From the category archives:


“They say hip hop is dead, nah it’s up North with me. I can do this all day cause it’s part of my routine, but suppers almost done and tonight – POUTINE!” – Classified

This was sent to me today by a Canadian friend of mine – as I’ve been way out of the loop for a month and a half down here in Boston – and when I realized what I was about to watch I cringed. Probably visually. A pro-Canada song, by a white rapper from the East coast, just in time for the Winter Olympics… I mean, surely it must suck polar bear sack, right?

Classified’s tribute to Canada… Kinda fuckin’ rules, buddy.

I love the fact that he’s not standing around with a bunch of black guys and wearing a ton of tacky jewellery for “street cred”. I love the fact that he only mentions pot to remind the rest of the world that it’s legal. I love his line referencing “90’s hip hop” and subsequently the song sounds a heck of a lot like just that. He doesn’t refute the stereotypes – he embraces them. Was that Mr. Lahey? Did he just give SCTV a shout out? What the frig is this?

Anybody else think maybe Maestro Fresh Wes, Snow or the Swollen Members are feeling a little left out right now? This kid is good and I’m going to hit the nearest record store (wink) and get myself acclimated. It’s probably, like, my friggin’ duty or something too, eh?


From soft, delicate songs that smell of peace and conjure haze to excellent rock numbers that straddle the line between convention and invention, this is a dynamic first record with wide appeal. –

A friend of mine shared this video and song via Facebook with me today, and it immediately caught my attention. Let me rephrase that – the keyboards immediately caught my attention. Since the demise of the Manchester scene in the early 90’s you don’t hear them nearly enough in my opinion. David Martel is about as far away from the Inspiral Carpets or Charlatans as you can get, but someone in that band is definitely tickling some serious ivory/plastic. He’s also strapped with a female backup singer and an instrument collection that might even impress The Doves.

“Sure I’ll sign the CD for you – as long as you promise never to break into my apartment again.”

So who is David Martel? Well, my friend went to high school with him and didn’t have a clue that he was quickly becoming a reasonably successful Canadian musician until earlier today. Might have something to do with the collection of Whitesnake cassettes in her truck. The music press up here have definitely heard of him though, and they likey.

David Martel’s “End of Self”

You don’t often hear banjo and accordion placed within a Brit rock-style setting, but they are used effectively. Strings, trumpet, glockenspiel, flute and harmonium further contribute to the widescreen orch pop sound of many of the tracks. This is certainly a promising beginning. –

I’ve seen him compared to Coldplay and Snow Patrol several times during my research today, but don’t let that dissuede you. Have a listen to “End of Self” and tell me what you think. It really stood out for me, and unfortunately that’s a rare thing these days. Then again, I might just need a hearing aid.


Let’s “face” it – since the mass influx of Facebook into our collective worlds, having a blog isn’t such a big deal anymore. Maybe it never was to anyone with a girlfriend. Likewise, having a Flickr account isn’t such a big deal anymore. Making an Evite seems like an enormous extra step. Why would you join an old-fashioned forum when you can just search for a related group? It’s an incredible, incredible (I hate to say the word) phenomenon the likes of which we won’t see again for a long time.

That having been said I know there are a lot of readers, or former readers, I might just win back one day when I increase the frequency of my posting who do not use FB and definitely never will. I was reminded of this last week when I received an email from my buddy Taz in Germany to let me know that 5 years after the last time I saw him in person – he’s still reading regularly, and what am I up to? That got me thinking. Got me optimistic and inspired. Tingly in the pants.

