home  •    about us  •    courses  •    student work  •    alumni news  •    what's new

CBC Television Series, 1952-1982

by Blaine Allan

Return to
CBC Series Index



CBC sports broadcast lacrosse games in the popular time slot on Saturday nights on three occasions in September 1954. Although a popular game, lacrosse has never attracted a substantial television audience, and the CBC has rarely given it the opportunity to do so. The network taped competitions at the Canada Games in Halifax during the summer of 1969; the broadcasts, produced by Rick Rice and hosted by Tom McKee, appeared on Saturday afternoons, at varying times, during the autumn of that year.

Lady Is A Four Letter Word

Fri 1:00-1:30 p.m., 11 Apr-30 May 1975

Many network television attempts at topicality suffer from the safeguards and standardization that fall into place and, when the program finally goes to air, it appears misguided. This half-hour program from Ottawa was criticized for lagging behind the times of the women's movement that it tried to represent. Journalist and broadcaster Elizabeth Gray (who would later excel as Barbara Frum's replacement on CBC radio's As It Happens) hosted, with her announcer, and the show's "token male," Bob Carl. It tried to deal with modern women and traditional institutions, such as marriage, the state of being single, the home, the workplace, the law. The program also called attention to current sexism by inscribing the names of the perpetrators on its "honour roll," a roll of toilet paper. The show aired locally in an early evening time period, starting 20 January 1975, before it went to the network in an afternoon time slot. Nancy McLarty produced.


Sun 1:00-1:30 p.m., 4 Jan-22 Feb 1970

John Kettle hosted Landmark, a series of eight, half-hour programs on the development and sale of natural resources. Produced by the CBC's agriculture and resources department, the series had its premiere on the same afternoon This Land Of Ours (q.v.) started the 1970 season with a program on the potential destruction of Canada's parklands. Landmark dealt with the political implications in the use of foreign capital to develop Canadian resources, and employed a number of consultants: Robert Fowler, president of the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, Larry Dack of the Financial Post, Jim Hilborn of Corpus Communications, and Charles Law of Research and Publishing Services. The programs were shot in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, British Columbia, New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., and produced by Loyd Brydon, Doug Lower, and Eric McLeery in Toronto, Jack Zolov in Montreal, and Mike Poole in Vancouver. George Salverson wrote the scripts, and the series was produced by Julian Smither, with executive producer Doug Wilkinson.


An ebullient and enthusiastic conversatonalist, Laurier LaPierre hosted a late night talk show, formerly called Midnight From Montreal, later simply given his name as a title. LaPierre, which was produced by Pat Cook, aired both locally on weeknights, and through the network on Sunday nights. The program never gained the endorsement of the CBC as a competitor in the late night talk show sweepstakes that the network has desired (See Canada After Dark; 90 Minutes Live).

Although trained as an historian, and although he gained celebrity status on This Hour Has Seven Days (q.v.), LaPierre's interests ranged widely, and the show included guests from all fields, Canadians and foreign personalities who were passing through Montreal. The program included, as well as chat, music directed by Leon Bernier or with guest performers.

Although often infectious, LaPierre's bubbling eagerness could sometimes seem misplaced. When Allen Ginsberg, for instance, was demonstrating Buddhist chanting, LaPierre chanted, too, and enhorted the studio audience to join in as if it were a singalong (though with someone like Ginsberg, such a reaction may not be as misguided as it first seems). Sometimes, LaPierre concentrated on a specific topic, such as women in violent crimes, biorhythms, or acupuncture, for the entire program.

Producer Cook also packaged a series of half-hour compendiums, called The Best Of LaPierre, broadcast on Saturday evenings.

Last Of The Mohicans

Fri 8:00-8:30 p.m., 27 Sep 1957-19 Sep 1958

Normandie Productions, the Canadian subsidiary of Television Programs of America, a U.S. company, produced Last Of The Mohicans and The Adventures of Tugboat Annie (q.v.) in Canada, with U.S. stars and directors and Canadian crews, equipments, and supporting actors. The CBC guaranteed air dates for the thirty-eight episodes, which were also syndicated to l39 stations in the U.S.A. and sold to networks in the U.K., Australia, France, and Central America.

