Political and Cultural Satire Canadian Style, a short history

“I am Canadian.”

Decades ago, this would have been an almost apologetic statement, particularly when traveling abroad. Times have changed. Now it is delivered with pride.

Not the “we are the greatest” kind of pride of our cousins to the south, with that certain swagger, a bit of bombast and that inherent certainty in the righteousness of their self-perceived “greatness.” Nope.

Canadian pride is of a quiet type, that of a growing realization they do indeed have a unique identity, a way of seeing the world that is distinctly Canadian, and a society that endeavors (though usually fails) to be just and fair.

Many years ago while working in the UK, on hearing my accent a business manager said, while looking down his nose, “Obviously, you are an American.”

“No,” I said. “I am Canadian.”

His response was delivered with a dismissive huff. “What’s the difference?”

Not that he wanted to hear an answer.

Still, his question remained with me. What is the main difference between Canadians and Americans?

My American husband who lived in Canada for twenty years before returning to the U.S. (and a warmer climate for his senior years) had no problem answering that question.

Canadians, he says, don’t take themselves or their politics seriously. Americans do. Very much so. Canadians love to laugh at themselves. Americans take offense.

Which is why, he hypothesizes, so much of our humor doesn’t work for Americans and is seen as disrespectful.

So, as we take a little tour of Canadian humor and satire, I ask my American readers to keep this major difference between us in mind. We do tend to laugh at not only our own foibles, but those of our much larger neighbor to the south. After all, with the influx of American media into Canada, we’ve come to know you so well, but we see you through our own, irreverent Canadian eyes.

The Canadian stereotype

Jim Carey is one of the best known Canadian comics to Americans. Here, in this short piece, “Growing up in Canada,” he explores some of those lingering stereotypes of Canadian life.

Growing up in Canada

Now before you exclaim “Why this is gross exaggeration! No one actually believe this,” I have to say, yes, it is exaggerated – it is satire after all – but not entirely untrue.

In the mid '80's I was in Demopolis, Alabama with another Canadian, auditing a factory there (one owned by a Canadian corporation, before you call ICE and turn us in) and one of the accountants there, an educated man, asked how we (Canadians) had managed to get some of the heavy equipment out of our country and all the way to Alabama. We told him it had been driven.

“You have roads in Canada?” was his astonished response.

Well, please forgive us, but we did have fun at his expense for a while. “We had to wait for winter, until the rivers froze solid,” we told him, along with a lot of similar BS.

All of which he lapped up. This is one of many such encounters, so sorry to say, these stereotypes do exist.

SCTV

To many Americans, Bob and Doug McKenzie and The Great White North, the first overtly Canadian comedy skit to be broadcast in the U.S. hit the American TV screen in 1979, through the graces of Second City TV (SCTV.)

Here they are, those eh-saying, beer drinking, toque-wearing, back-bacon frying, out-door loving, mentally deficient McKenzie brothers explaining The Great White North to their new American audience.

The Great White North -- according to the McKenzie brothers

Much as we love to laugh at ourselves, Bob and Doug also elicit a certain pained wince as we chuckle. It was one thing when their stupidity was contained to the Canadian airwaves; quite another when shared with our southern neighbors.

Because, yes, there is a certain truth to be found in their portrayal of the Canadian slacker.

We knew the entire SCTV cast long before America did. A brainchild of the Second City theatrical troupe of Toronto, the program, SCTV was initially produced in the Toronto studios of Global Television Network, featuring those soon-to-be-popular-in-the-States Canadians, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Harold Ramis, Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis. The show ran for one season only.

Here is the opening from the original show. This is missing the beginning. It starts with "Don't touch that dial, don't touch that other dial and stop touching yourself!"

From 1976, the opening of SCTV

In 1979, production was picked up by ITV and moved to the Edmonton, Alberta studios of that network – an old firehall. It was broadcast by the CBC and in scattered markets in the U.S.

In 1981, SCTV was picked up by NBC as a mid-season replacement for The Midnight Special. Martin Short joined the cast in 1981. The program ended in March of 1983 in the US but continued to air on the CBC.

Has any show launched more careers than SCTV? Well, maybe Saturday Night Live, which replaced the show on US networks, and some say, was inspired by it.

