What’s On The Hook’s Mind Now?

IT’S MONDAAAAY!

How’s that hangover treating you, friends?

My apologies for the overbearing cyber-stimulation.  I simply felt the need to be a dick. To be fair, it’s in my DNA, so…

#BoycottSearsCanada… Do it now!  Where’s a pack of angry villagers with pitchforks and torches when you really need ’em?  Levity aside, the Canadian version of Sears is facing a social media riot campaign calling for a massacre boycott after the company said it planned on paying $9.2 million in retention bonuses to key staff during restructuring, despite not offering severance to laid-off workers.  Can you imagine working for a company for forty years only to be bent over and drilled in the backside?  With a two-by-four?

So much for the softer side of Sears, right?

More Amazonian goodness please!  San Diego Comic Con 2017 has produced enough buzz to take down King King, but the news that a Wonder Woman sequel is coming has both fan-girls and boys losing their sheep.

Yes, I typed “sheep”; my daughter wants me to make more of an effort to stop cursing so much. I’m doing my best but it’s a ducking drag.  And yes, I also used “Wonder Woman” and “coming” in the same sentence.  Grow up.

Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman first made an appearance in the 2016 film "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." Her 2017 solo movie broke a box office record for most money made by woman director on its opening weekend.

“Tread carefully, Hook… I’ll gut you like a pasty white fish.”

Say whaaat, Will?  Actor and raiser of truly bizarre progeny, Will Smith, told fans at Comic Con that seeing Star Wars at age ten for the first time was “better than sex.”

Will Smith speaks onstage at Netflix Films: "Bright" and "Death Note" panel during Comic-Con International 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 20, 2017 in San Diego, California.

“For my entire life I’ve been chasing, trying to give that feeling to fans. There was nothing that I had experienced in my life that matched that point of ecstasy.  I had sex a few years later.  It was close, but no Star Wars.”

I’m sure Will’s first cousin was very disappointed to hear that…

What?  I already told you I was a dick.

 

 

Some things never change… Ever.  Case in point:

BOSTONIAN GUEST:  (As I’m unloading his luggage at the door.)  How do you do this job, buddy?  Doesn’t the repetition drive you insane?

CANADIAN ME:  Well, that depends on you, doesn’t it, sir?  Walking out the door at the end of a shift with a pocket full of cash makes any job easier to bear.

BG:  (Yelling to the back of the room.)  Hey, Marge!  This bell guy’s fuckin’ hilarious!  Here’s a tip, buddy… you earned it!

Hey, I said I was going to try to stop cursing…

SERIOUSLY???  Senior counselor (and resident whackjob) to President Trump, Kellyanne Conway, told CNN’s Brian Stelter yesterday that “Russia is not a big story”.

That White House Kool-Aid must be ambrosia… because Kellyanne is bathing in the sheep.

I think that’s enough for now, don’t you?  I don’t want to make you spit out any more of that delicious, sweet sippin’ coffee.

See you in the lobby, kids…

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What’s on The Hook’s Mind… Again.

To be perfectly honest… my mind is pretty much a blank right now.

Except for personal challenges and random thoughts that flash by while I’m stuck on the crapper for hours, that is. (IBS rules!) At any rate, here are a few random thoughts I’ve had today.

Enjoy, and don’t blame me, blame television for making me this way.

The Wild Ride has reached San Diego Comic Con!  I am insanely-jealous of Susie Lindau right now. Then again, what else is new? She’s talented beyond measure, she’s a survivor and she’s eternally optimistic.

She really is the perfect human being that I’m not married to.

Andrew Gower with new friends Susie and Danny

Incidentally, Susie is the cutie on the left.  She’ll steal your heart and your secrets, apparently…

 

Spicer has left the White House building.  At least now he’ll have more time to hang out in the bushes. But seriously, the Trump saga is going to be so boring from now on.  Yes, I realize how that sounds. Shut up.

Who would’ve thought that “Old Spice” would be the one member of Donny’s inner circle to show some backbone and stand up for what he believes in? What’s America coming to?

 

He was a lousy father but we loved him anyway.  Actor John Heard, famous as the world’s most forgetful dad in the Home Alone series, has passed away. Heard was an accomplished character actor and by all accounts, a great guy. It’s a cliché but it’s true… he will be deeply missed.

