Sunday, March 27, 2011

Roger Abbott. A Canadian comic genius passes away.

I just found out that Roger Abbott, star of the Royal Canadian Air Farce, has passed away at the age of 64. I feel a bit like I've lost a funny uncle. Air Farce was a huge part of my political education as a teenager, and my life is richer for Abbott's humour.

I often get asked where I developed my interest in Canadian politics. Roger Abbott and Air Farce were a huge part of it. My dad introduced me to the radio show when I was eleven, and we used to go to the annual Toronto tapings at Massey Hall. I also used to record the show off the radio every weekend, building up a rather sizeable library of past episodes (which I just digitized) that I used to listen when I went to bed. I could recite many sketches from memory. I always got the impression that Roger Abbott, along with Don Ferguson, were at the core of the show. They always did the voice overs for the repeat episodes and the new CDs and the announcements for the Frequent Flyer club (my magnet is still proudly displayed on my fridge). The fact that I have a rather quirky and cynical approach to Canadian politics was probably largely due to their antics.

Canadian politics and Canadian humour was made much richer by Roger Abbott's contributions. He will be sorely missed. Thanks for all the laughter!

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At 8:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt - have you made those digitized episodes available online? (Not sure about copyright issues and such :) But I also grew up listening to Air Face on the radio - I actually liked it better than the TV version. There is one radio show I'd love to listen to again - there was a skit about a church service that tried to accommodate every religious ideology imaginable - I found it hilarious at the time and wondered if it would still be as funny. The other was a tv episode where the AF guys were dressed as a beaver, and another animal or two and their noses were out of joint because the elk had been introduced on the back of the Canadian quarter. I think it was mid-90s for that one. Anyway, it would be great to hear those again if they are online somewhere....or emailable! Can't seem to submit my comment by signing into gmail so pls reply via this:)

At 8:34 am, Blogger Matt said...

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I don't have either of those episodes, or I'd try to find a way to share them. I don't think there is a digital archive of the regular broadcasts, although there is a site where you can listen to some of the old CDs (like the Green Album). The only problem is that it uses RealAudio - which is kind of retro, as far as web technology goes.


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