I made myself a personal promise at the end of last year to stop writing obituaries about my friends. I knew how I felt about them. They knew how I felt about them. Absorb the loss and move on.
It’s also hard to honestly reflect a life while you’re in the midst of grieving its passing. There are so many stories you want to share and many get forgotten in the moment.
If I were to tell stories about comedian Roger Abbott, who passed away this weekend in Toronto, we’d be here for weeks. And it wouldn’t be half as much fun without Roger to top them with his own quirky versions.
I spent a lot of time with Roger when we served together on ACTRA’s Writer Council and he was instrumental to the founding of the Writers Guild of Canada. Most of my memories of that time are of how much we all laughed.
Roger was so quiet, unassuming and gentle in all things that you often forgot he was there. And then he’d offer a soft aside that would simply bring the house down.
Whether acting as straight man or delivering the punches, Roger’s timing was always perfect and he knew his craft backwards.
Whatever your feelings about the content and/or style of his ensemble “The Royal Canadian Air Farce”, they remained at the forefront of Canadian Comedy for more than 40 years. That only happens when you understand your audience and meet its needs.
There are thousands of video clips online featuring Roger and his writing. But I thought it might be fitting to give you the opportunity to watch him talk about his craft and offer insights into Canadian television as relevant today as they were when he was breaking into the business.
Take some time with one of those guys who knew where the funny comes from – and enjoy your Sunday.