The first step of my long-overdue comeback will be to update my galleries – exported from Facebook using an incredible WordPress plugin which is probably my favorite add-on of all time. I pray that Mr. Harp never stops updating and evolving this wonderful tool and I encourage you to donate some money if you end up using it. I have, and I may again someday. On to the galleries…

  • Mobile Uploads: These are photos I take with my iPhone. Possibly through your bedroom window. Keep an eye on this one.
  • Summer is Upon Us: Miscellaneous photos not falling on big holiday weekends. Lots of unfortunate evidence from Duck’s Roadhouse.
  • Bonnie’s Memorial Weekend: We sent Mom off in style and over 100 people traveled from as far away as Florida to wish her a fitting bon voyage.
  • Straight Outta Storage: Whilst going through my parent’s things I’ve found a treasure trove of funny family photos. I be scanning and yes, there are bathtub photos for the pedophile crowd.
  • April Flowers: Includes my attempt at a St. Patrick’s Day party and shots of the brand new man-cave in use for the first time.
  • Canada Day 2009: Half the fam-damily joined me for fireworks and lots of silly fun and silliness.
  • July 4th 2009: Jason and Jim came up for a weekend of Canadian revelry and brought more duty free vodka with them than I’ve ever seen in one place.
  • Kim and Gooch’s Wedding : People told me I had a good time. Congrats to the happy couple and thanks for the skidoo.

That’s my last 4 months or so in pictures, and I sincerely hope you enjoy them. It’s been a wonderful summer so far, and if you’re a friend of mine I seriously encourage you to drop me a line and come up for a visit. If you have any questions, comments or the number of a good rehab facility – please leave them below.


stan-rogers-songwriterIf you don’t know who Stan Rogers was, that’s OK – he’s been dead since 1983 (went back to pull other passengers out of a burning plane even after he himself had escaped) and never permeated the American mass music market the way many other Canadian bands have. And by “Canadian bands” I of course mean the Bare Naked Ladies. If you’d like to learn more about this remarkable musician please visit the Wadio post I did on Stan Rogers a year and a half ago.

There’s currently a petition to have Rogers awarded a posthumous star on Canada’s Walk of Fame – and I think that’s a damn good idea. I’ve loved his saltwater-soaked sea tales since my father first played them for me as a child. In fact, modern bands like the Decemberists must surely count him as an influence.

Barrett’s Privateers – You have to watch this!

They need at least 5,000 signatures by noon eastern time on April 30th and currently have less than 2,000, apparently. The person leading the Stan Rogers charge, and who created the Facebook group I belong to wrote me only this morning. A for effort, my friend:

“Please sign so that when I meet with the Walk’s selection committee on April 30th I can show Stan Rogers was truly admired.”

It’s really hard to believe this is even in contention or being discussed. The man is a national treasure and definitely should have been in line for a star before Brendan Fraser (2006) or Celine Dion (1999). I signed the petition a few months ago and it takes seconds. If you’re a Stan fan then please take 2 minutes today and add your name to the petition. For the love of Trebek.


I come from downtown
Born ready for you
Armed with will and determination – and grace, too

Since they’re gearing up to launch their 11th studio album, “We Are the Same” on April 7th – I thought it would be beyond appropriate to re-boot Wednesday Wadio with a delicious slice of the Tragically Hip. When they were invited, at Dan Aykroyd’s insistence, to play an episode of Saturday Night Live which he hosted in 1996 it was a big night for Kingston, Ontario’s favorite sons. Dan even represents the Limestone City as he introduces the first song – my all-time favorite “Grace, Too“.

Dan’s friends, the Tragically Hip

The song’s lovely bass intro was the first feature that grabbed me way back in my University days, 1994 to be exact. I remember my friend Steve Barry had all of his friends (of which I was one,) over to his house as soon as he got back from the record store with the comprehensively classic album “Day for Night” on CD. We sat scrunched in his room as it kicked off with Grace, Too – and I remember the boys were all suitably impressed. In fact it’s amazing we even got to the bars that night. The record also contains Hips canon classics like “Thugs”, “Nautical Disaster”, “Scared” and “Inevitability of Death” – and little did I know we were in for long afternoon of many repeated listenings and a lot of Molson Canadian. It’s a great, solid record from start to finish which I can admit now – although in 1994 my epiphany had not yet come and I friggin’ hated the Hip.

There was a website I loved devoted to explicating and deciphering Tragically Hip lyrics. It was called the “burning schoolhouse” or something and it may be ancient history as I can’t find it. I once read there that the song was about a pimp attempting to convince a young girl, straight off the bus, to come and work for him. “The appearance of conflict meeting the appearance of force” line would be especially meaningful under that interpretation. I know now from personal experience that lead singer, Gord Downie, saw no shortage of hookers growing up in Kingston. Did that come out wrong? That came out wrong.

