2/14/2007

As Canadian As Jim Perry

I was home by design today in the middle of a snowy and stormy day. I'd wager that half my coworkers were home too because they didn't want to take a chance (on being productive). I'll hear all about their weather related transit issues tomorrow and slip right into a coma as they drone about the drive.

Remember this tune? (don't worry, I'm not selling anything) - SoulBossaNova.mp3

Long before Mike Myers popularized it as his Austin Powers theme, it was heard daily in many Canadian homes as the mainstay theme for a game show called Definition. The low budget hangman style game in which the player and a celebrity partner guessed at letters to complete a phrase in a particular category was quite a popular favourite. The prizes may have been crap and the celebrities quite minor, but it was all ours. Just like the host, Jim Perry.

Jim actually hailed from New Jersey but was affable enough to pass for Canadian. He hosted a few shows here (my favourites being Eye Bet and Headline Hunters) and then did a reverse somersault into the US to host $ale of the Century back in the 1980s. Jim had mood hair and for years was silver gray but then suddenly went completely dark and still stayed nice. No word on the colour choice of today's Jim.

While talking about Canadian institutions on the train one day, when Definition was mentioned, I learned that my pal who gave me the beautiful Christmas treasure was not just any old passenger, but a 5 time Definition champion! He'd also seen front line action as a player in the Tournament of Champions!

I could barely contain my excitement at hearing this (it was a slow news day). Not only did he win a truckload of Rice-a-Roni but he also ended up with a set of encyclopedias that he still has and a 2 night stay at an area hotel. The celebrities he got to play with were the type of famous you get to be if you're the 8th lead on an old television pilot that never aired.

He explained that he had just tagged along to keep his sister company as she was trying out and they picked him to try out as well and the rest, as they say, is just train ride home and blog fodder.

While Canada has some excellent quality television on the go here and available for export, we've also had our share of really awful stuff hit the airwaves too. I'm wondering how a made for TV movie about Definition would play. Maybe all it needs is a catchy title? Something like Soul Bossa Nova or Bust and then put topless girls on all the advertising?

Someone get Mike Myers on the phone for me please and cue the music.

24 comments:

Tanya Espanya said...

Holygod, how I love that song! I didn't even know it was a real song or had a name, and figured Mike Meyers used it in the Austin Powers movies because he was Canadian, eh.

I remember a good prize on the show was a Brother Electric Typewriter.

You, Dale, are the Definition!

Tanya Espanya said...

Oh, and who could forget those two other gems of 1970s Canadian tv, The Trouble with Tracy and The Beachcombers?

Jill said...

You guys are old!! I don't remember that show!!
And Wow Dale!! You don't hate Mike Meyers!!

Bubs said...

YEAH BABY!

NYCbeauty said...

I think you missed your calling. With the crap that's on tv now, YOU could pitch a GOOD show. It's never too late!
xo
jw

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Forget the topless girls - you need to get a topless Jim Perry to pimp that movie. The lineups to see that would be huge.

mellowlee said...

heehee! I love that song. Thanks for the mp3! Now I don't have to dig out the Austin soundtrack :OP

Zed said...

There was a show called Eye Bet? My, what a catchy title. A-huh. Zzzzz. lol

And Jim Perry, I swear I thought he was Canadian. He's from Jersey? We're talking my home state here. No one looks like Jim Perry in NJ. He must be from the northwest corner of Jersey, where people are far more Jim Perry-like: quiet, cheerful, kind and square-headed.

X. Dell said...

I remember Jim Perry. BTW, 'affable' and 'New Jersey' don't often appear in the same sentence.

I guess that snow angel might be more valuable since it was once owned by a celebrity.

Sandra said...

Does anyone remember the Party Games with Billy Van and Dinah something or other? Now that was Canadian TV!

Tanya Espanya said...

And the theme song was Bond Street by Burt Bacharach. Sale, can you upload that song, I don't know how to...

BeckEye said...

I clicked on the "show me your boobs" tag, hoping to find several posts. No such luck. You've disappointed me for the first time.

Dale said...

It's a fun little tune and you're right Tanya, they did give away typewriters too. The Beachcombers was a bit of a gem where The Trouble With Tracy was just abysmal no?

I'm saving all my hate for someone worth it Jill.

Well said Bubs.

You'll help me right NYCB? If I can make it there...

I'll send him an email Barbara. It'll look like this: J_M PE_ _ Y, T_KE IT _FF!

May your next Bossa Nova be on me MellowLee.

It was a good show and concept Zed but the squareheads in Hollyrock wanted too much cash for their movie clips. The contestants would view a clip from an old film and then be asked questions about it to see how well they paid attention. There might be a scene of something going on and the question would be, how many lit candles were there on the table? See? Now that's fun!

I should put it up on eBay X. Dell, someone might bite. Maybe even Jim!

Dinah Christie and the gang, of course Sandra. It was that awful Charades style game. I many years later saw Dinah in Crazy For You as Bobby's mother. She replaced Barbara Hamilton.

If you don't know my name Manya, I'm not sure that I can.

Beckeye, I'm afraid it won't be the last. My heart aches for you at this difficult time.

The Gifted Typist said...

I'm a sambista. I remember that tune, but it's not from the samba traditionale of Brazilian music I know.

It's from the 70s game show brazillian tradition, no?

thnx for the memories

Chancelucky said...

Isn't Wheel of Fortune just another version of Hangman too?

Dale said...

You're a sambista Gifted T. and I'm a sumbitcha. Similar no?

It's got better prizes and those little video touch screens though Chancelucky!

Old Lady said...

I guess if we stopped stealing your talent, y'all would have a better chance!

Coaster Punchman said...

OMG, brushes with C-list fame, one of my favorite pastimes. I feel a post of my own coming on.

What did you do with Frosty? I want him if you still have it.

Dale said...

A better chance at what Old Lady?

Frosty is safely tucked away in a CPP CP (Christmas Protection Program)(Coaster Punchman).

Angela said...

What a blast from the past. Do you remember a show with a Canadian mind-reader or something, perhaps it was called The Great Krezkin or something? It was weird.

Dale said...

The Amazing Kreskin is still at it Angela. And holy crap, another guy from Jersey! I thought he was Canadian too. Will the madness ever end?

Reese said...

Lately I've been wondering whatever happened to the show Bizzare.

Dale said...

Another damned Yankee who made a fortune here Reese! Good one. And you can buy Bizarre on dvd if you really want to. Check his website for a slice of cheese.

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