You can find any number of skits from SCTV on Youtube. Apparently, the popularity of this show remains strong.

Season Four opening

The Royal Canadian Air Farce

Few Americans are familiar with the Air Farce, which never did leave the incubator of the CBC. Which is possibly just as well as it concentrates on Canadian politics and politicians in an almost hokey, home-spun manner, and would be of little interest to our neighbors.

The Royal Canadian Air Farce began as a CBC radio broadcast in 1973 becoming widely popular in Canada. In 1980, the Air Farce turned to television, still on the CBC with a one-hour television special which evolved into a ten-week series and two sequel specials. And so it began, this unique satire on Canadian society, sticking to its successful home-made, small-town talent contest style (not to mention the annoying canned laughter.) It continues today and is much beloved.

Politically correct Oh, Canada

Some of the recurring characters included the addle-brained veteran of hockey, Big Bobby Clobber; a pompous and sputtering Sgt. Renfrew of the RCMP; the vacant-minded Honourable David J. Broadfoot, member of Parliament for Kicking Horse Pass and the leader of the New Apathetic Party; and Prof. Hieronymus Wombat of the National Research Council. Other characters joined the list as cast members left and new ones joined, including the slow Albertan, Mike from Canmore; the angry maritimer, Scot Jock McBile; the self-righteous movie critic, Gilbert Smythe-Biteme; the chain-smoking bingo player, Brenda; and political commentary delivered by an old-lady with a pronounced maritime accent, wearing a frumpy hat and cardigan, walking through a Halifax park talking with her equally dowdy friend.

Mike from Canmore (Alberta,) "I am Canadian"

But where the program truly excels is in their rather extreme caricatures of political figures such as Jean Chretien, (Prime Minister/ Liberal Party) who could barely speak a single sentence in English without outlandish pronounciation and errors of grammer; the nasal-voiced Preston Manning (founder of the now defunct Reform Party;) a screaming, bitchy Sheila Copps (Liberal Party/ Deputy Prime Minster in the ‘90’s;) tyrannical Lucien Bouchard (Quebec sovereignty supporter;) the image-conscious Stockwell Day (Progressive Conservative Party,) the pompous, strutting Joe Clark (Prime Minister/ Progressive Conservative Party) and the power-hungry Paul Martin (Prime Minster/ Liberal Party.)

The irreverent political satire was the show’s best feature.

“Jean Chretien,” in what will happen to healthcare if Conservatives are elected

This Hour Has 22 Minutes

The title of this somewhat biting satire was inspired by the CBS award winning 60 Minutes, and the controversial CBC program This Hour Has Seven Days.

There, all inspiration ends. This Hour Has 22 Minutes, is silly, irreverent and often naughty.

The show focuses on Canadian politics in the format of a mock news program, intercut with comic sketches, parody commercial and interviews of “public” figures, often filmed with slanted camera angles. It is not available in the U.S. because, like the Air Farce, the content is entirely Canadian.

Launched in 1993 during (yet another) Canadian election, the program became instantly popular. Recipient of 24 Gemini Award and 11 Canadian Comedy Award, 22 Minutes is broadcast on the CBC and is taped before a live studio audience in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

With no further ado I present four short segments from This Hour has 22 Minutes. If you like these, more can be found on Youtube.

Oops! Technical Failure

Video clips from This Hour Has Twenty Two Minutes to be repaired soon.

Finally, to all Americans who are fed up with us, our insistence on being Canadian and therefore different, our political stands that aren’t the same as yours or even opposing yours, our “left-leaning” policies, our decision to bring home our troops from Afghanistan after ten long years of getting nowhere, our habit of crossing the border and using your country as our personal playgrounds… oh and all the rest, here’s a profound apology from This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

The Rick Mercer Report

Richard Vincent Mercer, born October 17, 1969 is a comedian, television personality, political satirist and blogger. He came to national attention for his role in This Hour Has 22 Minutes, where Rick’s Rant, a monologue on current events, often filmed at a slant became a featured segment.

Rick Mercer on voting

Another of his 22 Minutes segments was expanded into a network special, Talking to Americans, the highest-rated comedy special in the history of the CBC, with 2.7 million viewers (with the approval and assistance of the Governor of Iowa, Tome Vilsack and then Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee.)