That same night on SNL we were treated to the performance of another confirmed Hip classic, “Nautical Disaster“, which is a little easier to translate than Grace, Too. Primarily because it’s about a nautical disaster. If you’re a Hip rookie and you enjoyed what you saw and heard above – be sure to check this tune out before you leave me today.

I ask you – What kind of a frigtard designs a lifeboat for only 10 people?

It’s true – if nothing else, Canada is rich in lumber, fresh water and songs about people dying violent deaths at sea. I hope you enjoyed the return of Wadio today and of Pye in the Face in general. You can order the Hip’s classic, “Day for Night“, from Amazon MP3 by clicking the title and their upcoming tour dates have also been released.


Operation: Basement – The Beginning

by Dave on December 11, 2008

in Canadiana

Our basement situation is rare in that because we have a lawn which slopes down towards the lake, said cellar has 4 windows overlooking… a lake. A lake view is not normally something you hear associated with cellars, is my point. It screamed out to be “finished”. Now that the garage loft renovation is pretty much completed, my attention has settled on my rec room. My man room. My rectacular basement man place thingy. My bomb cellar for nerds. Yes, kids – Operation: Basement has officially begun.

IMG 0319
Spencer reminds me very much of a young Jack Nicholson.
“I’m the kinda guy likes to know who’s buying his stain, Lloyd.”

Even as I type this I hear my project lead, Spencer, sanding away on the glued together slats of raw pine which will eventually be stained and used to cover the beams, posts and create molding/wainscotting. There are two tall stacks of boxes in the center of the 600 square foot room. One is full of ceiling tile and one is full of dark oak style laminate flooring. The floor has been taped off to mark where the lake rock bar will be so that we can safely install the flooring around it. And there are other elements already procured that will complete the dream lair I have fantisized about creating since I first walked into the then dingy space four years ago.

Pool Table: Our neighbor gave us a pretty serious slate pool table which sits completely disassembled in our furnace room. I found a guy on a local classified ads site (think Canadian Craigs List) that will drive out here from Brockville to put it together, replace the bumpers, level and re-felt it. We also have a Budweiser pool table light that my Dad somehow talked a Florida bartender into giving him about 5 years ago that we’ve held onto ever since.

Da Bar: The base of the bar will be made out of either brick or plywood but I plan to cover it with rocks out of the adjascent lake to kind of “bring the outdoors in” or something.

Bigscreen TV: A purchase from a neighbor who’s interior decorator told him it took up too much room, the cabinet color was stifling and most likely that he also wanted to give him a handjob. I got this 3-year-old 60+ inch rear projection monster for a song and it will have a sound-surrounded place of leather couch honor in the new room.

Arcade Game: I will be discussing the “nerd box” in a separate article, but the short version is that while looking for an old, beat up, classic stand up arcade game (complete with numerous cigarette burns no doubt) I found something much, much better. Stay tuned for exceptional fucking nerdery on this one, folks. Your jaws will drop.

Dart Board: I found a company online who makes replica vintage Guiness dartboard cabinets and ships them to Canada complete with a top-quality bristle dartboard. Done and done. I also recently found the small velcro wallet containing my Dad’s old darts and the naked lady flights I remember so well from childhood. And no, I have never wanked to a dart flight. As far as you know.

IMG 0321
As if I didn’t hate spirit orbs enough – One of them is Bob Vila.

Spencer is now brushing conditioner onto the sanded wood, to ensure it stains evenly, and the smell is so strong that I am quite positively more buzzed than a huffer under a bridge in Smiths Falls. I must retreat for the evening, but I hope you’ve enjoyed my tales of renovation and you can see the full gallery as it progresses here.


The Dock Doctor

by Dave on July 15, 2008

in Canadiana

Although we got the dock and boatlift in over a month ago, neither monstrosity has has been “sitting” properly on the lake bottom. One corner of the dock would dip frighteningly when stepped on and the boat lift was too far from the shore, requiring a tremendous amount of wheel cranking to get it into or out of the water. I finally decided I’d had enough of my family’s rickety death marina.

