The Single Greatest Moment In Canadian Television
I love Canada.
I do. Sometimes our politics make me want to punch something (and by something I mean every single current party leader) but all things considered, we’re pretty great.
One of the best things about Canada? Canadian television. Not even the GOOD Canadian television (like Kids in the Hall, Four on the Floor, Wayne & Shuster, Mr. Dressup, Fred Penner, History Bites, Red Green, or Corner Gas), but the BAD Canadian television. It’s so bad that it’s good. Prime example?
The Littlest Hobo.
If you’ve never seen The Littlest Hobo, you’re missing out. It’s like Lassie if Lassie was like “You know what? I’m a dog that saves people. Humans are clearly idiots, I’m going to just travel around saving them.” You might think I’m over-exaggerating, but if anything, I’m UNDER-exaggerating.
Here is a summary of an episode from Season 1, the episode is called “Little Girl Lost” because if there’s one thing that will confuse
children Canadians, it’s anything that’s not totally literal:
“Hobo befriends a three-year-old girl who goes missing in a sparsely-populated area. Hobo later uses his friendship with trucker Sam to return the girl to her overjoyed parents.”
First off, the dog is named Hobo (because if it’s not literal, it’s GARBAGE) and despite being a stray dog with no power of language, he befriends people and saves small children. I once saw an episode where he saved a school bus of children by getting the bus out of a raging river it was trapped in for some reason. Many of the episodes are on YouTube and definitely worth a watch if you want some fabulously dated cheese. In fact, I’ll help:
I know what you’re thinking: “There can’t possibly be a better so-bad-it’s-good moment in Canadian television history.” Well, you’re wrong. There’s a lot to choose from but nowhere is better to choose from than Canadian PSAs. This includes our Heritage moments (which deserve their own blog post) and the infamous “House Hippo” PSA (which didn’t so much teach us not to believe everything we see as it made us all think there were tiny hippos in our houses until we grew up and then desperately wanted a tiny hippo to live in our houses).
However, the single greatest moment in Canadian Television History?
OH. OH GOD. I just. I JUST LOVE IT SO MUCH.
I realize that in the context of a children’s PSA and ‘putting things in your mouth’ that my exclamation might seem a little dirty, but I can’t be arsed to care.
This PSA is just THE BEST. The song has haunted me to the point that since first seeing this as a child, I have had the majority of the lyrics memorized and could sing it without seeing the commercial again. There are so many layers to this PSA, I just have so many questions.
What the hell are they?
Why does the voice-over later turn out to be a lion?
Why is there only a picture of their mother on the wall?
WHERE IS THEIR MOTHER?
How drunk were the puppeteers?
WHO THOUGHT THESE PUPPETS WERE NOT A LITTLE TERRIFYING?!
WHERE THE HELL DOES THAT STAGE COME FROM?!
Did…did the beet bring it? IS THE BEET MAGIC?
Also, what the hell kind of beet looks like that?
It looks like a potato.
Lastly, the most important question of all: Why am I so in love with this?
What the hell is it about this PSA that grabs a piece of my soul and won’t let it….
You know what?
I withdraw that last question.
P.S. Apologies for the rant this week. I spent most of tonight making biscuits for a potluck at work tomorrow. I promise next weeks will be…well, I’m not going to say BETTER, but I at least promise it won’t be about puppets. Well, not THESE puppets. Maybe.
P.P.S. If you ask someone you love and they tell you to put it in your mouth, remember that you don’t have to do what they tell you. Consent is mandatory, people.