Remembering Dave Broadfoot

davebroadfoot1Earlier today, Canadian comedy pioneer Dave Broadfoot passed away at the age of ninety. An officer of the Order of Canada, Dave played to audiences that included Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and President Ronald Reagan.

Born in Vancouver on December 5, 1925, Dave served in the navy during World War II and began acting shortly afterward. During the 1950s and 1960s, he appeared on the “Wayne and Shuster Show,” “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Big Revue,” and “Comedy Café.”

In 1973, he began his 15-year run on “Air Force”, where he introduced two memorable characters: Sgt. Renfrew of the RCMP who “never gets his man” and a hockey-playing dunce named Big Bobby Clobber. Later, he donned the persona of David J. Broadfoot, the member of Parliament from Kicking Horse Pass.

Here are ten entertaining comments…

I came out of an extreme, fundamentalist, born-again-ist family. My three sisters are all missionaries. In my home we have pictures of all 12 apostles, all personally autographed.

We’re loose enough, liberal enough, accepting enough in this country, we’re mature enough that we can make fun of each other and still have great respect and honour each other.

I wasn’t good enough for TV–but I bugged them.

In order to have an act, you have to learn how to write. And you should probably be able to sing adequately, too. You have to learn how to do everything.

Here we’ve got to work harder because we compete with the best from England and the United States. I’m a nationalist–I’ve come to terms with myself and with my roots. I understand the rhythms of this crazy, wonderful country of ours.

I like to dwell on the therapeutic use of comedy. Whether it’s a group or a nation or an individual, in any crisis the first casualty, even before truth, is our sense of humour. And once that’s gone, we have lost our perspective on the crisis. To me, there is nothing more magnificent than a human being, who in a time of great crisis, can still maintain a sense of humour.

The only group that I dare to put down are Anglo-Saxons, because I am one. I feel I have a right to do that. For instance, there is new evidence that Adam, the first man who ever lived, was an Anglo-Saxon. Who else would stand in a perfect tropical garden, beside a perfect naked woman, and eat an apple?

Humour has to be pointed. It’s gotta be political. But it shouldn’t be ugly. It shouldn’t be malicious…It’s gotta be up-happy.

I never got over that sound of laughter. I felt for the first time that I belonged there . . . . It’s like the feeling of being away a long time and then coming home.

(In Canada) you can be the biggest success ever and still have a very, very small bank account because that’s the way we are.

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