many children, which fits well with Bubbles' levels of maturity. However, Bubbles is one of the few characters in the show that eventually gets to live out his fantasy. In fact, he does so twice. Well, kind of.

In "Trailer Park Boys: Out of the Park," Ricky and Julian want to help Bubbles achieve his dream by taking him to Orlando, Florida. The trailer park trio land at NASA where they complete astronaut training and get to meet Canada's superstar spaceman Chris Hadfield. Along the way, Bubbles gets to fly in a spaceship simulator and witness a real-life rocket take flight. And the best part of the episode is watching Mike Smith's character's reactions.

Later, in "Trailer Park Boys: The Animated Series," a cartoon version of Bubbles finally gets the call to break away from Earth's surface. In the episode, Ricky is contracted by a wealthy investor to begin growing cannabis in zero gravity and there is no way that he's leaving Bubbles behind. Unfortunately, after a series of space-based mishaps, the gang are threatened with their lives and told to never speak about their astronaut adventure again.

Mike Smith is a car enthusiast

Despite the lemons that the boys are known to drive around Sunnyvale, actor Mike Smith is quite the car enthusiast. He owns an impressive piece of machinery, a 2007 Maserati Quattroporte, and has been fixing motors with his father since he was a child. Unfortunately, as soon as Smith puts on his coke-bottle glasses and takes on his alternate persona, his luck with automobiles turns sour. "There were a lot of mishaps with the cars on 'Trailer Park,' they were constantly breaking down," Smith revealed while talking motors with AutoTrader. "I can't see anything out of my glasses. We didn't have any safety people on set back then at all. I'd have a walkie-talkie sitting on the seat, if I was going to crash into something they'd yell."

At least once, Smith got into an accident, and it actually made it into the series. "I was driving a go-kart with my glasses on, and I can't see anything. The brakes went on the go-kart, and I crashed through a fence and into a tree! It made it into Season 5 — that was not planned. I totally crashed through that fence." Luckily, he wasn't hurt during the accident and fans got to enjoy it on screen without ever knowing that it wasn't staged. Considering that driving stunts can go wrong on big budget Hollywood movies, it's a minor miracle that nothing too serious happened on the set of "Trailer Park Boys."

He co-owned a Bubbles-themed bar in Halifax

"Trailer Park Boys" fans who live outside of Canada may not be aware of just how popular their characters are in the Great White North. The Nova Scotian is adored from coast to coast, attending events and generally being treated like local celebrities on a national scale. Specifically, the character of Bubbles was impersonated at every bar across the country while the show was still on the air. So it makes sense that the country would have its own pub dedicated to all things Bubbles.

"Bubbles' Mansion" opened its doors in 2006 and was an East Coast hotspot for fans of the beloved show. Located in a prime downtown Halifax location, the themed bar featured shopping carts, kittens, and a bobbly-eyed sign out front. Actor Mike Smith was a co-owner of the wacky one-time hotspot. Unfortunately, in 2010, the pub shut down due to financial struggles. Thankfully, those looking to buy a beer from their favorite kitten-lover can still visit his Halifax sports bar "Bubba Ray's."

He went on tour with Guns N' Roses

Mike Smith may have been a bona fide rocker with his band Sandbox before landing his role in "Trailer Park Boys," but it was the well-established franchise that helped him become the music star he always wanted to be. On set for the series, Smith got to work with a plethora of talented musicians, including Snoop Dogg and Gord Downie. A guest star visit from Alex Lifeson of Rush led to the pair forming a new rock supergroup called Bubbles and the S*** Rockers. The band made it onto the "Trailer Park Boys: The Movie" soundtrack and Smith performed one of Rush's most famous songs live with the band for a benefit concert.

Smith has performed in many other musical collaborations over the years. He has appeared in music videos with Snow, George Canyon, and The Tragically Hip. Smith (in his Bubbles persona) even went on tour with rock legends Guns N' Roses across North America, Australia, and Japan. Meanwhile, along with Ricky and Julian, Bubbles helped host the East Coast Music Awards for two consecutive years.

He saved a fan's life

It is not all swearing and tomfoolery when it comes to Bubbles. In 2019, actor Mike Smith went out of his way to help one "Trailer Park Boys" superfan who was at the end of his rope with his severe chronic headaches. Tom Termeer suffered from Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgias and underwent four brain surgeries throughout a 14-year journey with cluster headaches. Unfortunately, he was told that he had exhausted every last resource that was available to him. That was until Smith heard about his condition.

"By the time Mike got a hold of me I was probably about a day away from cashing out," Termeer told Global News. Smith had contacted Termeer about a potential stem cell procedure that ended up being the cure to his long-suffering pain. Going above and beyond, Smith assured him that the medical bills would be taken care of by launching a crowdfunding campaign. "He's in a very desperate situation," said the actor in a video for the fundraiser that put together nearly $10,000. "He's got a very rare and extremely painful disease that doctors say is maybe the most painful thing known to science." Termeer was extremely grateful, saying, "Mike saved my life. Wholeheartedly, 100 percent, he saved my life."