The series, also called Hawkeye And The Last Of The Mohicans, starred John Hart as Hawkeye, the hero of James Fenimore Cooper's novel, and Lon Chaney, Jr. as Chingachgook, his Mohican blood brother. Supporting players included George Barnes, Beryl Braithwaite, Powys Thomas, Joan Root, Lloyd Chester, Hugh Watson, and Don Cullen. The programs were directed by Sam Newfield and produced by Don McTaggart.

The Late Show

Thu 11:40-1:10 a.m., 7 Jan-27 May 1971

The Lenny Breau Show

Fri 8:00-8:30 p.m., 12 Aug-9 Sep 1966

Probably the greatest jazz guitarist Canada has ever produced, Lenny Breau was the centre of this musical variety show from Winnipeg. It ran on the network for a few weeks in summer 1966. The program also featured an orchestra conducted by Bob McMullin.

Leo And Me

Fri 2:30-3:00 p.m., 29 May-14 Aug 1981

A situation comedy, produced in Vancouver, Leo And Me was notable as a vehicle for one of the country's most talented young actors, Brent Carver, and a newcomer, Mike Fox, who later moved to the U.S.A., became Michael J. Fox, and gained stardom in the NBC-TV series Family Ties and the 1985 feature film, Back To The Future.

Carver played Leo, an energetic character likely to get into trouble, and Fox played Jamie, his more sensible, twelve year old nephew. They lived together on a yacht in Vancouver harbour. The cast also included Shirley Milliner as Leo's sister, Mina E. Mina as her husband, and Guy Bannerman, Colin Vint, and Simon Webb.

The comedy and adventure series ran for twelve half-hours in the afternoon. It was created by Marv Campone, written by Marc and Susan Strange, and produced by Don Ecclestone. Leo And Me was produced in 1979 and aired on the network two years later.

The Leslie Bell Singers

See C.G.E Showtime.

Let's Call The Whole Thing Orff

Sat 7:00-7:30 p.m., 18 Sep 1971-20 May 1972

Comedy Cafe, Comedy Crackers, and Zut! had all spun off the CBC radio series Funny You Should Say That, and Let's Call The Whole Thing Orff extended and diluted the concept by one more step. However, the earlier shows had employed the talents of most or all of the radio cast, while Orff retained only Barrie Baldaro. Like the radio show, in the earlier series, biculturalism formed a crucial part of the sketch humour. Let's Call The Whole Thing Orff retained the strain of biculturalism with the participation of comic actors Yvon Ducharme and Andree Boucher and singer France Castel. However, it was much more quickly paced, with blackouts instead of developed sketches, the development of characters and types gave way to one-liners, and content took a backseat to velocity. The cast also included Peggy Mahon, Terrence G. Ross, and Wally Martin, with appearances by singer Diane Dufresne. Francois Cousineau conducted the band. David Harriman and Al Boliska wrote the scripts, and Bill Weston was the executive producer.

Let's Do It

Wed 7:30-8:00 p.m., 26 Jun-11 Sep 1974

Produced by Bob Moir for CBC sports, Let's Do It was a combination of instructions in physical fitness and games or sports that typically received little coverage on television. The eleven, half-hour segments featured Tom McKee and Debbie Molina.

Let's Face It

Sun 10:00-10:30 p.m., 20 Oct-29 Dec 1963

Byron Riggan had produced a program called Let's Face It, which concerned issues of contemporary Quebec and was broadcast locally on Montreal station CBMT, when he started producton on a show of the same title, with wider ranging subjects, for the national network. The national version of Let's Face It, a half-hour show still produced in Montreal, alternated with Horizon, and ran on every other Sunday night. It anticipated This Hour Has Seven Days as a sometimes satirical examination of current events and their causes and significance, and as a program on the English language network that included the onscreen contributions of Francophones. The show's correspondents were located across the country, in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec, and Halifax. In Montreal, throaty- voiced and caustic, Austrian-born Daisy de Bellefeuille of the National Film Board, journalist Peter Desbarats, radio announcer Jacques Fauteux, actor and interviewer Renee Girard, film producer and television personality Guy Mauffette, and actor Henry Ramer all supplied items for Let's Face It. Pauline Julien and Liane Marshall also provided songs.

