A Brief History of
Without Wayne & Shuster, there may not have been Saturday Night Live. And SCTV? Well... it’s SCTV, and spawned the careers of John Candy, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Rick Moranis, Catherine O’Hara and many others. So, what more needs to be said about the influence of Canadian sketch comedy?
Did you know that Bob Einstein’s iconic Super Dave Osborne character originally appeared on a Canadian sketch show called Bizarre? Or that before SNL, Mike Myers debuted Wayne’s World’s Wayne Campbell on a CBC series called It's Only Rock & Roll?
With this project, our goal is to not only catalog what we consider to be highlights in the history of Canadian sketch TV, but to also map how it’s changed and grown into what it’s become today; a vibrant celebration of diverse voices and perspectives like Baroness von Sketch Show and TallBoyz.
Before we invite you to discover (or re-discover) some of Canada’s incredible sketch-TV history, we do have a few things we’d like to acknowledge.
This collection is by no means exhaustive – no doubt we’ve missed many shows you might deem worthy of including. Another crucial note is that we decided to limit our focus solely on English-language programming, but we do recognize that French-Canada also has a long and rich history of sketch comedy worth discussing, and there has been some high-impact Inuktitut sketch comedy as well, namely Qanurli.
Now without any more preamble, let’s take a look at where English-Canadian sketch TV has been, and where it’s headed.
- The CBC Comedy team
Produced by: Michelle Daly, Greig Dymond, Brad Frenette, Tyrone Warner, Nick McAnulty, Calum Shanlin, Michelle Villiagracia, Jesse Todd, Vanja Mutabdzija, Chanel Klein, Aruna Dutt | Writing by: Jonathan Dekel | Website by: Mike Evans