British Columbia

Mr. Dressup crushes Kids In The Hall in the final round of The Great Canadian TV Thing

Hundreds of thousands of votes were cast in the unofficial but riveting tournament that saw Ernie Coombs come out on top.

All the Daves you know probably couldn’t have changed the outcome

The late Ernie Coombs as Mr. Dressup. (CBC Still Photo Collection)

The country can start piecing itself back together again after being torn apart in a bid to determine Canada's Most Memorable (English) TV Thing Mr. Dressup has taken the cake and done so on what would have been the 90th birthday of show star and creator Ernie Coombs.

Mr. Dressup beat out Kids In The Hall in the final round, besting 63 other shows that fit the strict criteria laid out by CBC journalist Justin McElroy.

"Your emotion for both of those [shows] come from very different places, but if it had been Mr. Dressup versus something like Corner Gas perhaps it wouldn't be quite as weird," said McElroy. 

Each round held some emotion for die-hard fans of television nostalgia. Third place was claimed after a tight run between Heritage Minutes and Degrassi, with the educational shorts edging out the teen drama with 57.7 per cent of the vote. 

McElroy, a self-described maniacal ranker-of-things, crowdsourced the original list of 64 shows and slotted them into a bracket-style tournament.

All the Daves you know probably couldn't have changed the outcome: Mr. Dressup dominated the field, earning at least 70 per cent of the vote in each round, until facing Kids in The Hall for the final showdown, and winning with 62.19 per cent of the vote.

Tell us what you think!

Help shape the future of CBC article pages by taking a quick survey.

"It beat The Friendly Giant by a little more than I was hoping for," McElroy told Rick Cluff, host of CBC's The Early Edition. 

"It's about warmth, it's about education, it's about remembering what you loved as a child, it's about preparing you for life," he said of the champion show.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Dressup

Ernie Coombs would have turned 90 on Sunday, the final day of voting. He, alongside Chester the Crow, Casey and their bottomless Tickle Trunk, bested more than just the head-crushing comedians in the hall.

Dressup beat The Friendly Giant in the final four and left The Racoons in the dust in round three. Here's a look at the list of runners-up. 

  • 5th: SCTV.
  • 6th: The Friendly Giant.
  • 7th: The Littlest Hobo.
  • 8th: Body Break.
  • Tied for 9th: Trailer Park Boys, Street Cents, Fraggle Rock, Anne of Green Gables.
  • Tied for 13th: The Beachcombers, The Raccoons, Wayne and Shuster, Corner Gas.

McElroy said he counted more than 400,000 votes, significantly more than he expected when he launched the contest as a joke several weeks ago.