In addition to national events, the program covered international news, and sought out interviews. As the series began, one of its crews returned from Europe where it had gathered interviews with Arthur Koestler, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Anthony Sampson, the author of Anatomy Of Britain, John Griggs, who had given up his title as Lord Altrincham, and the Bishop of Woolwich.

Writers for the show included Ken Johnstone, Sonja Sinclair,and Gerald Taafe, and the editor was Edgar Sarton.

Let's Go

Mon 5:30-6:00 p.m., 28 Sep 1964-21 Jun 1965

Mon-Fri 5:30-6:00 p.m., 2 Oct 1967-26 Jun 1968

Disk jockeys Fred Latremouille and Red Robinson were the original hosts of Let's Go, the Vancouver segment of Music Hop (q.v.), seen on Monday afternoons. They introduced music from the hit parade, performed by guests and the house band, a sextet called the Classics. Also featured were singers Bobby Faulds, Mike Campbell, Tom Baird, Susan Pesklevits, and Bonnie Huber.

In 1967, the host was Howie Vickers, and the program moved to Tuesdays in February of that year. Along with the Let's Go band, the show also presented Patty Surbey, Bruce Bissell, Mark Midler, and go-go dancer Toni Sinclair.

The following season, Music Hop, which was stripped in a weekday afternoon time slot, adopted the name of the Vancouver segment, and the daily show was called Let's Go. The Halifax show, on Mondays, featured host Frank Cameron, with Anne Murray and Doug Billard. The Tuesday Montreal edition was hosted by Robert Demontigny. The Toronto show, on Wednesdays, bore the remnants of the original Music Hop series, with Diane Miller, formerly of the Girlfriends, tenor saxophone player Don "D.T." Thompson, Jay Jackson, and Norman Amadio and the New Sounds band. In the Winnipeg show, on Thursdays, Chad Allan--whose own band formed the nucleus of the Guess Who-- introduced new talent. The Vancouver segment, which ended the week, had no regular host. Mike Campbell fronted the first four weeks and Tom Northcott followed him. They introduced such performers as Patty Surbey, Joanie Taylor, and Ed Whiting.

This low budget series operated at a cost of about two thousand dollars a show, and was produced by Allan Angus. Among the writers was Sandy Stern.

Let's Go Camping

Mon 4:30-5:00 p.m., 6 Jun-21 Jun 1955

Norman Cragg presented this half-hour program, which ran in June 1955. With shows on such subjects as "rainy day program" and "counselor in program," this appears to have been intended to prepare children for summer camp, not for general outdoor holidays.

Let's Go To The Museum

Tue 5:00-5:30 p.m., 5 Oct 1954-5 Apr 1955

Tue 5:00-5:30 p.m., 2 Oct-18 Dec 1956

Robin MacNeill, later a U.S. network news correspondent and co-host of PBS's The MccNeill-Lehrer Report, hosted this half-hour children's broadcast from the National Museum in Ottawa. Programs included items on a trip by the Macoun Field Club, an examination of the work of museum artists on life-sized models of native people, and reports on animals of Canada and on meteorites. Marion Dunn produced.

Let's Look

In Let's Look, Donald K. Crowdis, director of the Nova Scotia Museum of Science, encouraged children's curiosity about science and nature by looking at a variety of everyday objects and phenomena as well as examples that viewers might not normally encounter. On the first program, Crowdis discussed and showed some animals associated with Hallowe'en, which was a few days away. Several programs dealt with subjects that pertained to the Atlantic region, such as lobsters, sailmaking, and the tides, or the Celtic ancestry in Nova Scotia, like how bagpipes work. The setting for the informal broadcast was decorated like Crowdis's basement workshop. Denny Spence produced Let's Look in Halifax.

Let's Make Music

Tue 5:00-5:30 p.m., 27 Sep-3 Oct 1953

Wed 5:00-5:30 p.m., 21 Oct 1953-25 May 1954

David Ouchterlony of the Royal Conservatory of Music discussed principles of music for children in this acclaimed, half-hour program. The success of the program, which had an informal format, hinged on Ouchterlony's own ability to communicate and demonstrate music in a way that was meaningful and not patronizing. Sometimes, the program taught appreciation, as he played music of different types from different areas of the world. At other times, he demonstrated more fundamental aspects of musical theory, as when he showed viewers how to construct an attractive tune with only three notes. Peggy Nairn produced the series in Toronto.

