After being seated in a studio about 20 minutes before going to air, we were warmed up by Brent Bambury with trivia and prizes. Other audience members won books and Canada Reads bags by answering questions like 'Who was the first host of Canada Reads?' and 'Which panelist failed to show up in support of his book?". I won a GO! do-rag by correctly identifying Cher's song, "Believe". I don't think I was the only person in the audience who recognized Cher's hit song. Rather, I was the only audience member desperate enough for a prize to acknowledge it.
The audience seemed mostly made up of the 20 to 30 something University-educated demographic. Joe and I got great seats that were somewhat hampered by our proximity to a pair of insolent artsy teenagers. It was somewhat laughable to overhear their clumsy attempt to coerce Brent Bambury into having their band on GO! They were obviously fans of the house band that day, Spiral Beach, whose members, being between the ages of 17 and 20, also displayed an impertinent precocity of their own. The band's three male members were vitually clones with their identical mop tops and artfully frayed white t-shirts and jeans, and their music seemed like a New Wave regurgitation. You know you've become old and cynical when the know-it-all bravado of youth grates on your nerves and you are comforted by the fact that they will soon be humbled by the realization that it has all been done before.
We were not given advance notice on who the guests would be this week but I knew we had come to the right show when I spotted Scott Thompson, formerly of The Kids in the Hall, one of CBC's best programming decisions.
It turns out that Scott had been asked along with theatre actor Jean Yoon, MP Olivia Chow and a GO! resident contributor, whose name escapes me, to participate in "Canada Skims...Magazines!" Scott hilariously defended the celebrity tabloid, OK! Canada, because "Canadians need more low culture in their lives." Olivia Chow touted Gardening Life and the GO! guy presented LouLou. In the end, Jean Yoon was victorious with Shameless, a feminist indie mag; a predictable result on a CBC show.
Before leaving, I couldn't resist approaching Scott Thompson and expressing my love for him, which Scott took very well. Then I asked Joe to take a photo of us. In retrospect, I wish I could have proven to Scott how much I loved him and The Kids in the Hall by using obscure punchlines like:
- Andrew Dice Clay is not the new Lenny Bruce. You are!
- I had the pear dream again.
- Godspeed thee through Texas, faggot!
That last one might have gotten me in trouble, though, if Scott had a bad memory. The moral of the story is: always have catch phrases ready for rapid fire recitation, or if you are a comic book enthusiast, issue numbers and obscure plot details.
The whole GO! experience was fun and totally worth the free ticket, obnoxious teenagers notwithstanding.