Grouch on a Couch

(To buy a copy of the Grouch on a Couch chapbook, click here.
To view a six-part YouTube video of the show, scroll down!)

“A one-man panorama of rage and pop culture. Jeff Cottrill has high energy. Funny and sometimes frightening.”
— Katie Penrose, VIEW (Hamilton)

“Edgy, biting, realistic humour… A dark, gripping satire that should be both read and seen on a stage. It’s hard not to love Grouch on a Couch.”
— Carolina Smart, Lipstik Indie Reviews

“As a writer, Jeff Cottrill has many moments that are both funny and heartfelt. As an actor, he has those same moments. This show is funny, smart and worth seeing.”
— Michelle Nakamura, Artword (Hamilton)

“A crude but delightfully funny inside look at one of the grouchiest characters in children’s television. Jeff Cottrill is creative and energetic and draws his audience in. Be sure to see this show… just leave the children at home!”
— Amanda Nesbitt, Artword (Hamilton)


What can a certain TV grouch (no names mentioned) do when he gets kicked out of his neighbourhood, after his violent attack on another popular cast member? Will a session of psychiatric counselling help him with his anger issues? Why does he live in garbage and filth? What secrets is he hiding about his past? And what kinds of pithy life lessons would he teach to his preschool fans if he were allowed?

The answers come out in Grouch on a Couch, the irreverent one-man show by Toronto-based writer and spoken-word artist Jeff Cottrill.

The show is the perfect remedy for the often unrealistic “You can be anything you want!” philosophy that TV and movies pounded into our skulls when we were growing up. It is also a fresh and revisionist look at an iconic pop-culture character (again, no names mentioned) and a heartfelt plea for tolerance of the grouchiest among us.

“They used to love me back in the ’70s,” the title grouch laments to the therapist that his TV show’s producers have ordered him to see. Times have changed since then, and he does not get the kind of respect that he had in the generation before political correctness. But is that really why he finally snapped? With a little egging on, he reveals hidden truths about his father, his love life, his youthful ambitions, his relationships with other TV personalities, and how he became the misanthropic street-dweller he is – and shows how even the most angry, difficult personalities aren’t all they seem to be.

(The show is not for children.)

An offbeat play that blends cynicism with compassion, Grouch on a Couch is a dark comedy, a social critique and an apologia for grouches everywhere.