Let's See

Mon-Sun 7:15-7:30 p.m., 6 Sep-20 Dec 1952

Mon-Sat 6:45-7:00 p.m., 9 Mar-4 Jul 1953

It seems somehow typical of the CBC, and typically Canadian, that a modest puppet show, whose main purpose was to tell viewers what was coming up that evening on television and provide a weather forecast, itself became one of the most popular shows on TV and a national institution. Better known by the name of its main character, Uncle Chichimus, Let's See, a fifteen minute, daily program guide, broadcast in the early evening, has become a hallmark of Canadian television. Like its U.S. counterpart, Kukla, Fran, and Ollie, Let's See provided viewers with the adventures of a couple of puppets and a human character, and, though it seemed to be pitched to children, it attained a degree of sophistication and attracted an equally loyal adult audience.

A bald fellow with round features, Uncle Chichimus facially resembled Kukla, but differed markedly in temperament. Chich was a cranky, though brilliant, curmudgeon. His creator, John Conway described him: Right from the start he seemed to me the acme of culture and dignity. . . . His manner was that of an Easterner--well-rounded, a typical example of the 'old school,' and quite antique. I found out later that he had distinguished himself as a man of science. As Canada's only living alchemist he had tried transforming lead into gold, but gave it up when he found it was more the fashion to follow cultured pursuits and forget about money. At times, however, he still takes an interest in things scientific. He was made president of the Canadian Bug-watchers' Association when he succeeded in capturing the video-iconoscopus, the bug that distorts pictures in TV sets" ("Uncle Chichimus and Holly Hock--CBLT's Mascots," CBC Times [l9-25 October 1952]). As Chichimus Productions, he was also as likely to produce the spectacular cultural event, Twenty Leaks Under The Waterline. Evidently, the program's tone demonstrated tongue planted in cheek.

Chich was assisted by Holly Hock, his niece and housekeeper who, in Hugh Garner's words, had "the hatchet-shaped visage of a retired private secretary and a horsetail hairdo made from a string mop" ("Planet X and Punch and Judy," Saturday Night [l3 March 1954]). he was aggravated by a younger character, Pompey, and sometimes by the human characters, first CBC weatherman Percy Saltzman, and then actor Larry Mann, whom Chich called Lawrence, and who often changed hats, accents, and voices, and played multiple parts in the short broadcast.

Let's See was produced by Norman Campbell, Franz Kraemer, Norman Jewison, and Don Brown, with the help or script assistant Joan Hughes and, of course, Chich himself.

Let's Sing

THu 10:30-11:00 p.m., 25 Jul-27 Sep 1957

The second network show to have been broadcast live from Winnipeg, Let's Sing was set in a different area of the world each week, and presented music of that region. The ten, half-hour programs featured an orchestra conducted by Eric Wild and the James Duncan Chorus: Norma Vadeboncoeur, Kay Brown, Peggy Ann Truscott, Paul Fredette, and Gordon Parker.

Let's Sing Out

Fri 5:30-6:00 p.m., 7 Oct 1966-7 Jul 1967

Fri 5:30-6:00 p.m., 5 Jul-20 Sep 1968 (R)

Producer Syd Banks appropriated the concept of the U.S. television show Hootenanny by producing Let's Sing Out with college audiences at different university campuses across the country. Canadian expatriate Oscar Brand returned to host Let's Sing Out, and many of the guest performers came from the U.S.: Josh White, Jr., Eric Andersen, Tom Rush, Phil Ochs. Banks had introduced the program on CTV in 1964, and defected with it to the public network two years later. (It was replaced on the private network with another show called Brand: New Scene, also starring Oscar Brand.) The U.S. show pasteurized folk music by refusing to book controversial performers. The CBC show appeared at the tail end of the folk music revival, when the protest in popular music was moving more noticeably toward rock.

Let's Speak English

Sat/Sun 12:00-12:30 p.m., 7 Oct 1961-11 Apr 1962

Wed 11:30-12:00 noon, 7 Oct 1961-11 Apr 1962

A series of seventy-eight half-hour lessons in English as a second language, Let's Speak English was produced by the CBC in association with the Metropolitan Education Television Association, Canadian Scene, an ethnic news service, the citizenship division of the Ontario Provincial Government, and the federal department of citizenship and immigration. The Saturday and Sunday broadcasts provided the main lessons, with reviews on Wednesdays.