**

Poutine is a disgusting Canadian fast food, invented in Quebec which soon took over the country, with much harm to our arteries and cholesterol counts.

What is in it? Chips (french fries for our American friends,) gravy and melted cheese.

He made international headlines in 2000 when a pulled a stunt on presidential candidate George W. Bush, who answered questions about the non-existent Canadian Prime Minister “Jean Poutine**” Bush was not amused and thereafter refused to accept interviews from the CBC.

You can find clips from Talking to Americans on Youtube or on the CBC website (where you do have to register, but they won’t send you any emails.)

In 2003 Mercer began a new CBC series, the Rick Mercer Report, which debut in January 2004. In the same year he visited Afghanistan to entertain the Canadian troops, resulting in the television special Christmas in Kabul.

The Rick Mercer Report is the highest rated comedy show in the country.

Is there anyone who grew up in Canada who doesn’t find themselves humming the theme to Hockey Night in Canada from time to time? Who among us over the age of fifty doesn’t remember that first Canada/USSR series and the glory of our victory? Didn’t we all load up our cars with kids and bundles of equipment for peewee league/ junior league/ senior league/ bush league hockey? Here is Rick Mercer on the subject of that great Canadian obsession.

What the hell happened to our hockey

Here’s another uniquely Canadian pastime: cross border shopping. I always think of the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota, population 66,500, an hour from the border and with three big shopping malls, two casinos and an inordinate number of motels. The entire city took Canadian dollars at par – paradise!

My husband, an American CPA who worked in Canada for twenty years has often said Revenue Canada makes the Internal Revenue Service of the United States look downright friendly in comparison.

Collecting your money, old school

Why Canadians pay taxes

But Mercer doesn’t keep his sharp opinions on Canadian affairs alone, often lampooning American leaders and their policies.

Missile defense explained in 30 seconds

The rest of the world is not immune. Everyone from the Queen to North Korea is fair game. Want more? Rick Mercer is also easily found on Youtube or the CBC website.

Come to North Korea

Laugh!

I hope you’ve enjoyed (or tolerated) this short history of Canadian political and cultural satire. As I said in the beginning, Canadians love to laugh at themselves -- and everyone else, given half a chance.

Who best to close this article than Bill Shatner? Here he makes it abundantly clear that he, too, is Canadian.

I am Canadian

Oh, in case you were wondering, NDG (Notre Dame des Graces) is a section of Montreal.

Bye. See ya.

-- Lynda Martin, September 3, 2011

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Comments 34 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Excellent! Up and hilarious!


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

For some reason, I was not allowed to see some of THH22M even though I am in Canada. It said Halifax Film won't let me see it in my country-in B.C.?

I love satire. My favourite satirical program is Wayne and Shuster. Rick Mercer is fabulous. I remember when heasked Sen. George Bush Jr. what he thought of the Canadian prime minister endorsing him-not allowed, and the name was one he made up-and George Bush didn't realize this. Mercer was compared to Wayne and Shuster and he was honoured. (and yes, this Canadian knows W&S even though I am only 35-love syndication!) I lost track of the number of times I've seen Shatner's clip.

Rated up, funny awesome and interesting. And congratulations on your 100th hub.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Up, awesome, funny, and interesting all in the same hub. A little bit of humor feels good during these times. Great hub.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I am in Ontario and I could not view the videos from Halifax Film either but I will try and go to Youtube to see them. This was hysterical. Fantastic hub. Laughed all the way through it. Rick Mercer is hilarious, I especialy love the show where he is on the streets in the States asking questions. I think it was called "Talking to Americans"

Had to hit all the buttons on your hub. Great JOB!!!


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

What a humorous hub! I like all the videos. I love Jim Carey is is my favorite comedian actor. I don't watch a lot of stand-up so his movies are my favorite.


"Quill Again" 5 years ago

Up Up and Away... This one is a hit Girl... love it all the way and the laughter here in Alberta is still happening... THank You and God Bless as always...