Heard could never shake his role as the dad in the "Home Alone" movies.

“Don’t screw with me, Hook!  I’ll haunt your ass!”

 

Donald Trump Jr. is still a lying putz.  That’s it. What else is there to say, really?

 

This guy embodies everything that is wrong with America.  And the world really.  The video below says it all, but let me say this: While I can be quick on the trigger myself at times (metaphorically, of course; I’ve never held a gun in my life) this moron is a menace to society and service vehicles everywhere.

Whatever happened to restraint?  Or compassion for innocent motorized vehicles?  The true measure of a man is whether or not he can suffer fools (as he perceives them) gladly without resorting to, “Marge, get my gun!”

 

 

O.J. is free at last!  I wonder if he’ll return to Niagara eventually?  (I served the controversial Mr. Simpson on two memorable occasions.)  Don’t judge me too harshly; his money is still good as far as I’m concerned and he tips a helluva lot better than most guests.

“I’m coming for you, Hook!”

 

As I often tell the wife, “That’s all I got. I hope it was enough.”

See you in the lobby, kids…

 

 

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5×5 With The Hook: Patty Sullivan.

It’s not often I can apply the word “hero” to a television personality but today’s guest is more than deserving of the designation.

Yes, I’m being serious; this isn’t one of those cases where I’m utilizing my patented hyperbole to maximum effect. The truth is, Patty Sullivan has been shaping young minds for decades (and no, Patty, this shouldn’t make you feel old!) and I can think of no cause more noble.

Can you?

 

Patty Sullivan

I told you she was a knock-out – with a brain, of course…

 

I remember cuddling with my daughter on the couch of my in-laws backroom where we lived for a time, watching Patty as she hosted the TVOKids on TVOntario (think Canadian PBS) stable of programming, which, by the way, was clean as a whistle and entertaining for all ages. PS held court on Kiddie TV Land from 1994 to 2003 before moving on to the hosting position at the Kids’ CBC block on Canada’s network, CBC from 2003 to last year.

I could publish volumes about the circumstances surrounding Patty’s forced departure from CBC but out of respect for her, I’ll stay quiet for once in my life.

Which sucks, by the way.

At any rate, between her two hosting gigs and an untold number of public appearances at malls, schools, special events, uprisings and beheadings (oh, that Hook!) Patty Sullivan has educated, entertained and guided millions of young people – and more than one adult – to a degree that cannot be measured.

If that’s not a hero I don’t know what is.

Plus, she’s smart as a whip (whatever that means) damn cute and has proven she can take whatever life throws at her and laugh it off while raising her own kids and being a kick-ass partner to her spouse.

As for the rest of her bio, PS graduated from the radio and television arts program at Ryerson University in the 90s, after which she fully intended to pursue a career as the world’s foremost super spy. You may be laughing but think about it: who could possibly suspect such a smiley-faced grown cherub of being a female Bond? She would’ve slain the competition. Literally, of course.

Sadly, Patty kept blowing her cover by stopping to educate every kid she encountered on good manners, morals and math. It’s tough to be a Bourne with girl parts when you’re making balloon animals for a target’s children. And so she pursued a career in journalism, cutting her teeth in news radio before taking over Canada’s provincial public broadcasters.

The rest is Canadian TV history, kids.

Since she left, CBC Patty has appeared on Murdoch Mysteries (Yay!), Conviction and the reboot of the beloved children’s series, Caillou.

And now she’s here to make 5×5 history. So let’s get on with it shall we?

ONE)  You’ve helped raise entire generations of kids (seriously, many parents just stick the little ones in front of the TV while they get ready for work, vacuum, guzzle wine, etc.) but what do you do to feel like an adult on occasion?

Well, I’m a parent, so “adulting” pretty much makes up most of my day!!

As for doing adult things that don’t involve my kids, I like taking in some theatre (FYI – if you haven’t seen Come From Away, it’s a must-see when it returns!), and the occasional non-animated movie, (preferably in a VIP theatre because… well… have you been to one?), or just simply going out for dinner to a restaurant that doesn’t have a kids menu!

(I have to agree with PS: Cineplex VIP cinemas are beyond AWESOME!)

