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Comedy team Hart and Lorne in 1970

The Story

Comedy is hard. Go out and do a nightclub show and people will dance to the music bleeding up from the place downstairs rather than laugh at your jokes. But things are getting better for the team of Hart Pomerantz and Lorne Michaels, two Toronto comedians who have already been on TV a few times and are about to debut The Hart & Lorne Terrific Hour on CBC-TV. In this 1970 interview from the CBC daytime talk show Luncheon Date, the pair tries to tell host Elwood Glover how they create comedy. 

Medium: Television
Program: Luncheon Date
Broadcast Date: Oct. 30, 1970
Host: Elwood Glover
Guests: Hart Pomerantz, Lorne Michaels
Duration: 12:11

Did You know?

The Hart & Lorne Terrific Hour featured a live audience, an opening stand-up sequence by the hosts, and a musical guest or two amid a series of comedy sketches. Many Canadian actors including Jayne Eastwood, Jackie Burroughs and Andrea Martin appeared on the show and musical guests included James Taylor, Lighthouse, Cat Stevens and Murray McLauchlan. Hart's brother Earl was a writer for the show, which aired at least six times in 1970 and 1971 on the evening program Sunday at Nine.

• CBC was still transitioning its programming from black and white to colour in 1970; Luncheon Date was still black and white, but the Hart & Lorne Terrific Hour was in colour.

• Lorne Michaels went on to a career in comedy, creating the long-running U.S. sketch series Saturday Night Live in 1975. As of 2015 it is still on television with Michaels at the helm. Hart Pomerantz went on to be a panelist on the CBC game show This is the Law, in which obscure laws were acted out and panellists had to guess which ones were fake. As of 2015 he works as a lawyer in Toronto.

• October 1970 was, as Pomerantz says here, no time for jokes in Canada. The FLQ, a group that advocated for the separation of Quebec, had escalated its violent tactics and taken a government minister and a British diplomat hostage. Learn more about the October Crisis.


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