Blessings and Hugs as we laugh together


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi WillStarr -- Thanks

Hi FloraBreenRobison -- I too remember Wayne and Shuster, but vaguely. They were what we'd call groaners, their jokes were so bad, but they were ours. Thanks for commenting.

Hi OldPoolMan -- I can't help thinking that we should all take ourselves a little less seriously and laugh at the foolishness around us. Would be a much better world. Thanks for commenting.

Hi JustAskSusan -- I suppose they don't allow on-line video in the same country they're trying to broadcast in -- stupid really, as you can go to Youtube and watch. There are clips from Talking to Americans on Youtube, so enjoy. Thanks for commenting.

Hi Cardisa -- Jim Carey is a uniquely talented man, that's for sure. Glad you enjoyed. Thanks for reading.

Hey Quill -- Good to see you here. Are you back? Laughter is the world's greatest balm. WE should all laugh more and look for the humor in every situation. Our blood pressure would benefit, as well as our state of mind. Thanks. Blessings to you, too. Lynda


resspenser profile image

resspenser 5 years ago from South Carolina

Love it. You guys are responsible for the success of Star Trek because there would not be one without Shatner! Eh? Voted up!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

I did not know, Lynda, what I was missing not having watched these hysterical Canadian TV programs. Thank you for exposing me to these genuinely funny satirical skits. You have performed a genuine service, eh?


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Ron, Glad to see you again. You've been taking some time off I see. Too busy with that delightful granddaughter, no doubt. Thanks for commenting. Lynda

Hi drbj, My pleasure. Yes, there is life and laughter north of 49 and you folks down here see darn little of it. Too bad. Sharing would go a long way to better understanding, I think. Thanks for dropping by. Lynda


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

A great tribute to Canada and it deserved it. Canada is way apart from the USA.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Wow, what a fascinating overview you've provided! I'll have to come back to this Hub again and give your explanation and the videos you've shared a more thorough look!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Hello: Thanks.

Hi Simone: Glad you enjoyed it.


Murray 5 years ago

Hah! I finally caught up to just 11 days ago. Lovely, laughly hub. Thanks muchly.

Canada's big advantage (relative to the USA), and Britain's or Italy's as well (I single them out because I have lived there and enjoyed their TV humor/satire) is that they all have national TV that can air their humor w/o offending sponsors. At least we have SNL.

Now I have to get back to serious surfing.

Thanks again from your neighbor in Sarasota, where Whole Foods offers very few free samples because we have too many hungry homeless that come in only to get some food. (True explanation from Whole Foods mgmt.)

cheers, Murray


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

OH Hi again, Murray. You live in Sarasota? Did you read my hub about homelessness there? I'm out in North Port/Port Charlotte, where at least we've set up a campground for the homeless, so they do have a place they can call home.

Whole Foods should be spanked. Just as should Walmart who posted a guard on their dumpster so the homeless couldn't get at the food that was thrown out. What a world!

Enjoy your surfing. Lynda


Murray 5 years ago

Have been in Sarasota for nearly 2 years now, after 10 years in Mt. Pleasant SC., just across the river from Charleston, after 13 delightful years in Italy and France. Chose Charleston because it had at least some European flavor, including excellent cuisine.

I find that Sarasota is also very enjoyable, with good theatre, ballet and symphony, but not such good cuisine.

Yes I read the bit on homelessness, which is why I included the Whole Foods bit in my reply. Whole Foods in Atlanta and Mt. Pleasant are quite generous with all manner of tastings - not so in Sarasota.

I had not heard that bit about Walmart but it is all of a piece with their level of businees morality. I just won't shop there.

I typed a reply to your hub on gov't debt, but it disappeared somehow, so here is the gist. The answer is Modern Money Theory (MMT), which seems outlandish at first blush, but stands up well to deep digging. (I am not an economist but have probably done enough research this last 3 months to earn and advancec degree). See:

http://neweconomicperspectives.blogspot.com/ read the primer

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/

http://rodgermmitchell.wordpress.com/

http://moslereconomics.com/mandatory-readings/

Unfortunately, none of these people seem able to write for the uninitiated, and could sure stand to learn about flow charts, but the takeaway message is "don't worry about the debt or social security, - our parachute is open even if we don't know we have one.

