Thursday, November 6, 2008

Canadian Sitcoms : The 70's

Seeing as I'm Canadian, I would like to exploit the one weakness we seem to have when compared to Americans, we can't seem to make a decent sitcom to save our lives. Despite the fact that Canada exports a ton of comedians to the US and we're obviously adept at sketch comedy, sitcoms have never been our forte.

The earliest attempt I remember was the Trouble with Tracy, mostly because CTV wouldn't let you forget and played the show for years on the Saturday morning ghetto. To call it banal is an understatement, in the age of Norman Lear, the producers of "Trouble with Tracy" were simply updating scripts from a 1930's radio series called "Good Aces"

Many believe that the series was simply produced to appease Canadian Content laws and therefor, quality control was at a minimum. Whatever the case, we were force-fed this dung for the entirety of the 1970's and then YTV picked it up in the late 80s. Judge for yourself, if you dare......

Perhaps Canada's greatest success in the 70's at achieving the sitcom was King of Kensington, set in the multicultural neighborhood of Toronto, it had a "we're trying our best to feel like All in the Family" thing going on and well, it wasn't terrible.

I like watching King of Kensington now because of all the Toronto based guest stars, from Mike Meyers to John Candy to Guy Big from Hilarious House of Frightenstein. You'll occasionally see faces from Canadian commercials and such, kind of fun.

Coming Soon: Part 2 The 80's (ecccchhhhhhhh!)

1 comment:

Lady Jaye said...

Never heard of that first sitcom, and used to watch King of Kensington on Showcase, a few years ago -- my ex-boyfriend, who's now 36, grew up watching that show.

Incidentally, there's a Kensington street in Montreal, and we always thought of that show when we'd pass by it.

Can't wait to read your ramblings about Check it out (another series that I discovered through reruns on Comedy Network)! :P