A Cavalcade of Canadian Comedy

HAPPY CANADA DAY! I am concluding Canada week with a salute to Canadian comedians through the years.

The cast of SCTV

When I was little, there was a Canadian comedy duo that helped shape my sense of humour as it is today. These men called themselves Wayne and Shuster. Here is one of my favourite, and one of their most famous sketches.

In my teens, the Canadians who made me laugh were a group of comics from Toronto’s Second City troop who did a show called SCTV. Starring many comics who are still enjoying illustrious careers like Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara and Harold Ramis, SCTV was a great showcase for Canadian talent. SCTV is also responsible for launching the career of the late, great John Candy. Below are a few of my favourite characters in action.

In my 20’s I was watching and laughing with, The Kids In The Hall. With a nod to Monty Python, the sketch comedy of the  Kids in the Hall was often ridiculous in premise, but was always funny. Here are some of my favourite moments from the show.

Stand up comedy has also given us some fantastic Canadian talent. I would be remiss if I didn’t include some of my favourites.

JIM CARREY

RUSSELL PETERS

RON JAMES

JEREMY HOTZ

ELVIRA KURT

COLIN MOCHRIE

NORM MACDONALD

CAROLINE RHEA

RICH LITTLE

Then there are the comedic actors from Canada… and there are many. Enjoy these clips of some of the best.

LESLIE NEILSEN

DAN AYKROYD

PHIL HARTMAN

SETH ROGEN

MICHAEL CERA

MIKE MYERS

TOMMY CHONG

Here’s hoping you are all smiling this Canada Day.

Artist or Athlete?

Adam Cooper in Swan Lake from the movie Billy Elliot

Ballet has long been one of my passions. I grew up taking lessons. I idolized all of the greats over the years. I swooned over the well muscled men in their tights, that leave less to the imagination than football pants, jumping higher than any NBA player ever dared to dream. There is no more perfect physical specimen than a male ballet dancer.

When I was little it was Rudolph Nureyev that captured my imagination with his grace and strength. Here he is dancing with the great Dame Margot Fontegyn.

 

Currently some of my favourites include Adam Cooper and Chi Cao.

 

Adam Cooper in Swan Lake

Chi Cao reherses Don Quixote

But the one dancer who sparked the most fantasies for me was, is and always will be the incomparable Mikhail Baryshnikov. It’s hard not to be in awe of his presence even when he’s just practicing his jumping.

 

Here he is dancing in Giselle and showing us what all that practice does.

 

 

Even when he performs another genre of dance, Baryshnikov’s strength, presence and pure sex appeal cannot be equaled.

It’s impossible to watch these men perform and not see the raw masculine athleticism along side the amazing artistry. The discipline and dedication a professional ballet dancer must have is something to be admired. They are athletes in every sense of the word.