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John Candy’s Christmas gift-wrapping challenge

The Story

With rolls of paper, tape and ribbons at the ready, wrapping a gift box should be a breeze for the competitors John Candy has recruited at a shopping mall in Burnaby, B.C. But given the prize money at stake, Candy decides the boxes are too easy and supplies his guests with more challenging objects. "These are presents for my family," he says in this clip from CBC-TV's 90 Minutes Live in 1976. "Wonderful shopping out here."

Medium: Television
Program: 90 Minutes Live
Broadcast Date: Dec. 2, 1976
Guests: Samuel Kowalsek, Marilyn Lewyk, Karen Martelli
Host: Peter Gzowski
Performer: John Candy
Duration: 6:20

Did You know?

• Wrapping an awkwardly shaped gift is more easily achieved using fabric rather than paper, which folds and creases in inconvenient places. Another tip is to use a gift bag, camouflaging the object with a few layers of tissue paper. According to the BBC, a method known as Japanese pleating carefully folds the paper to accommodate the gift's unusual contours.

• John Candy joined Chicago's Second City comedy troupe in 1973 (the same year as Bill Murray), then moved to the Toronto chapter in 1974. He was among the cast when SCTV debuted on Global TV in 1976, the year of this clip.

• For more on John Candy, see the CBC Digital Archives clip John Candy: 'A very happy guy'.





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