A neighbor was asked to come over with his ATV which has a powerful winch on the front of it. I grabbed a mask, snorkel and long metal pipe for leverage, jumped into the lake and attached the cable to the frame of the lift. With some difficulty, and several dives down to clear away rocks, we managed to maneuver the lift closer to the shore and lined up perfectly with the dock. After the repositioning I discovered in no uncertain terms that my lung capacity is not what it used to be as I dove down to the bottom multiple times to rearrange rocks, stabilize and level the four lift posts.

Once the lift was squared away, I went back underwater and swam into the dark area underneath the dock before jamming a nice big, flat rock under the leg that tended to dip. While I was down there, I gathered up some bottle caps, a thermometer and an old boat bumper that had been resting in peace for gosh knows how long. After that, I dried off by screwing some extra rubber trim onto a bare section of dock edge and relocating a cleat that had been in an inconvenient spot. So now when we moor the boat without putting it into the lift the cleats are perfectly lined up with the bow and stern lines. Listen to me, eh? Pretty soon I’ll have a parrot perched on my shoulder.

The most amazing thing about the whole procedure were the staggering number of fish who turned out to watch/lend their support. Everytime I came up for air and then dove back down to where I’d just been 15 seconds or so before, there’d be a group of curious fish hovering around the spot where I’d just been meddling with their world. Big fish, little fish swimming in the water (this is beginning to sound like a PJ Harvey song)… perch, bass, sunfish – they were fearless and it’s a sight I’ll be returning to soon, possibly with additional masked intruders.

Sully and Jim – y’all need to get up here this summer because the fishin’ must be exceptional. Call me the dock doc.


I created what’s known as “Linkbait” for a client this week, and I think it’s pretty damn good if I do say so myself. To any of my readers with a Digg account – We’re very close to going viral and I’d like to unashamedly solicit a few votes if I may be so bold. If this effort were sub-standard I’d never ask – this is something you can Digg in good conscience.

How can one make a decent living spending a massive amount of the work week compiling photos and writing copy for a list of funny barbecues? I wish I had an answer for you. I also invite you to post it to facebook, vote for it in StumbleUpon, Mixx, Reddit, etc. There’s a good readership. Sit, readership.

independence-daySo this post isn’t a complete waste of time for everybody else, I am extremely proud to be able to say – for the first time ever as an American Citizen – Happy Frickin’ 4th of July everybody!

I feel very lucky to be able to enjoy dual-citizenship, because I have such strong ties with both Canada and the United States – and I never had a choice.

I bleed red white and blue. And then red and white again. But whatever colors I bleed, they don’t run. Coo loo koo koo coo loo koo koo, and I regret that I have but one life to give for my province. Speak now or forever hold your poutine.


Oh the Doo Dah Canada Day

by Dave on July 1, 2008

in Canadiana

canada day graphics 05As all my clients are American I can’t exactly kick back, relax and swell with pride today. As usual, there’s a lot of the old online marketing to do. But I do want to mark the occasion here on the blog and wish all of my Canuckian readers (and those Yanks who suffer from poutine-envy) a lovely Canada Day. Here are a few spellbinding facts I dug up for the occasion…

  • Canada is the second largest country in the world, with 9,971,000 square kilometres of land.
  • The baseball glove was invented in Canada in 1883.
  • With only three people per square kilometer, Canada has the fourth lowest population density in the world.
  • The world’s smallest jail is believed to be in Rodney, Ontario, Canada. It is only 24.3 square meters (about 270 square feet).
  • Canada has the ninth biggest economy of the world
  • According to the United Nations Human Development Index, Canada has the highest quality of life in the world.
  • Contrary to popular opinion, Canada does not own the North Pole. In fact, the North Pole is not owned by any country.
  • Canada is the world’s eighth biggest trader.
  • Of all of the world’s producers of natural gas, copper, zinc, nickel, aluminum, and gold, Canada is in the top five.
  • Canada is the fifth largest energy producer.
  • Canada has the world’s highest tertiary education enrolment.

