10.09.2005

hnic

My mother and I had a lovely, ordinary day yesterday. We picked up the shades I had ordered at Home Depot, returned something to Ikea, bought a few things at Ikea and Canadian Tire. (The shades fit! Huge sigh of relief.) Later we all took the dogs for a lakeside stroll, hung out in the backyard, had a terrific Greek dinner in the neighbourhood, looked at some of the beautiful streets and houses nearby.

But the unquestionable Canadian highlight of the day came at 8:00 p.m.: we saw "Hockey Night In Canada" for the first time. More specifically, we saw Don Cherry in action.

Allan and I knew of Don Cherry. We've seen pictures of him, a news clip here and there, and when a HNIC outrage erupts, we see it in the US sports media. But we had never seen him at work, until last night. Whoa.

Let me put it this way. When I saw him spoofed on "Air Farce," I assumed it was exaggerated. But the man himself is a spoof - a walking parody.

Come on, folks. Can this be real?

hnic 002

hnic 003

We didn't actually watch the game - and I understand that Cherry's "Coach's Corner" is often more popular than the game itself. Flipping channels, we noticed an A&E "Biography" about Cherry (obviously timed for the return of HNIC), so we were able to get some background. My favorite bit was a talk show that brought together Cherry and Scott Thompson, a humourous but pointed confrontation that ended with the two cuddling on the couch. Priceless. Another interesting factoid: when Cherry's daughter married, her husband took her last name. Love it.

Don Cherry memories and opinions welcome.

16 comments:

tijo said...

His daughter's husband taking her last name is just priceless!

Cherry had his own clothing line years back, but I don't know if it's still around. The 4-inch-collared shirts were the highlight I think. His restaurant chain - Don Cherry's Grapevine - has also had mixed success across the country, with most locations closing down.

Despite his conservative political views and the controversy he's caused with his brash commentary, Cherry's a Canadian icon and a fashion genius too!

Anonymous said...

Hey L-Girl
ALPF

Remember when I told you what a pleasure it was to work with Steve Smith(Red Green)?

Well...

I also worked for a few years with Cherry during his days when he hosted a sports talk show called "Don Cherry's Grapevine" It was shot here in Hamilton - first at the studio and then at a real bar of the same name.

What a pompous dick!!

He once screamed at me and tried to get me kicked off the show because I wasn't holding his cue cards to his liking... basically because he fucked up several times reading them, he finally blamed it on me. Told the producer I had to go!! Didn't matter anyway... I held his cards for 5 or 6 straight shows, 5 minutes after taping, he had no idea who I was or what I did.
I was so glad when I got a job inside the production truck away from the set and him. Everything and I mean everything had to be just right.
Oh yeah a lot of fond memories.

Lone Primate said...

You probably haven't seen it yet, but on History Television there's a show called History Bites that's a comedic retelling of history, assuming television had been around at the time. One of the repeated features is their version of Coach's Corner. One of the funniest things I've ever seen on television was the episode where they were talking about cock fighting, and they took it right to the edge in the Coach's Corner segment, with the Cherry character trumpeting about "guys with big cocks" and "guys with little cocks", and countering some line by the McLean character by saying, "Aw, guys with little cocks always say that!" The whole thing was only saved by the context, but I was still amazed they got it on TV, all the same. I'd love to see that routine again. :)

James said...

Just for reference, History Bites is hosted by Rick Green of The Frantics, who plays Bill on The Red Green Show

Niko said...

Now that is an outfit! Wow! My gay fashion sense just exploded and is strewn around the office in bits.

I can't wait for HNIC!!!!!!

teflonjedi said...

(laughing, though not at ALPF's situation)

Our boy certainly is, er, colourful, as always.

I saw him and McLean at an airport terminal once, in Vancouver, many years ago now. Folks were approaching him for autopgraphs, and he was busy signing away...

L-girl, we will know you're Canadian when you can follow the puck around the ice on HNIC, without the need for Fox Sports' "comet" to highlight the location of the puck. Good luck on your mission, should you choose to accept it! ;)

L-girl said...

Thanks for these stories, this is awesome.

ALPF, that is wild. I used to work in theatre, so I know something about those performers who are always barking at people, demanding they be fired.

A fashion line!!! That is too much.

I've heard of History Bites but haven't seen it yet. Sounds great, plus a Red Green connection. (We love those Bill segments on the Red Green show.)

I have been to a few NHL games, a long time ago (had a high school friend who had Islander tix), and I never ever saw the puck. On TV, forget it. I'll let you know if that ever changes!

L-girl said...

P.S. ALPF, are you sure it wasn't your fault Cherry read his lines wrong???

RobfromAlberta said...

Don Cherry is Canada's guilty pleasure. The chattering classes are perpetually offended by him, but most hockey fans view him as a harmless buffoon. He's also a strong advocate for the Canadian military, so he's ok in my books.

teflonjedi said...

but most hockey fans view him as a harmless buffoon

True enough, but when he does get down to analysing hockey, he knows his stuff. He does make for a colourful and entertaining watch.

Marnie said...

I can't stand him myself, but I'll throw another bit of trivia on the pile: Air Farce sometimes does a skit called "Kosher's Corner," with a couple of rabbis doing sports commentary.

L-girl said...

The chattering classes are perpetually offended by him, but most hockey fans view him as a harmless buffoon.

He is a buffoon, I'll say that much.

but when he does get down to analysing hockey, he knows his stuff.

Thank goodness. If you're going to make yourself into a show, at least know what you're talking about.

Air Farce sometimes does a skit called "Kosher's Corner," with a couple of rabbis doing sports commentary.

LOL. Good one. Hello to Owen Sound.

Marnie said...

(Third time trying to post this. Computers are so temperamental.)

Actually I'm back in TO, but I'm sure Owen Sound would say hello and wish you a happy Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful weekend to drive around and admire the fall foliage and the apple orchards in the Thornbury/Clarksburg area.

L-girl said...

It was a wonderful weekend to drive around and admire the fall foliage and the apple orchards in the Thornbury/Clarksburg area.

Sounds lovely.

Lone Primate said...

He is a buffoon, I'll say that much.

I heard he went to bat for Ron McLean during contract negotiations, though. Went right to the line for him. Don Cherry might but OTT, but that's what people like about him... he's the brash side of Canada that you don't usually see outside of world wars. :) And personal loyalty like he showed Ron McLean that goes way beyond public personna is heartwarming.

I just wish he'd lose that damn goatee! It makes him look like Col. Sanders's lovechild.

L-girl said...

I heard he went to bat for Ron McLean during contract negotiations, though. Went right to the line for him.

That is very cool.

Don Cherry might but OTT, but that's what people like about him...

Absolutely. That's what he's got.

I just wish he'd lose that damn goatee! It makes him look like Col. Sanders's lovechild.

LOL