Canadiana Comedy Sketch Group Back

When I was young my parents did not moderate our television intake and consumption. We were free to roam the cold, hard realm of pop culture with eager independence. By the time we were 13 our knowledge and exposure to underground television (and later film and writing) ideas were unrivaled by our peers. The impact and consequence of this?

We are forever held hostage to those images. Many times we find ourselves using what we saw as metaphors for our lives. Needless to say, many people rarely ever understood what it was we were talking about. When there was someone who did it was akin to meeting a soul mate. Example? How many people ever watched Jim Carey at the Juno Awards when he was a freakish obscurity? The Juno's? Are you kidding me? Who in Canada in 1984 or 1985 (whatever) were watching the fricken Juno's? Alas, we can always brag we were exposed to Carey's brilliance before most people. This is just a small example that was ushered into my head while reruns of 'Cheers' plays in the background.

Sketch comedy is something Canadians excel at for some reason. SCTV Network and Lorne Michaels (the man behind Saturday Night Live) are American comedy institutions who happen to be Canadian. In the 1990s, 'The Kids in the Hall' rose to critical fame soon finding there way on American sitcoms. Most notably Dave Foley on the vastly under rated and under appreciated 'Newsradio'. Lesser known sketches included 'CODCO' and 'You Can't do that on Television.' More recently, the enormously popular 'This Hour has 22 Minutes' is the latest in the evolution of Canadian sketch comedy.

For me, there was one forgotten and obscure group. So forgotten that it is almost impossible to find any reliable information about them. 'Four on the Floor' was a comedy group from the 80s that scarred us. Well into our 30s my family and I still refer to it from time to time. I have always wondered what ever happened to them. Until today when I noticed on Comedy Central that they were back as The Frantics for a one-hour special on Saturday.

One of the more hilarious skits included Mr. Canoehead. A Canadian super hero who had his canoe welded to his head after being struck by lightning. One particular episode had him battling a fiendish villain -with one of those sit down hair dryers you find in hair salons stuck to his head - who wanted to collect all the bacon bits in the world.

Good to see them back - even if it is for one hour. This blog always pays tributes to pioneers and 'Four on the Floor' a part of a long tradition of Canadian comedy.


  1. There's an article in the Independent saying that sitcoms are almost dead in the UK and the importance of that. Makes a good read.

    Red Green is the last Canadian sitcom I remember seeing. Wish we could get CBC on DirecTV here. I'd enjoy that.

  2. Yes, I forgot Red Green. Thanks for reminding me. He's also enormously popular in parts of the U.S.


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