Alright, alright – one at a time. We can’t take you all at once. Be patient, and one day maybe you too can be lucky enough to call yourself a citizen of the mighty country that invented basketball, the electric light bulb, the electric range, the electron microscope, standard time, the television, the telephone and the zipper. Have a doozy, and let’s keep the boating deaths to a minimum this year, OK?


Rhubarb’s first boat ride and first Canada Day were negatively overshadowed by the fact that Dave was the first mate.


The Office: The Canadian Version

by Dave on June 24, 2008

in Canadiana

Slowly, slowly we’re improving our lot around these here parts. The weekend before last Janet, a neighbor and I cleared out on of the basement room, which is actually about 80% “finished” (drop ceiling in place, drywall and mudding done, painted) with the exception of carpeting. We then proceeded to turn it into an office, complete with a wireless printer and two separate business landlines for Janet and myself, and I’m beyond happy that we did so.

Above my desk there’s a photo collage I made last year one day when my internet was out. It’s a Concord collection featuring high school friends only, and using my new printer I plan to make “Best Buddy” and family versions. To the right of the window is the “Gord Wall” where I’ve hung some of my Dad’s plaques and accreditations and I gaze up at it whenever I feel my attention span waning. His inspiration for going back to school? My Mom getting pregnant with me. The man went from a steel mill monkey to a marketing executive with a college degree in a little over a decade and is my professional inspiration.

IMG 1923

For several years the room had been crammed with a disassembled pool table, furniture and a ton of other things no one had gotten around to dealing with. We cleared out the adjacent utility room, put in shelves there to make better use for storage, consolidated and moved everything out and then set up what is turning into a pretty sweet space. The couch you can see is a big pullout so the room will eventually serve double-duty as a guest room. We don’t like to confine elderly relatives or anyone above the age of 40 to the Winchester. So you can breathe a sigh of relief, Sully. I wish I’d taken “before” pictures as the transformation is complete and amazing. Above you can see my little corner of productivity and below you’ll gasp in awe at Janet’s. This is where the magic happens and the Pye siblings bring home the bacon.

IMG 1924

The rug is comprised of these floor tiles we found at Canadian Tire and I am picking up another batch today I ordered so that we can finish off the entire room. We were only able to do half as they didn’t have enough in stock. Sam the neighbor who now works with me will be setting up the right hand desk this morning which is actually the other half of mine until he gets his good one from his old place in Ottawa. The window looks out onto the lake and the air which drifts in and then gets distributed by the fan is good for the brain.

IMG 1925

It’s a big space so there shouldn’t be a problem with background noise if we’re both on the phone at the same time. Notice our office assistants and particularly Shepherd’s new anti-bark shock collar which is like the size of a car battery. I have since removed it as it seems to have served its purpose rather quickly. There’s definitely no danger of Shep becoming a Spiderman villain, to put it mildly. The middle of the room is currently reserved for DVDs, a dog bed and some EZ-chairs. We may eventually put a TV and a conference table in here as well. Lotsa room.

IMG 1926

And of course everyday after lunch we break for a rousing game of “Shepherd Checkers”. The blue chair you see above is Boss’ favorite and I moved it in near me especially for him. The room stays nice and cool so the puppies love it and the rest of the basement looks great as we sorted, cleaned and consolidated it all at the same time. This time next year I think it’s safe to say that the large room outside of the office will be carpeted, ceilinged, wired up and playing host to a home theater, dart board, bar and an inter-family lake pool league. It’s coming together. Slowly, slowly catchy Rhuby.


I just read an article on CNN entitled “Fifth severed foot found on Canadian coast“. It gave me pause for thought, as you might think, and I read through it in its entirety. Basically there is an island in a normally very peaceful and picturesque coastal area of British Colombia that seems to attract floating tootsies. Here are the poignant bits…

  • Since last August, a total of five severed feet have washed up on the same small island near Vancouver.
  • The first four were right feet, this one was left. Daniel Day Lewis could not be reached for comment.
  • Some locals think it’s a serial killer.
  • Some locals think it’s due to gang violence.
  • Some locals think they are the remains of several men who were killed in an airplance crash shortly before the first foot was found almost a year ago.
  • Although tests are underway, there have been no DNA results to link the owners of said feet or establish identity.