Cheers, Murray


Murray 5 years ago

PS - can't wait for your hub on MMT.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

I appreciate discovering your Canadian perspective on all this. I think there are Ugly Americans and then there are Americans who are as humble as Canadians. Certainly all my North Dakota Norwegian uncles were, as was my Dad. But laugh at ourselves? Not so much.

Call me naïve. I did not know there was a problem between our countries all the years I went to Vancouver for our annual stock exchange meeting. Two lovely women- friends of my Canadian mother in law- always showed me the best of Vancouver tea houses and art/history museums. One of them shared my love of children's books. It wasn't until they expressed disgust at Bush and his weapons of mass destruction that I discovered any animosity toward we southern neighbors!

I grew up in Minnesota but my Mom was born north of Grand Forks in a small town enroute to Winnepeg. My cousins told me, last visit, that they were happy the exchange rate for Canadians was so good because there was a constant flow of folk across the border to the malls, which helped their economy remain robust.

Do you ever watch How I Met Your Mother? One of the characters is Canadian and there is lots of humor from her perspective each week, that alternately offends her friends or makes them wince!

Also, have you ever seen the Niagara Falls movie, Canadian Bacon? I watched it after finally experiencing Niagara Falls in August. The Americans AND the Canadians in that movie were buffoons!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Most Americans I know consider all this "we're the greatest" BS to be so much hot air, and are as suspicious of their government as outsiders are. Thank God. I don't think I could stand being here if most Americans actually bought into their own propaganda. But they don't. Phew!

Laughing at yourselves is an art well worth cultivating. Helps keep things in perspective.

Yes, I've seen Canadian Bacon and found it as ridiculous and asinine as most movies made by that group, meant to give a mindless giggle but certainly not to be taken seriously in anyway. Anyone looking for actual cultural commentary in such a film is also a buffoon.

I think my favorite "laugh at ourselves" American movie is called "Wag the Dog."

Cheers and thanks for commenting here.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Interesting question, what is your favorite satire! I would have to say American Beauty.

Wag the Dog was not my favorite Hoffman performance so that distracted me. He is my favorite actor!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

American Beauty is a great film but I was thinking more of political satire. The whole premise of using the media to program the populace is just so dead on -- loved it.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

For me the hands down funniest American political satire movie ever made was Dick!


TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 4 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

My favourite Canadian comedy was "The American Question", when they would go across the border and ask random people simple questions, and get outrageous answers.. nothing funnier than that!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 4 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi TravelinAsia -- Yes, it was fun. Amazing what some people believe, don't you think? Thanks for commenting here. Lynda


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

This is awesome Lynda! I was perusing through your collection and found this gem! I am very happy that I did because this is very funny!

Thanks!

Thomas


TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 4 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

I guess these days they call it "Talking To Americans", but back in the 80s .. it was called "The American Question". More than 30 years later, it's still the same joke, and it's just as funny as ever!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 4 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi ThoughtSandwiches -- Always nice to hear from you. Pleased to think I brought some levity to your perusal.

Hi TravelinAsia -- I remember it well. Some of it was very funny, other parts rather silly, I thought. At any rate, I chose not to use it for this hub seeing as I now live in America and have come to learn that unlike Canadians, Americans don't like to laugh at themselves. I find them a little stiff in that respect. Too bad: life is so much more fun if you don't take yourself so seriously...


Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

Hi there Immartin,

Like you I am a Canuck living in the US. In Texas I always get the "Oh you are from Canada", then the comment about roads, igloos, seal hunting or the French language. Then there is always the comment about I used to know a Canadian named John from Toronto, do you know him? No point in explaining that I lived in Alberta!

We do have a much more relaxed look at politics, life and our mistakes, which I treasure more than ever!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 4 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Mardi -- Alberta to Texas you say. (Not so much of a drastic change scenery-wise.) I am also from Alberta, having grown up around Medicine Hat and spent years in the Calgary area. Now in Florida, I am truly in a foreign country. Not that I don't like it here, just I do miss the liberalism and self-deprecation of Canadians.

I love the "I've visited Canada -- Niagara Falls. Your country is beautiful!" or "We used to go fishing in Canada so we know your country." Turns out to be Nova Scotia.

