Monday, December 22, 2008

MacLean closing out '08 with a bang ...

On a show on the See Bee See no one will see...
"The seven member Royal Canadian Air Farce troupe went out in style, offering a fast, funny show that will air as an hour-long special Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. on CBC. There were several guest stars, including Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean, who got to fire the chicken cannon at his favorite target (you know who)." -- TV Feeds My Family
One can only presume that would be NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and run with it like Derrick Ward did for the New York Giants in the NFL Sunday nighter. MacLean and the commish have a special rapport. Perish the thought whether it's appropriate for a serious broadcast journalist to be making sport of someone he covers on the beat, even if it is Bettman. Try to see the humour in this, although it would be about the first time anyone has been anything humourous in Air Farce since about 1997.

For the uninitiated, here's how the Chicken Cannon works.

Sports figures have been on the receiving end of the Chicken Cannon's blast from time to time, dating back to March 18, 1994, when future Kingston Frontenacs figurehead coach Doug Gilmour fired on a Detroit Red Wings poster on March 18, 1994. Presuming Bettman's getting it, it would be the second time the NHL commissioner-for-life has been the target of the year. His image, along with then-NHLPA Bob Goodenow's, got a joint splattering on the year-end 2004 show, during the last lockout.

Not that anyone asked, but an Air Farce finale definitely had to have some HNIC representation, since it allows shut-ins and people stuck working New Year's Eve to ponder which franchise is more date. (Luba Goy was making Lorena Bobbitt jokes when she was given a large knife to cut the cake at Friday's taping, for crying -- certainly not laughing -- out loud.)

Keeping it classy, Air Farce was a lot better as a radio program, especially when they taped in a different city each week and rip on the mayor and such. The humour tended to be broad, but one million viewers per week for 16 straight seasons demands that attention must be paid.

Those of you who demand that a Canadian sketch comedy should be absurdist (The Kids In The Hall), inventive (SCTV), topical (the original This Hour 22 Minutes) or goofy in an understated way (The Red Green Show) should drink a glass of shut-the-hell-up. Someone found Air Farce funny all these years.

Since this post is completely self-indulgent, it's probably OK to post one of the all-time greatest Kids sketches.

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