These are all terrific theories, my brethren with badges to the far West – but I already covered and predicted these very events in your specific area several months ago. Let me save everyone on Westham Island, or the “Canadian Amity Island” as I am going to call it, some valuable time. Your suspect has a beak, tentacles and a penchant for ink. And I’m not talking about tattoos.


These Ontario deers will be the death of me. 3 times I have had them dash in front of my car since I’ve lived up here and 3 times I narrowly managed to avoid the collision. As it tends to do, my luck ran out Monday night.

A big ass Bambi’s mama doe ran right out in front of me while I was on a dark rural highway going the speed limit (thank God. For once.) of 80km which is about 54mph. I went from bopping along to Feels So Good by Mase like it was 1998 again to violently slamming on the brakes as its head hit my left headlight before the whole beast went below the car and tore up the undercarriage. Deer was spit out into the woods and not seen again, but I doubt it survived.

I found part of my wheel well 25 feet behind the car (it was pitch black – I have since added a flashlight to my auto toolkit) and put it in the trunk. I walked back a little further and squinted for the deer but I could hardly see my hand in front of my face. It was eerie and incredibly reminiscent of the opening scenes of most horror movies. I won’t even mention the blood. But only because I don’t have to. I have pictures.

IMG 1918

Talk about remote – I was at the side of the road for an hour and not a single car drove past. Friggin’ spooky and my thoughts turned to the as of yet undiscovered communities of Kingston-area Sasquatch more than once. After slowly attempting to drive about 5 feet and hearing a loud scraping noise, I scooted under the car and tucked the torn edge of the plastic undercarriage cover under another part and drove very slowly, finally making it home around 2 a.m. My ABS light was on the whole way home and Tuesday morning I discovered a lot of loose wires hanging down from the engine block, so I assume there is some serious electrical repair needed in addition to the nonsense underneath.

IMG 1909

So yeah – That was the 4th time in the last year a deer has run out in front of my car. I bought these deer whistles that you attach to your bumper which supposedly scare them away as wind blows through them a few months ago but never stuck them on. Wicked smart. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there are about 1.5 million car accidents with deer each year that result in $1 billion in vehicle damage, about 150 human fatalities, and over 10,000 personal injuries. So have a think about that the next time you give a hunter the evil eye. Deers: So cute. So, so very stupid.

IMG 1921

I’m sad about the car but grateful I walked away. The damage has not yet been fully assessed as I wait for a call back from the insurance company. The bumper is covered in blood and hair and was definitely pushed in before popping back out – but the “krinkling” is very minimal. Aesthetically, the car got off extremely lightly and the Charger will charge again. Like the Light Brigade. Eventually I’ll add my photos to this post but I gots to get to work now because my deductible is $500. Poppa needs a brand new insurance company.

{ 1 comment }

Hot Scum

by Dave on June 5, 2008

in Canadiana,Pye in the Face

It’s been awfully quiet around here this week, and I’m not too certain why. My head wasn’t in the game, I suppose. I am trying to eliminate a lot of the things I spend time doing that don’t make me money. Silly websites, controlling Nico Bellic, Forensic files, etc. This is all in the hopes that I will spend said time doing constructive things. Working on sites that may actually make money someday or already do, yard work, walking the puppies. I think authoring this website, as scattered and therefore un-monetizeable as it is, falls into the latter category, as it’s the closest thing to a head-shrinker I’ll see round these here parts.

This reminds me of a post I wrote about three years ago, which I can’t seem to find for the life of me, where I spoke to my blog as if I were a douchebag boyfriend. “You’re my blog, baby. And I love you. Don’t listen to them busybodies down at the hair salon. I’m not going anywhere, baby… cause I love you.” Well tonight I’m that same scumbag slinking back to further ruin the life of the naive young lass. “It won’t happen again, baby. I’ve changed, baby – I’ve changed!”

