Dave Broadfoot December 5, 1925- November 1, 2016) inducted in 2000.
Dave Broadfoot was inducted into the Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame in 2000, and with him a plethora of beloved characters, including Sergeant Renfrew of the RCMP, hockey player Bobby Clobber and the Honourable Member of Parliament for Kicking Horse Pass.
He performed for six decades, becoming one of the most recognizable names and faces in Canadian humour. He is often thought of as Canada’s first touring stand-up comic, blazing the trail for others to follow. He was wholesome witty and biting. He never shied away from the topics of the day but never reverted to raunchy. He once said “Some of the raunchiness I hear from other comedians is revolting. To me, that’s the total antithesis of wit.”
Yuk Yuks founder Mark Breslin has said;
“Over his 50-year career, Broadfoot pioneered political and social satire aimed at every political party and interest group, yet tinged with a deep love for his country”
“He was the Canadian Will Rogers, but funnier, much funnier.”
Dave himself said of comedy, and the lure of the US;
“My work was here in Canada and the comedy I cared about came from where I live. I did not want to do Americana. We had enough of that, our media are saturated with it.”
Dave was born in Vancouver to a religious family. He left high school in 1943 and joined the merchant navy till 1947. After his tour, he returned to Vancouver and appeared in community theatre and got a taste of laughter.
In 1952, he moved to Toronto where he wrote and appeared in theatre in legendary comedy shows of the era like Spring Thaw and The Big Revue. His work in the ‘50’s earned him an appearance on the legendary Wayne and Shuster show (W&S were also inducted in 2000). He followed it with an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the premiere showcase for comics.
He loved live performance in Canada appearing in the CNE revue Fine Frenzy (produced by Don Harron, who was also inducted in 2000). He also was a favourite on radio on CBC’s Funny You Should Say That.
From 1973- 1993 he was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Farce (who were inducted as a troupe in 2001). He retired from the Farce when they moved to television, but made multiple guest appearances on the show.
After leaving the Farce he toured with his one man show to comedy clubs and theatres across Canada. In 1988 and 1990 he filmed two television specials that were watched by millions of Canadians and stand the test of time.
The specials, Old Enough to Say What I Want and Old Dog, New Tricks provide enduring proof of his comic genius.
His many awards include the Juno Award for comedy recording, 13 ACTRA awards for writing and performing for radio and television, and the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Canadian comedy. He is an officer of the Order of Canada and an honorary sergeant major of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
In 2006, the Canadian Comedy Awards instituted the Dave Broadfoot Award for comedy genius, and it has been presented to:
- Mike Macdonald
- Russell Peters
- Jeremy Hotz
- Mary Walsh
- Irwin Barker
- Jayne Eastwood
- Colin Mochrie
- Robin Duke
- Ron James
- Luba Goy
- Sean Cullen