I tell them, "Hey, I used to live directly north of Montana," which earned me a lot of blank looks from these east-coasters. Took me a while to realize they don't know where Montana is either. I gave up.

So nice to meet you. I look forward to hearing from you again and will check out your page. We ex-pat Albertans need to stick together. Lynda


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

“You have roads in Canada?” - If I did not have to travel to Attawapiskat a couple years go and found that there are no roads to get there, I might have felt a little insulted by that question. Yet, the truth is: we have roads in Canada but not to all places and not all Canadians enjoy that privilege. And indeed people in that community have to “wait for winter, until the rivers froze solid”. I guess stereotypes do get created for a reason ...

I was never around to see the shows which You gave examples (except for the Rick Mercer Report) but I did find them pretty funny. Making fun of oneself I think is good. Of course, this comes from the guy that trips, falls and then, dies laughing ...

"Is there anyone who grew up in Canada who doesn’t find themselves humming the theme to Hockey Night in Canada from time to time?" I was going to say me but I did not fully grow up here. Nonetheless, I am of the opinion that the fabric of societies is changing fast - all over the world. The migration of people is leaving nothing untouched: eventually, there will be more Latinos than Anglo-Americans in the United States. There will be more Arabs in Israel than Israelis. There are Romanian speaking Chinese people in Romania ... and I am about to faint - in my wildest dreams I would have never thought that would happen twenty years ago LOL

Immigrants like me, who have never fully integrated are changing Canada considerably. The next few decades will be very interesting, in my opinion.

Fun article! Thank You for writing it.

All the very best to You and your loved ones (including the not-so-furry guy and gal)! : )


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

P.S. You found "Wag the Dog" funny?

I saw it in Highschool, part of the English Media curriculum and I found it worrisome and with lots of food for thought, in terms of propaganda and manipulation of the masses through corporate controlled media. Noam Chomski wrote on this topic (many books) and one of the titles which comes to mind is "Necessary Illusions".

Cheers!


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 3 years ago from USA

I had a high school teacher that was from Canada, I found her views of Americans interesting. I think we (class and the teacher) spent more time talking about the differences between our countries than we did the lessons. Great hub! I found it very entertaining.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 3 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hello Mr. Happy. Always nice to hear from you! No, you did not grow up in Canada (the most important years in our formation are prior to twelve) nor do you today hold "typical" Canadian beliefs. (And we have met, after all, so I feel quite qualified to make that statement.) Also, though those living there don't like to hear it, Toronto is NOT the entirety of that great country. As to the no roads in isolated areas, excuse me but that seems kind of self-evident. The world's second biggest country area wise (second of course to Russia) with a population that until the turn of THIS century was less than thirty million could hardly fund roads everywhere. I too have visited many a remote area where I had to fly in on some rinky-dink plane -- Lucky Duck Airlines, we called them, and yes, there are people who live without roads. However, the stereotype is not based on those situations but on the widely held idea that Canada is not a technologically advanced nation but on entirely made up of back-woods and frozen wilderness. Except of course for Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Yes, I did find Wag the Dog funny because it is an all-too-true picture of an absurd reality. Anyone who lived in the US during that past few rounds of politics knows it is all a giant circus!!! Sometimes, Happy, I wish you could just accept comedy as comedy and not get all heavy on it. Love ya all the same. Lynda

Hi Tlpoague. Yes, the difference are vast but not evident on the surface, if you get what I mean. After living in the US for four years only now do I understand how great the differences are. Thanks for commenting. Lynda


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 19 months ago from Ontario, Canada

Hey , I have to come back and enjoy this hub at my leisure. So good!

I have to laugh at your comparison of Canadian and American. I do hope Americans are more aware by now that it isn't all frozen tundra up here, but we are partly responsible because we can't help but have some fun at their expense when they are surprised that we have roads. modern trains...even Walmart!

Americans are very warm and giving people, I lived in Columbus,Ohio a short while so the experience is first hand. One of my Canadian childhood friends married an American and alas she now thinks we pick on Americans.

How soon we forget... we are self-depreciating so our humor includes our neighbors. Consider it a compliment. As you can plainly see we do it in equal measure to ourselves and we love it. That is Canadian.

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