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1982: Friendly Giant Bob Homme steps out of costume

The Story

"This is the first time you've ever been on television outside of The Friendly Giant, out of character," says CBC-TV host Bob McLean in this 1982 interview. "Why was that, Bob?" Bob Homme, the actor in the lead role on CBC-TV's The Friendly Giant, explains that he thought it would have been "puzzling" for young fans to see him as a real person. So he had kept the real Bob Homme private since the show began in the 1950s, but decided to do this rare 1982 TV interview as himself in order to promote a new Friendly Giant record album.

Medium: Television
Program: McLean at Large
Broadcast Date: April 13, 1982
Guest: Bob Homme
Host: Bob McLean
Duration: 6:41

Did You know?

• Bob Homme was born in Stoughton, Wisc., on March 8, 1919. (Please note: We corrected this birthdate on April after Mr. Homme's grandson, Paul Hoepfner-Homme, told us it had been inaccurately reported as March 27, 1919.)

The Friendly Giant first began as a radio program aired in Wisconsin starting in 1953, and soon moved to television, airing on a local Wisconsin TV station. CBC executives saw the program and were impressed with it. So in 1958, the CBC invited the show's creator and star, Bob Homme, to move the show to Canada. The CBC produced The Friendly Giant from 1958 until its cancellation in 1985.

• By the time production of The Friendly Giant ended, more than 3,000 episodes had aired.

• Under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, the federal government made massive budget cuts to the CBC in December 1984.  Several days later, on Dec. 18, 1984, it was announced that The Friendly Giant was being cancelled. The last new show aired in March of 1985.

• In a Dec. 19, 1984 editorial titled "The giant-killers," the Globe and Mail strongly lamented the cancellation of The Friendly Giant. "This was an exceptional component of Canadian television, and one that will be sorely missed. Even among those whose pre-school years were left far behind, the theme music (Early One Morning) comes easily to mind and, with it, a feeling of tranquillity that can put the frantic pace of everyday life into absurd perspective."

• Homme passed away in May 2000 at the age of 81, leaving behind his wife Esther and their four children.

Also on April 13:
• 1993: The British Columbia government announces it will allow limited logging of the last major old-growth rainforest on Vancouver Island. At least half of the Clayoquot Sound is opened to logging.
• 2000: A treaty between the federal and British Columbia governments and the Nisga'a people of northwestern B.C. becomes law. The agreement gives the Nisga'a land, cash and self-government in return for giving up their tax-exempt status and abandoning further claims.
• 2003: Golfer Mike Weir of Bright's Grove, Ont., wins the Masters in Augusta, Georgia. Weir is the first Canadian to win one of the four "major" tournaments on the PGA Tour.


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