 

 

TWO)  You’ve been cast as the voice of “Mom” and “Grandma” in a new online version of the beloved, internationally-known animated series, Caillou​; is voice work cooler that live-action performing because you can show up in sweat pants and hair curlers if you feel like it?

I don’t know if I’d say voice work is cooler, but not having to put on make-up and do my hair before going to work is definitely a perk!

Another perk is the anonymity of it. Unless you’re a very recognizable voice (like Morgan Freeman), it’s unlikely anyone will stop you on the street to say “Hey, aren’t you that voice in ___ show?” Not that I crave anonymity. Being recognized for work I’ve done is incredibly rewarding and humbling.

But to your point, if I’m going to work in pajamas, I’d rather not get recognized at that particular moment. All this to say, voice work is incredibly challenging. I think there’s this belief that it’s an easy job, when in reality, that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Like any actor, you have to be able to take direction and do multiple takes, and sustain a character for an extended period of time. But when the audience can only hear your voice, that adds a level of difficulty that isn’t there when you’re seen and can use facial expressions and body language. Some of that may be added to the animation later, but being able to translate all of those feelings through of microphone is extremely challenging.

So cooler? No. Just as cool? Yes.

 

Related image

 

THREE)  On your desk right now I’d find…

A coffee cup, a bunch of papers piled up, a paper towel roll and whatever craft stuff my kids have left there! I’ve worked in an office downtown and midtown for most of my career, so up to now, I’ve only ever used our dining room table as my “home office” desk. I guess I need to remedy that?

(I once grew an entire potato from a bunch of leftover McDonald’s fries I left on my desk at home… so you’re good, Patty.)

 

FOUR)  You’ve watched Canadian television programming shift and sway over the years from a unique perspective – to say the least – in your opinion, where are we at right now? Have we improved? Do we have miles to go? Are the Swedes kicking our butts?

I hope this doesn’t sound too cliché, but I think Canadian TV has always been breaking ground, and still is.

Back when I was a kid it was shows like Hilarious House of Frightenstein, The Friendly Giant, and later, Street Cents. Then we saw incomparable programs like Kids in the Hall and Second City TV. Not to mention Trailer Park Boys, Little Mosque on the Prairie, and Orphan Black. I could go on and on listing the great programs that Canadian productions churn out year after year.

And as for children’s television — what I know best — we continue to be world leaders. You’ve heard of Paw Patrol, right? So even though the way we watch programs may be changing, the content we’re making continues to be top notch.

Sweden may have given us IKEA, but we gave the world Degrassi.

(And Degrassi super fan, Kevin Smith, is eternally grateful that we did.)

FUN FACT!  Patty’s husband, Michael Kinney, appeared on Degrassi for 16 seasons as Coach Armstrong. Knowledge, even of a trivial nature, is power, kids.

 

https://i0.wp.com/www.viewaskew.com/tv/degrassi/images/kevincaitlin.jpg

“Did The Hook just reference me again?  I though the lawyers handled that.”

 

FIVE)  Canada, our home and native land, and home to more coffee shops per square mile than any country on Earth, is celebrating it’s 150th birthday this year; can you share five words that sum up your personal feelings about this great land, Patty Sullivan?

I’ve travelled to every province and territory in this great country, so I can honestly say it makes me feel proud, fortunate, optimistic, passionate and inspired.

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CI15Y7zUcAAZL5e.jpg

“The 5×5 ordeal interview is over!  I’m free!”

 

And there you go, kids, another 5×5 milestone featuring a real-life heroic figure that my family – and most likely yours – owes a debt of gratitude to. So thank you, Patty Sullivan – for everything.

See you in the lobby, friends…

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It’s Monday; What’s On The Hook’s Mind?

Filling this space with something, pretty much anything, obviously.

So let’s get started, shall we?

ONE)  Seriously?  It’s World Emoji Day. If you were unaware of this real-world celebration of the virtual world, congratulations; it may not be much but you officially have something resembling a life.