I haven’t changed, and neither will Lorenzo. Truth is – it’s getting hot. Damn hot up here and I think I’ll be spending a lot more time at the computer over the next 4 months. People think Canada is cold. Well it is – a lot frickin’ further far North than I currently live. In Southern Ontario it’s no cooler than the hot asphalt of the North End between the months of June and October, and I don’t do well in the heat. I sweat like a fat person. OK, like a much fatter person. So I’ll be inside quite a bit, in the cool air of the basement office I plan to construct this weekend, and therefore a little more prolific. You lucky people.


“I’m just terrified to get up on a stage with them all again… because no one has ever tested me like they did. You always had to be at the top of your game.” – Martin Short in the Toronto Star

benefit-of-laughterFirst and foremost, I’d have to be a complete and utter jackass to presume I could effectively “review” an event of this magnitude, so please consider it a… loving memoir. A week ago tonight I had the severe pleasure of attending SCTV’s Benefit of Laughter, which was a charity event held to raise money for the Second City alumni fund. To say it was a hot ticket would be the biggest understatement of the 24 years since the beloved station stopped broadcasting in 1984. For two side-splitting performances SCTV was definitely back on the air – onstage in a small theatre in Toronto – and it was a wonderful sight to behold.

I let a week pass before sitting down to write about the night because I wanted to be able to consider, share and link to what other bloggers and the media wrote about the events. Surprisingly there is very little mention of the actual performances online – nothing, actually – and my site is getting the bulk of the related search engine traffic. I’d be writing the show up regardless, but now I feel obligated. So wish me luck, grab your Count Floyd 3D glasses and hang on to your toques.

An SCTV Reunion? Don’t Play With my Emotions Like That.
The Toronto Star interviewed all of the SCTV principals just before the two shows last week in what is probably the best pre-event article you’ll find. Catherine O’Hara (excited), Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin (scared), Joe Flaherty (sorta looking forward to it) and Martin Short were all obviously more than happy to perform together again and to raise money for their Second City peers. The Star did a wonderful job of ramping up to the event, so please read their piece for the full story.

I already mentioned a lot of the background and how my sister and I came to be VIPs for the event in a prior SCTV Reunion post. I’d love to be able to report that I’ve become Catherine O’Hara’s cabana boy, but alas – we paid our way in and sprung for the top tier tickies. I knew it was a great cause and once in a lifetime experience going into it, but after being there – I think I would have paid far more. Perhaps even hocked my Five Neat Guys LP collection. It was good.

Goin’ Down the Road
sctv-castAlthough we originally drove from Ottawa for the event, my sister and I spent Sunday night at our cousin’s in Hamilton. We struck out for Toronto at around 5:30pm on Monday figuring 2.5 hours would be more than enough time to get into the city, drop my car off at a friend’s and then get a cab over to Second City. Toronto traffic, a bastard of a GPS system and one insane cab driver on mentholated schnapps later we were 10 minutes late for the show and just closing in on the location. May I suggest to Second City that in the future they print their address on tickets? Schnapps isn’t particularly good for one’s sense of direction. I’ll give them this, though – they actually called my sister’s cell phone to find out where we were and to make sure we knew how to get there. I know there was a long waiting list, so I’d like to thank them for taking that extra step and not giving our seats away.

We finally got there, were asked by the doorman if we were the “last two everyone is waiting for”, and were shown to our great seats just as the first sketch was starting. We were at a small table in the middle with a lovely couple who eventually introduced themselves as the director and his wife. Thank you for the nachos and Brian – well done, sir! He let on that he was a little nervous about how the show would play out and said that the cast had only one evening and one full day to rehearse and prepare. Since the show was over two hours long I can understand his concern. I noticed that the hysterical laughter surrounding him on all sides definitely had a calming effect. After the show, his super-friendly and lovely wife (whose name escapes me) told me that she mentioned to Eugene Levy and Martin Short that the people they were sitting with had come from Ottawa and they were quite impressed. And by “impressed” I of course mean “ready to file restraining orders”.

Let There be Laughter
How on Earth do I do justice to the actual show? I didn’t take notes – I thought some other blogger who was a bigger SCTV nerd than myself (it happens,) would cover all of the painstaking details. But they haven’t and all I hear are internet crickets. I’ll summarize my favorite sketches and anyone looking for more info or explication is free to leave comments or send me an email which I promise I’ll answer. Please limit your inquiries to the SCTV reunion, and not as to whether I’m a complete waste of space with a drinking problem.