The course used mimicry and memory to teach the English language through sentences and phrases that relate to everyday occurrences, and demonstrated what was being said through dramatization.

The onscreen teachers were John Wevers of the University of Toronto, Betty Fullerton, a high school teacher from Scarborough, and, starting with the seventh program, Barry Callaghan, then at the University of Toronto.

Consultants for the series were Donald Theall and Michael Kay of the University of Toronto. The first four programs were produced by Peggy [Nairn] Liptrott, and the remainder by Rena Elmer.

Let's Talk Music

Sun 12:30-1:00 p.m., 6 May-24 Jun 1962

Tue 6:00-6:30 p.m., 20 Jul-28 Sep 1965

Fri 6:00-7:00 p.m., 8 Jul-16 Sep 1966

Wed 2:00-2:30 p.m., 5 Jul-11 Oct 1967

Pianist William Stevens and CBC announcer Norman Kihl, co-hosts of this half-hour program from Montreal, presented serious music for viewers who knew little about the subject. Stevens discussed different types of music, musical forms, and instruments with guests such as harpist Dorothy Weldon, tenor Robert Peters, and tympanist Louis Charbonneau, and demonstrated by playing selections from the classics. The program aired on the network in 1962, and continued on a local basis in Ontario and Quebec for several years.

Life And The Land

Sat 6:00-6:30 p.m., 2 Apr-31 Dec 1966

Formerly titled Countrytime (q.v.), Life And The Land was both a national and local, thirty minute broadcast on agriculture and gardening. In the first fifteen minutes, the program presented items of general interest, produced in Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver, or Winnipeg. They included items on opportunities in agriculture education, and documentaries on mink ranching in Nova Scotia, the Empire Valley Ranch in British Columbia's Cariboo Country, the Beach Co-op Farm in Winnipeg, and dog control in the suburbs of Toronto. The second segment of the show concerned gardening, with local broadcasts, custom made for the different regions of the country. The experts were Earl Cox, for Ontario and Quebec, Gordon Warren for the Atlantic provinces, Stan Westway for the Prairie provinces, and Bernard Moore for the Pacific region. Larry Gosnell and Rena Elmer produced the series.

Life In Canada Today

Fri 5:00-5:30 p.m., 19 Mar-9 Apr 1954

Half-hour television documentaries supplemented the schools broadcasts for grades five to eight on CBC radio's Trans-Canada network. Subjects included prospecting for uranium in Saskatchewan, ranching in Alberta, the Kitimat power project, and the maple sugar industry. The program was produced by Sydney Newman and the commentator was Thom Benson.

The Little Revue

Mon 9:30-10:00 p.m., 25 May-8 Jun 1953

A complement to The Big Revue, this half-hour variety program was hosted by Monty Hall, and featured guest singers and regular dancer Alan Lund. It lasted two weeks and was replaced by Floor Show.

Live A Borrowed Life

Wed 8:30-9:00 p.m., 1 Jul-23 Sep 1959

Wed 8:30-9:00 p.m., 30 Sep 1959-21 Sep 1960

Thu 8:00-8:30 p.m., 29 Sep 1960-29 Jun 1961

Mon 8:30-9:00 p.m., 25 Sep 1961-25 Jun 1962

What Front Page Challenge was to news and the history of current events, Live A Borrowed Life was to biography. Each week, three authorities appeared as contestants and each represented a well-known person. By asking questions, the panelists had to figure out who the contestant represented. The show's host was writer and radio and television personality Charles Templeton. The regular panelists, who were joined by a guest each week, were actor and announcer Bill Walker, former teacher Elwy Yost, and Anna Cameron, one of the hosts of the afternoon show, Open House. After the first season, Cameron moved to the U.K., to return and host Take Thirty in 1962. No new regular panelist replaced her on Live A Borrowed Life. Instead, two guest panelists were invited to participate each week. During the summer of 1960, the program went on the road, and the CBC produced programs in Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Montreal. The show's writer was Bernard Slade, and the producers were Claude Baikie (l959), Drew Crossan (l960-6l), and Len Casey (l96l-62).

