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Canadian Screen Award hosts Emma Hunter (centre left) and Jonny Harris (right) sit with a team of writers as preparations are made for Sunday's Awards show in downtown Toronto on March 5, 2018.Chris Young

It's a risky move: For the first time in its (albeit brief) history, this Sunday the Canadian Screen Awards will be hosted by a pair of comedians who – unlike their more famous predecessors, Martin Short, Norm Macdonald, Howie Mandel and Andrea Martin – still live and work in Canada. Earlier this week, Jonny Harris (Still Standing, Murdoch Mysteries) and Emma Hunter (The Beaverton) stepped away from the writers' table to talk about the awards show and submit to a quiz about classic Canadian TV and film.

Okay, so, we're envisioning this article as probably a 900-word Q&A, something fun and snappy. Is that okay?

Emma: Story of my life. "Pick up the pace, Hunter!" Got it.

Did you watch the Oscars last night?

Jonny: I really liked the stunt where they went over to the theatre across the road. Obviously, it's a bit late in the game for us to try to pull any wild antics like that. But I thought the writing was very funny. Not to be presumptuous, but at this point, I think our writing is going pretty well.

Emma: I watched because one should watch, but I don't think we are trying to make a Canadian Oscars.

Are you nervous?

Emma: Ya-ha-ha-haaasss! Oh, my God!

I'm not sure how to write that. Jonny, would you say that was a "cackle"? A "hoot"? A "holler"?

Jonny: An anxious screech.

Emma: Fortunately, we both come from a live background. But this is not a show that goes away when the credits roll. It's a show that exists forever, and in the homes of all the millions of people that watch.

Jonny: Like, if Emma trips up in the very beginning bit, [turns to her] with those high heels that you will be wearing, and the steep stairs that will be there – if you fall, that's it!

Emma: Well, you know, if you drink too much beforehand and piss your tuxedo – that's on you, that's not on me, is it?

Well, it would help the ratings.

Emma: I'm just ecstatic that I get to do this with Jonny, because he is just sort of a Canadian treasure, and a seasoned performer, and I feel very protected having somebody there beside me that's so good at what he does.

Jonny: I'm trying to think of something nice about you.

Emma: I feel we both find the same things funny. I'm just much, MUCH more talented. You can put that in your [article].

You're the first hosts of the CSAs to be still based in Canada. Are you flattered by that, or envious of your predecessors?

Emma: I think what I applaud the Academy for is that – Howie Mandel is Howie Mandel and Andrea Martin is Andrea Martin – and I live in [Toronto's] Riverdale in a semi-detached. And I think that the decision is very intentional.

Jonny: But it will be interesting to have two people who are very much immersed and working steadily in the Canadian industry. I'm not a guy who's planning a move to Los Angeles.

Between the two of you, who has more awards or nominations in total?

Jonny: I have three Gemini nominations and [he guesses] four Canadian Screen Awards?

Emma: I think it's three nominations [this year] individually: Best Personality, Most Fun Person and Filthiest Mouth. [pause] Yeah, one for Beaverton, one for best supporting in Mr. D and one for digital.

Jonny: Are you serious?

Emma: Yes, I'm very talented! I'm telling you!

Time for the lightning round. So, Jonny: The Trouble with Tracy or King of Kensington?

Jonny: I think I'll go old school. King of Kensington.

I think they're both old school, but okay. Beachcombers or Street Legal?

Emma: Street Legal!

Huh. Really? Even with Albert Schultz?

[awkward pause]

Okay, then. So, either one of you can buzz in on this: Porky's? Porky's 2? Or Porky's 3?

Emma: I don't know what's going on. I love bacon, and I'll eat both bacon and turkey bacon, if that's the question.

Jonny: Porky's was an old eighties B-movie where guys would look through the wall of the shower and look at girls' boobs and stuff. It was about young guys trying to get laid.

Emma: This is the question?

Jonny: And Porky's – embarrassingly, I think, for the Canadian industry – was the biggest money-making Canadian movie up until –

Emma: It's a peep-show show? What is "Porky's," because the word, alone –

Jonny: Porky's is a bar.

Emma: – sounds like something else.

Jonny: But it has something to do with seeing boobs, right?

Yes. It takes place in high school.

Jonny: And up until one of the recent Resident Evils, which are huge all over the world, it was the biggest money maker.

That's right. Porky's basically built Canadian pay-TV, because Astral made so much money from the movie, they bought First Choice – The Movie Network, which was in financial trouble at the time.

Emma: Astral?

Yeah. Astral is now Bell Media. Well, basically everything is Bell Media. Except for the CBC. Okay, next question: What do you like about working in Canadian TV?

Emma: I worked in Los Angeles in 2014 and I've worked in Canada ever since, and I really like the fact that there's a lack of a hierarchical thing happening here. Like, it's a very sort of – communist, for want of a better word. …

Maybe "democratic"?

Emma: Right, "democratic" is probably a more Globe word. The hair and makeup person is just as important as transport, is just as important as the camera operator. And I think that makes a better product, if everybody feels valued.

I'm going to test you now, and if you're not honest, I've brought along the same polygraph that Patrick Brown used, and we'll hook you up to it.

Emma: Oh. This is fun.

So, before you got the hosting gig, how many CSA Best Picture nominees could you name?

Emma: I had heard of Maudie and Ava.

Jonny: The Bread …

Emma: The Breadwinner! Of course!

Can you think of any others? There are seven in total.

Jonny: You're catching us early, because we're working through the show and we haven't got to the end.

[Pause. Emma takes another run at it.]

Emma: Ava. Maudie. Breadwinner … Goon 2?

Jonny: Porky's 3?

This interview has been condensed and edited.

The Canadian Screen Awards air Sunday at 8 p.m. (ET) on CBC.

As the Canadian Screen Award nominations were announced Tuesday, members of the film and TV industry weighed in on whether award shows could be a platform for change, in light of the #MeToo movement.

The Canadian Press