 

https://downloademoji.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/superhero-emoji-keyboard-spiderman.jpg

TWO)  WTF!  Delta Air Lines has retaliated after what it refers to as a “public attack” on its wage slaves employees and victims of corporate greed customers by Ann Coulter, after the succubus conservative pundit posted a series of angry tweets over an inflight seat mix-up she experienced over the weekend. Personally, I think Coulter should be thankful Delta decided against whipping her bony ass out of the plane once it hit cruising level…

 

THREE)  Cold hard facts.  People are still choosing to end their lives by hurling themselves into the Niagara River via the Falls themselves. One of my best friends was among them. I couldn’t save him. I can’t save them. The wheel goes round and round and as much as I want to get off, I can’t.

Uplifting stuff, right?

 

 

FOUR)  Donny Boy’s at it again!  What’s Trump done now? Who cares! As much as my family loves watching Spicer’s escapades in the bushes, the podium, etc., it’s all too much for my fragile psyche. This circus just gets bigger and wilder. Every. Single. Day.

Enough already! This presidency feels like the worst acid trip of all time.

I suspect CNN and Anderson Cooper screwed with the election results and deliberately Trump in power solely for the humongous ratings surge that has shocked even them.

 

 

FIVE)  The Yankees are screwed.  In the US, this was supposed to be a all-or-nothing week for the GOP Senate’s health care bill, but instead, it’s officially in limbo land. Why? 

Because Trump has decided to transform Americans into vampires – or give them robot bodies – thus eliminating the need for health care all-together.

 

SIX)  Finally!  For the first time a woman, Brit actress Jodie Whittaker, will take over the iconic role of Time Lord adventurer Doctor Who. At least this Doctor will stop and ask for directions when the TARDIS gets lost…

My daughter, the ultimate feminist, did an actual back flip when my wife informed her of this milestone.

She broke two lamps and nearly squashed the dog, but it was a great moment in her eighteen-year-old history.

 

 Jodie WhittakerYou’ve come a long way in the timestream, baby…

 

SEVEN)  The Rebel Hook.  I was officially the sole human not watching the Game of Thrones premiere last night. It actually felt good, like I was a anarchist, bucking the rules for once in my life. I asked the wife if she wanted to sleep with a bad boy and she said, “Sure! Do I have time to do my hair before he gets here?”

 

EIGHT)  Leave my heroes alone, Death!  We lost George Romero and Martin Landau over the weekend. Why can’t the Grim Reaper take people who truly deserve it? Say, for example…

https://i1.wp.com/media.salon.com/2013/10/ann_coulter2.jpgYou’re looking in the wrong direction, Ann.  Your lord and benefactor, Satan, is down below.

 

NINE)  Middle-age sucks.  My IBS – or whatever the hell it is – is still keeping me up at night. Last evening my bowels sounded like an Alien queen caught in a tsunami after I took one of my little white pills. As you can imagine, it’s quite the turn-on for the wife, especially when I have to leap  out of bed and run downstairs to the secluded bathroom – in between bouts waves of agony, that is.

Where are those Kryptonian powers I ask for every year on my birthday?

 

TEN)  Believe it or not, he was one of the kindest, most generous guests I’ve ever served.  O.J. Simpson will go before a parole board to decide whether he can be released from prison. Personally, I hope he gets out.

Before you judge me too harshly, understand this: so far this summer has been filled with more cheap, rude travelers than I’ve dealt with in some time. Dealing with The Juice would be a welcome change from the nutty norm.

 

See you in the lobby, kids…

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When You Stare Into The Abyss…

The abyss stares back.

Apparently. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been much of an abyss starer.

Despite the philosophical direction this post appears to be taking aside, I don’t claim to know anything about existentialism, nihilism or any of that junk. Admit it, you’re shocked, right?

The truth is, this summer has barely started and it’s already been one of the worst of my entire forty-seven years of my existence. I know what you’re thinking, “Oh, that Hook! He’s about to go off on one of his patented rants. Buckle up, everyone!” But I’m afraid that’s not the case.

One of my oldest colleagues, a dear friend, a brother, is dead, the victim of tragic circumstances and human failure.

My mother, from whom I have been estranged for years, has cancer. Our relationship is as fractured as that Tiffany lamp my nine-year-old self once chucked my cousin’s Andy’s Stretch Armstrong at during a particularly memorable visit. Unbeknownst to me, Ole Stretch’s corn syrup was long past it’s expiration date, and so he became a wrecking ball, intent on wreaking havoc on my aunt Kathy’s living room – and my childhood reputation as a good nephew. As for my mother, there’s really nothing more to say; I can’t change the past or revise her version of it.