Live And Learn

Wed 6:00-6:30 p.m., 15 Oct 1959-12 May 1965

Sun 1230-1:00 p.m., 15 Oct 1959-12 May 1965 (R)

Produced in cooperation with the University of Toronto, Live And Learn, a thirty minute, weekly educational broadcast, started as a local broadcast on CBLT. Other CBC stations picked up many of the series for local broadcast. Each program was regularly shown twice a week. The program, which was originally called Course Of Knowledge, started with a series on psychology with Professor Carleton Williams, and in subsequent weeks offered concise courses in a wide variety of fields in the humanities and the sciences. They included Focus On Physics, aired in autumn 1958, with Patterson Hume and Donald Ivey of the University of Toronto. In later seasons, production expanded to centres other than Toronto. With faculty from Carleton University, Betty Zimmerman produced series in Ottawa: Perception and Learning, with Robert Wake and Russell Wendt, presented in June 196l, and Conditions for Life, with David Baird, presented November 1963. The Old New World, a series on archaeology, which aired in spring 1964, and The Plant Kingdom, presented a year later, both originated in Winnipeg. In February 1965, the series also presented Lyrics and Legends, a series on folk music in the U.S.A., produced in 1963 by WHYY-TV Philadelphia. Among the notable efforts were introductory courses in language instruction. In the 1960 season, the series offered a twenty-six week course in Russian, which could be applied toward university credit in Toronto. Live And Learn also won a 1960 award from the Institute for Education in Radio and Television at Ohio State University for its course in French, which was cited as "a stimulating and authoritative presentation of French history and culture through the French language and through French literature."

The Lively Arts

Tue 10:30-11:00 p.m., 3 Oct 1961-6 Mar 1962

Tue 10:30-11:00 p.m., 2 Oct 1962-19 Mar 1963

Wed 10:30-11:00 p.m., 20 May-24 Jun 1964

A weekly, half-hour magazine of the arts and culture, The Lively Arts provided viewers with a selection of studio and filmed interviews and features. Most originated with the CBC, though some were purchased from the BBC and other producers. The producers, Vincent Tovell and Barry Harris, surveyed both subjects in traditional art and mass culture. The opening season included features on painter David Milne, actor and film director John Cassavetes, television star and producer Ernie Kovacs, sculptor Henry Moore, poet Ezra Pound, and the artistic director of the Manitoba Theatre Centre, John Hirsch. The series also aired Lonely Boy, the National Film Board's landmark documentary on singer Paul Anka. Daryl Duke directed The Lively Arts, and the hosts were Henry Comor (l96l-62) and Harry Mannis (l962-63).


Mon 7:30-8:00 p.m., 3 May 1954-27 Jun 1955

Wed 7:30-8:00 p.m., 5 May 1954-23 Mar 1955

Tue/Thu/Fri 7:30-8:00 p.m., 2 Jul-30 Sep 1954

Fri 7:30-8:00 p.m., 8 Oct 1954-1 Jul 1955

Producer Ross McLean followed the success of the daily public affairs and interview show, Tabloid, with another early evening broadcast, Living, with one of the earlier show's stars, Elaine Grand. Living was essentially a specialized wing of Tabloid, meant to concentrate on items intended to appeal to a female audience. Regular contributors included John Hall on design, Iona Monahan on fashion, Dr. S.R. Laycock on children and family guidance, Lois Lister on gardening, Eristella Langdon on cooking, and Peter Whittall on handicrafts. Although the program may seem to have been lightweight, it did examine controversial problems that related to domestic and daily life. In the summer of 1955, for example, it included special inquiries into child adoption, problems of the elderly, flouridation of driking water, and contemporary teenagers.

Grand was a talented interviewer and an attractively relaxed performer on the air, but the plans for Living did not match the wide-ranging eclecticism of the Tabloid format, in which she had proven remarkably successful. She left the CBC in 1955 to move to the U.K., where she hosted Lucky Dip, a music and interview show, and Sharp At Four, a program for homemakers for commercial British television. She returned to Canada at intervals in 1957 to co-host the Chrysler Festival (q.v.). After the demise of Living, Peter Whittall went on to star in his own show, Mr. Fixit (q.v.).

