Set in the remote woods of Northern Ontario known as “Windchill Country,” this half-hour drama centred on the adventures Sam MacPherson, former RCAF pilot turned remote Canada Post mail carrier. Each episode saw Sam land his seaplane on a remote lake and deliver mail to the remote inhabitants. Much of the episode involved the homesteaders reading their letters aloud to Sam, but usually Sam was tasked with solving a problem, such as insufficient postage or illegible handwriting. Sam regularly relied on the wisdom of his remote native friend, the mysterious Cree McGee, who referred to letters as “paper with Queen’s face” and uttered pithy expressions like, “White man stole our land.”
Apple-cheeked hostess Mme Louise and her sidekick puppet, the chain-smoking Mauvaise Haleine, each week invited young viewers into her cabane-à-sucre on Lac-de-la-Banane-Rigide to teach them how to swear in French, using songs like “When We’re Angry And Upset, We Say ‘Câlisse’” and “Tout-le-Monde Est Tout Fucké.”
The Leonard Cohen Meshuggeneh Hour
Airing during Canada’s disco craze (May-September 1978), this variety show featured the monotone Montreal poet in a series of sketches, most often just Cohen in house-frau drag complaining about the price of gefilte fish. This was punctuated by performances by Cohen with musical guests such as Buffy Sainte-Marie and literary theorist Northrop Frye. Frequently Cohen would go off script and wander into the studio audience to pick up girls. The show was only half an hour long but, much like Cohen’s songs, felt like an hour.
He’s the parliamentary sergeant-at-arms. She’s a Liberal backbencher for the riding of Beaverly-Mooseburton. Morgan and Maureen are the hottest couple in the House of Commons! But you won’t see their romance recorded in Hansard, because if they go public, killjoy Prime Minister Georges Bordeaux (Leslie Nielsen with a French accent) will remove Maureen from the Standing Committee on Issues That Affect Women And Stuff. Procedural shenanigans ensue. Wildly popular in Saskatoon but that’s it, the sit-com was riddled with such innuendo as “I’d like to sit on your Privy Council,” “You could use a vigorous session with the Party Whip,” and “Nice mace.”
Prince of Edward Island
Not an actual prince, but a real prince of a guy named Gary Prince living in a Maritime fishing village who, along with his cultural stereotype friends, spends his days terrorizing “people from away” while neglecting his shrewish wife. Nobody seems to have a job. Most Canadians can still sing the theme song:
When he’s walking down the dock
His pointy head he will cock
He’ll give his hat!—or even tie lend
He’s a mensch, he’s a god
He reeks of five-day-old cod
He’s the Prince!—Of Edward Island
Hey, What’s That?
A weekly information show in which hosts Carole Smith and Ray Heath sat in a studio and speculated on photos of “interesting and mysterious things” they spotted while driving across the country in their 1971 Pontiac Acadian, never actually getting out of the car to determine exactly what they were. Ran for 11 seasons.
The Littlest Hobo
Adventures of a tiny Winnipeg homeless man who constantly needs rescuing from storm drains.