My stomach has been operating on 30% power for three years and as a result, I was forced to ingest four liters of the most vile liquid mixture known to mankind this week in order to prepare myself for a colonoscopy and an endoscopy (the wife joked that they were going to meet in the middle). It’s a well-known fact that men are big babies at times, but having to drink four liters of PegLyte in twelve hours reduced me to a whiny brat who would’ve traded a kidney in order to spare himself further agony.

Even the nurses told me, “the worst is over honey! The procedure itself is a breeze compared to what you’ve already been through!” Nevertheless, I walked into the Greater Niagara General Hospital of my own accord, put on one of those horrible gowns you can never get tied up, let the nurse put a shunt in my hand (blood sprayed all over though I didn’t feel it) and proceeded to the operating room.  To be fair, they wheeled me, so I didn’t actually have to do shit. The the doctor told me, “I’m just going to spray this down your throat. Don’t swallow, just turn over and drool on this towel.”, to which I responded, “Bet you use that line during a lot of dates, right, Doc?”

He wasn’t impressed at first but then he erupted into raucous laughter. Then the anesthesiologist brought things back down to earth with a serious thud by saying, “I’m going to be putting you under heavy sedation but some patients will wake up, see all these people working on them and freak out! But then they just go back to sleep… so you should be good. Okay?”

I nodded. What other choice did I have? If I pissed her off she could’ve given me a one-way ticket to the land of the white light. And so the doc sprayed, and in spite of his instructions, I swallowed until I passed out. (Sounds so wrong, doesn’t it?) I woke up a short while later and got two thumbs up on my colonoscopy.

Again, that sounds super wrong.

However, at the end of the day, my stomach is still a mess though my colon is now clean as a whistle. Though I would appreciate it if you resisted the urge to wrap your lips around my colon and blow. If you’re into that sort of thing, that is…

Now, what the hell else is wrong in my life?

Oh yeah, work! My fellow bellmen have all been devastated by the loss of our brother, Ron Stevens, but as cliché as it is to type, life goes on. As it must. As it will when I leave the Bell department someday. As for the summer itself, it’s sucked harder than Mercedes Carrera during a film shoot. (Emphasis on “shoot”, obviously.) And bother, that’s pretty hard.

Cheap guests are going to come into a bellman’s life; that’s inevitable. It’s all part of the job. Like seeing ugly naked people, running into sixty-year-old hookers or swamp ass. (It can get pretty stuffy in those uniforms and some hotel hallways.) But this hospitality season is fresh out of the box and it already stinks.

Guests to Niagara Falls this summer have been stingy beyond compare.

Guests to Niagara Falls this summer have been so miserable they’ve made Donald Trump look like a literal court jester.

Guests to Niagara Falls this summer have been of the “A full service hotel? What’s that mean? Is that a sex thing?” variety.

And so it’s been challenging to say the least.

The worst part of this summer? My super-sized writer’s block. And yes, that means I’ve been blocked both metaphorically and literally, thanks ever so much for noticing.

In fact, the only thing I’ve been even slightly enthusiastic about is the filmed version of the blog, a project that appears to be as dead in the water as Batfleck’s Batman script. (Get thee to Google, kids!) I have a short-but-tight-script. I have a cast of amateur-but-awesome actors. I’ll have a location when and if I need it. What I don’t have is film equipment or the skills of any of my filmmaking  colleagues/acquaintances, which I desperately need.

I can’t pull this off alone. Interesting side note: Whenever I tell the wife the same thing, she responds with, “You can’t pull it off alone? Sure you can… I’ve seen you!”

At least my marriage is as sound as ever.

My brilliant, cutting edge humor aside, the truth is…

I’m tired. I mean, in-my-bones-and-soul tired.

I’m fed up.

I’m directionless right now.

And on that uplifting note… have a great night, kids!

 

https://legaltemplates.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/for-rent1.gif

Why not, right?  I’m not doing anything else with it these days…

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5×5 With The Hook: Michael Shanks.

I’ve said it before (mostly to the wife) but I really mean it this time: You’re going to remember this one for a long time.

