Saturday, March 15, 2008

10 Most Ironically Enjoyable Canadian Heritage Moments, by Glenn


Yes, it is true. I am Canadian. Growing up, one of the best parts of being Canadian was getting to watch the educational 'Canadian Heritage Moments' that the government would run on the Teevee continually. I have to admit that some of these ads did accomplish the intended goal of inspiring and informing quite nicely. However, as you might expect from relatively low budget Canadian productions, the writing and acting sometimes left something to be desired.

Some of these are great because of how quotable they are. Others are funny because of the acting and/or stereotypes being represented. All of them, in my opinion, are gold.

10. "I'm an American. You can't do this to me. "
For all Americans who wonder how Canadians perceive them, this commercial should give you a fair idea. I can't tell you how many potential friendships with Americans (or anyone with an American relative) I have squandered by repeatedly doing an impression of Mr. Ugly American in this ad. To this day, this is the shtick I pull out when I need an 'American' voice.

9. "I shall reply from the mouth of my cannon."
This series of ads has a tendency of making English-speaking characters look like bumbling idiots whenever they interact with French-Canadians. This is a small concession to ensure the continued unity of our country. I like this ad in particular, because it allows me to respond to questions I don't like with "I shall reply from the mouth of my cannon", followed by a loud fart. It may not be classy, but it is mine. Don't take it away from me.

8. "Through the air, across the ocean. The first time, ever"
If there were a Canadian Heritage Moment Oscar, the guy playing Marconi would definitely get it, assuming of course that Marconi was an unfeeling robot. This one provided yet another easy impression for my early repertoire.

7. "Both of ya know I canah read a woruhd"
I don't know what it is about this old bastard getting shamed into line, but it is great. I owe the poor Irish accent that I do to this ad.

6. Disembodied Spear-penis
I always felt sorry for all the poor people that had to get impaled by spear-penis. The ghost-battle and funeral procession are bizarre to say the least.

5. "Mon mère me la dit, avant de sa mort"
This one is probably funnier if you speak French or hate the Irish. The awkward French is unconvincing as the older child is way too wordy to mistakenly apply the masculine article to her mother.

4. "Kanata hey, Kanata ho, Kanata -insert gibberish that I invent when imitating this-"
I love the fact that my country's name was a clerical error. It just feels right. I love the annoying guy's voice when he has the balls to contradict a Jesuit priest, "I think it means those houses down there." Incidentally, I wonder how the Jesuits, a famously scholarly order, feel about being made to look like pompous buffoons in this ad? Interesting fact, Kanata is a suburb of Ottawa, and is where the Ottawa Senators team plays the hockey.

3. "Dat's what dey say, Dat's what dey say"
Canadians are often nostalgic for the simpler and more idealistic days, when Chinese men were high-tech nitro glycerine delivery systems. This commercial is actually quite sad, but after you've seen it a couple hundred times, it gets funny.

2. "Why poo, son?"
Christopher Robin in the Pooh stories looks like Christian Bale next to the kid in the ad. The spot inspired a spoof by the Canadian Comedy Network where the bear farts repeatedly, providing the obvious source of the kid's inspiration. If you have ever smelled a black bear, you know that it is funny because its true. Well, the spoof was true anyway.

1. "I smell burnt toast."
Up to now, the videos have been in no particular order. This one though clearly deserves status as the number 1 in this list. Regardless of race, religion, or creed, I think that we can all agree that Transylvanian epileptics are possessed by the devil, and therefore deserve to be reviled. For our sake and her husband's, we can be thankful that it was 'burnt toast' and not 'stinky balls' that was setting her off.

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