  • Meeting With the Teacher: Catherine O’Hara played an overwhelmed school teacher in the opening sketch who had called together the parents of her 4 worst students. The reasons behind the children’s struggles soon became very apparent. Edith Prickley, a grumpy Italian (Flaherty) a nerd (Levy) and a creepy dude reminiscent of Nathan Thurm (Short) made up the parents. O’Hara: “Where did your son get such a dirty mouth?” Flaherty: “How the fuck should I know?” Audience: “We are in absolute comedic and nostalgic bliss”. I’m allowed one James Lipton moment, no?
  • mocharie-pyeThe Job Interview: This sketch starts out with the big boss (Levy) introducing himself to a job applicant (O’Hara) and then asking if it’s OK if they have a group interview to save time. He then says that the other applicant will be arriving shortly. At this point, I leaned forward and whispered to my sister “I bet Ed Grimley’s gonna come through that door”, and wouldn’t you know it – he did. I lost it and had my first of many laughing fits complete with streaming tears. And guess who got the job? O’Hara’s parting line to Grimley: “You’ll be in my prayers, sir.”
  • The Variety Show: Although I’m still miffed Count Floyd was absent from the show, if Bittman and Maudlin hadn’t made an appearance I might have gone on a tri-province shooting spree. The first of two references to John Candy was made when Sammy Maudlin mentioned how much he missed having William B. as his sidekick. Bobby Bittman came out to plug his new book “Born Lying Down” and the segment was topped off by a visit from Jackie Rogers Jr. and Lola Heatherton – fresh from being booted off dancing with the stars. They proceeded to demonstrate their final routine as I proceeded to snort Molson Canadian up my nose and then all over my brand new shirt.

This post is getting frighteningly long – those were my 3 favorites, but really just the tip of the iceberg. Colin Mocharie appeared in a sketch at a funeral for a man who died with his head in a can of pork and beans and also did an audience-suggestion improv bit with Martin Short and several members of the current Toronto Second City Cast as well as Women Fully Clothed. Robin Duke stole every scene she was in, by the way, and was very nice to me at the after party when I accosted her while she was getting a coffee. Joe Flaherty made sure everyone remembered John Candy when he mentioned him during the standing ovation and let everyone know just how much he was in their thoughts. “He’s here!” someone shouted from the audience, to which Joe smiled and said simply: “That’s right“.

After the Party Comes the After Party
We never touched our wallets during the entire performance and the after party next door at Wayne Gretzky’s was no exception. Tray after tray of hors d’ourves, wine, bottled water and pints made the rounds. Janet and I grabbed a couple of beverages and began to wander.


A backdrop had been set up for official photos to be taken, but none of the cast had appeared yet. The photographers, a pair of cool and bald twin brothers, asked us if we wanted a photo and we agreed, knowing full well they just wanted to test their apertures, f-stops and such. We ended up carving out a nice little spot for ourselves right near the impending action though, and even met a nice couple to chat with. It turns out Jack had been to my blog that very day when looking for info about the show. People tend to remember one-syllable last names that are synonymous with a dessert.


We weren’t allowed to take photos during the show, but my snaps from the party speak a thousand words, with one exception. My sister’s deceptive flash caused me to turn my head a second too early so Martin Short can now count himself as one of the lucky few to be photographed with the elusive sasquatch. All the cast members were happy to pose and chat with their fans, and the highlight of my life evening was managing to make both Mocharie and Flaherty laugh. Although it may have been nervously. Please enjoy the SCTV Reunion Gallery and I hope you enjoyed my affectionate write up. I’ll never forget the experience and count myself lucky to have been there.

More SCTV Reunion Stuff (as I find it):

  • Interview on CityTV: Andrea Martin says the audience at the first show was like an extended family. Aw, shucks!
  • 680 News Interviews: Audio interviews with several cast members before and after the show.
  • Comics Pay tribute: Several well-known comedians explain why SCTV is so special to them.
  • SCTV Locations: Trevor also attended the show and may be the biggest fan of the show in existence.