Fans of The Red Green Show: forget trying to keep your stick on the ice.

Head down instead to the Hamilton Convention Centre Friday for a Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame salute to Steve Smith, the man behind the legend that is Red Green. There is a VIP reception at the Wentworth Room beginning at 6 p.m., with the main show beginning at 8 p.m.

Smith will be there in person where he will be saluted by his former Possum Lodge pal Patrick McKenna, who played his dim-witted nephew Harold. Other cast members from the series, which originated out of Hamilton’s CHCH and ran 16 seasons from 1991 to 2006, will also be on stage. Look for Peter Keleghan and Jeff Lumby, for example, to be among the Possum Posse. Mag Ruffman, who starred with Smith and his wife Morag on The Comedy Mill, will also pay homage to her former TV boss.

Comedian Ron James, always a delight on stage, will headline the comedy salute. Tickets are available here, with some proceeds going to Keaton’s House, a Children’s Hospice charity.

Besides Smith, 78, several others have been inducted this year into the Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame. Jim Carrey, Eugene Levy, Martin Short and Billy Van also were voted into the Hall, as was silent and early sound film star Marie Dressler. The entire cast of SCTV also earned a salute, as did The Happy Gang who cheered radio listeners in the 1950s.

I recenrly recorded podcast episodes with both Smith, heard here, and Tim Progosh, the actor/comedian who spearheaded efforts to create a Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame. Progosh remains dedicated to paying homage to the great comic performers who have come from Canada.


Wayne & Shuster have been lionized of late on a lunch box shown on CBC’s Son of a Critch

Among his early heroes were two Canadians he watched with his family on TV while he was a lad back in Ottawa: Wayne & Shuster. The University of Toronto grads who went on to fame through decades of CBC specials held the record for the most ever appearances on the “really big shew” of the 1950s and ’60s, The Ed Sullivan Show.

“Knowing that they were on [that series] more than any other act,” says Progosh, and knowing this series showcased The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and America’s greatest comics, “it gave me a great sense of pride in my country.”

Wayne & Shuster were among the first Canadians inducted a few years ago into this Hall of Hilarity. Find the rest of a story I wrote on the complicated history of the Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame now at Everything Zoomer.

Write A Comment