The Living Sea

Sun 4:30-5:00 p.m., 7 Jul-15 Sep 1957

Sun 3:30-4:00 p.m., 22 Sep-13 Oct 1957

Sun 3:30-4:00 p.m., 5 Jan-30 Mar 1958

Wed 5:30-6:00 p.m., 4 Jul-19 Sep 1962 (R)

Ian McTaggart-Cowan, professor of zoology at teh University of British Columbia, hosted this summer documentary series on animal and plant life in the sea. Programs dealt with such subjects as theories of origins of the earth and the oceans and of the origins of living creatures; early concepts of the sea; the development of navigation; the causes and effects of tides; ocean diving; and oceanic life below the levels that light can penetrate. Ken Bray produced the series in Vancouver, and Tom Connachie supervised the repeat broadcasts in l962.

Locker Room

Sat 6:30-6:45 p.m., 7 Jul-15 Sep 1956

A live broadcast from Toronto, produced by George Retzlaff, Locker Room was a review of the week in sports, with film and interviews featuring host Steve Douglas.

Lolly Too Dum

Originally scheduled for just three broadcasts, this half-hour of folk songs proved successful enough to last condiserably longer. The Vancouver production starred Betty Phillips, who had a classically trained voice, and Ernie Prentice, whose singing voice was untrained, and their guests included Richard Dyer-Bennett.

Long Shot

Sun 10:30-11:00 p.m., 28 Jun-27 Sep 1959

After leaving Tabloid, Ross McLean produced another humour and interview show for the CBC. Long Shot, which replaced Fighting Words over the summer of 1959, had more of a satiric edge than Tabloid, but was generally judged an unsuccessful attempt at commentary or entertainment. The show's hosts were announcer Ward Cornell and Olga Kwasniak, who was a cellist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Many of the guest comics came from the U.S.A., including Jonathan Winters, Bob and Ray, and writers Jack Douglas and Harry Golden. Other guests included the author of Parkinson's Law, C. Northcote Parkinson, Canadian writer Gregory Clark, wrestlers Lord Athol Layton, Yukon Eric, Hardboiled Haggarty, Ricky Starr, and Gene Kiniski, and a hobo named Boxcar Betty.

A Long View Of Canadian History

Tue 10:30-11:00 p.m., 16/30 Jun 1959

For this two part series on Canadian history, producer Cliff Solway filmed a five and a half hour discussion between two University of Toronto professors: Donald Creighton, of the history department, well known for his biography of Sir John A. Macdonald, and Paul Fox, of the department of political science, who appeared regularly on CBC television. The resulting two hours of film were then edited down into two thirty minute programs on the subject of Canadian history. In the discussion, Creighton expressed the positive values that he found in the struggle to create and build Canada. He disputed a number of theories about the development and character of the nation, including a frontier model more appropriate to the U.S.A., views of the divisive quality of the nation's treatment of Francophone and Anglophone cultures, and argued against the overshadowing of important figures in Canadian history.

Looking At Art

Fri 8:00-8:30 p.m., 27 Aug-24 Sep 1954

Looking At Art, a thirty minute program from Vancouver, included interviews with artist Jack Shadbolt on the British collection at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and with Cliff Robinson on stage design.

Look Who's Here

Tue 10:00-10:30 p.m., 3 Jun-19 Aug 1975

Tue 9:30-10:00 p.m., 1 Jun-14 Sep 1976

Sun 12:30-1:00 p.m., 10 Apr-26 Jun 1977 (R)

A summer series produced by Don Brown, Look Who's Here featured interviews, most with Canadian personalities, or with people who had slipped from the public eye. Each program also featured a different interviewer. Shows including ballet star Dame Margot Fonteyn, interviewed by Lorraine Thomson; wrestler Whipper Billy Watson, interviewed by Gordon Sinclair; singer Gisele MacKenzie talking with Bill Lawrence; announcer and newsreader Larry Henderson in conversation with current newsreader Lloyd Robertson; singer Joyce Sullivan interviewed by bandleader Howard Cable; Norman Jewison questioned by Toby Robins; bandleader Mart Kenney and singer Norma Locke talking with Elwood Glover; and musician Robert Farnon interviewed by Anna Cameron.

Luncheon Date

From 1963 to 1970, Luncheon Date, the noontime interview show starring CBC staff announcer Elwood Glover was shot with one camera and broadcast live locally, over CBLT, from the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel. The Four Seasons, located on Jarvis Street at Carlton was an appropriate and convenient location, because it was just across the street from the CBC's main production centre in Toronto, and, in fact, more network business was probably done in various locations around the Four Seasons than in the CBC building itself.

Glover hosted a Toronto afternoon drive time show, called "At Ease With Elwood Glover," on CJBC, and, from 1956, also presided over a noontime half-hour broadcast called "Luncheon Date." The radio broadcast consisted mostly of popular recorded music and public service announcements. In 1962 the broadcast moved from the CJBC studios to the newly built Four Seasons dining room. A year later, the CBC decided to try the show on television, and made test films of the radio broadcast, which had moved to the hotel lobby. The program was simulcast on television and radio for the 1963 season. An amiable and avuncular interviewer, Glover conducted four or five innocuous and polite conversations with Toronto personalities or visiting performers or celebrities, usually plugging a book, movie, record, or personal appearance. In summers, the Glover show moved from the lobby into the hotel's courtyard. The program did have an unusual format in so far as it surrounded a U.S. soap opera. The sixty minute Luncheon Date was broadcast in two segments: thirty minutes from noon to l2:30, and thirty minutes from l:00 to l:30.

In 1970 the show underwent a facelift, expanded its coverage to the national network, and expanded to ninety minutes. Actually, only CBC-owned stations received the full hour and a half; affiliates received the first and last half hour. With an increased budget, the production values increased, although the show always retained an exceptional modesty, partly because of Glover's own quiet and understated personality and partly because, after all, it was just a simple interview show. The production moved to larger quarters in to accommodate an audience of about a hundred. The show now included a musical trio fronted by pianist and crooner Sonny Caulfield, who had appeared on such CBLT shows as Sunday Morning and Islands And Princesses. They punctuated the succession of conversations with musical numbers. Al Boliska also joined the show on a regular basis for a weekly satirical look at the news. Although the show's format remained essentially the same, the producers tended to book fewer guests and give them more time over the new ninety minute program. They found problems in trying to book a sufficient number of guests to fill a daily slate of Glover-style interviews, which were not at all "in-depth," and starting November 197l, the show was cut back to sixty minutes. Glover's regular replacement as the show's host was Bruce Marsh, another CBC announcer with an equally mellifluous voice.

For most of its history, Luncheon Date broadcast from the Four Seasons, but it periodically moved to different locations. The production unit annually set up for three weeks and the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, and the show was broadcast from Expo '67 for one week during centennial year. From 197l to l973, Glover and a production crew taped interviews in the U.K. for later use. In July 1973, Luncheon Date travelled to Edmonton to broadcast from the Klondike Days Festival, the first time the program moved outside Toronto.

Glover estimated that he had interviewed some ll,500 guests on the radio and television versions of Luncheon Date, so it would be impossible to provide any satisfactory accounting. However, he has recorded the events that elicited the greatest viewer reaction, two of which involved poetry readings. On the first of November 1972, Terry Rowe made his first appearance on the show, and read some of the fluffy love poetry he had recently published in a volume called To You With Love. In July 1974, a prop man and set decorator named Keath Barrie, who also wrote songs, read a long ode, "On Being Canadian." The most spectacular event to take place on this exceptionally modest show, however, was the marriage of Lena Walsh and country singer Stompin' Tom Connors, on 2 November 1973.

After suffering a hearing impairment in 1973, and later doubts about the show's appeal and his desire to continue, Glover asked to leave the program. On the 27th of June 1975, he signed off. Several months later, Glover resigned from the CBC and returned to radio, at the Toronto station CKEY. The format for a noon hour interview program broadcast from a public place continued after Glover departed, with host Bob McLean (See The Bob McLean Show).

Luncheon Date was produced by Ed Mercel (l963-64), Bill Sheehan (l964-65), Siegbert Gerber (l965-66), Stewart Cuppage (l966-69), Nigel Napier-Andrews (l969-70), Drew Crossan (l970-74), and Jack Budgell (l974-75).

Elwood Glover's Luncheon Dates (Toronto: Prentice-Hall, 1975), is a chatty memoir of the announcer's life and broadcasting career..

Return to CBC Series Index

Queen's University