With a career spanning decades (he first appeared on fandom’s collective radar in 1993 with a role on the Highlander TV series and has remained there ever since thanks to his role as Dr. Daniel Jackson on Stargate SG-1) Michael Garrett Shanks (a.k.a Dr. Charlie Harris of the worldwide television blockbuster series Saving Hope) is practically a Canadian institution. (Certainly a more beloved one than Revenue Canada.) He is one of those rare actors who can play hockey legend Gordie Howe one minute (which he did, by the way) and follow it up with three episodes of a spy thriller series 24 or a sci-fi adventure. To most people, Daniel-Day Lewis is the ultimate actor but as far as I’m concerned, that spot belongs to Michael Shanks. (Yes, I can kiss ass with the best of them, thanks for noticing.)

 

“If The Hook thinks I’m shaving for this thing, he’s crazy.”

 

Fun Facts:  Michael’s 24 eps predated his turn as Gordie Howe (for you sticklers) and his stint on 24 actually featured him having coitus in “real-time”.

Stick that in your period piece pipe and smoke it Daniel-Day-Lewis.

And on a personal note, I started this day convinced my 5×5 series was done; it’s been months since I’ve received a response from any of my subjects, despite their agreement to put themselves through my unique form of torture brilliance. Between this development and my own personal challenges (helplessly watching one of your best friends slide into crisis until he finally takes his own life is not an experience I recommend) I was certain my writer’s block would finish me off for good.

Then an email from Mr. Shanks himself arrived.You have to understand, Michael Shanks is Charlie Harris in my house. The first time my daughter called me into her room screaming, “You have to watch this show, Saving Hope! It’s got Lois and Hawkman from Smallville… and it’s AMAZING!”, was a watershed moment. We bonded over this show. The family had Murdoch Mysteries, but Hope was and will always be our show.

And yes, Hope’s Erica Durance was Lois Lane in Smallville and Mr. Shanks made a few all-too brief appearances as one of the coolest and most complex superheroes in DC Comics history. This world isn’t the easiest in which to survive, but shows like Saving Hope, a mix of supernatural mystery, medical complexity and human drama, help make the challenge a little easier. Seeing Micheal’s virtual response in my email has helped me get through a grueling week.

Hope has returned to my life. (Pun intended.)

Now Michael has helped me score some serious street cred with my daughter, and for that I am forever grateful. And he’s about to give us all some insight into his personality, his career and life in general. Normally, this would be the part of our program where I fill you in on Michael’s bio, but this is an extra-large edition of the 5×5 series so we’re going to jump right in headfirst. Anyone wishing to get some background info on Mr. Shanks can do so by clicking here.

One more thing before we begin, this week’s sorta 5×5 is particularly fitting, as the final Shanks’-directed episode of Hope, “We Need To Talk About Charlie Harris” just aired last night. And now, friends, on with the show.

ONE)  This year you won the respect and love of strangers, fans and I’m guessing even the odd troll, with a tweet where you defended the honor of your beloved wife, Lexa.  Is it as hard as I imagine to read something negative and downright mean about the one closest to your heart?

Nope, its not fun to read crap about your loved ones via social media. Sometimes its hard not to react. However, sometimes one needs to grow a thicker skin when dealing with internet trolls. Yes D.Trump, I’m looking in your general direction…

 

TWO)  To me, you’ve always been an Everyman actor, capable of molding yourself perfectly to any role. Are you as adaptable in life or just when assuming a role?

Nope. I’m certainly not as versatile in everyday life – I am what I am.

(I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure Popeye stole that line from Michael.)

It’s certainly more fun to try on other peoples skin, and live their lives because it is temporary and theoretical. That being said, I learn something new about myself with each new character I play.

 

THREE)  If you could be any type of surgical instrument what would you be?

I would love to be an x-ray machine or a CT scanner. I love to have a good overview without being invasive. 😉

“What do you mean I’m on The Hook’s blog today?  I thought that whole thing was a joke!  He’s real?”

 

FOUR)  Are we entering spoiler territory if I ask if the Great Randall or maybe even Gavin (talk about a blast from the past!) will be returning to Hope Zion one last time?

As we have already seen The Great Randall, we know what fate became him. As for Gavin, strangely enough the character of ‘Amos’, played by Don McKellar was originally imagined to mark the return of our beloved Dr. Murphy. Unfortunately, Kristopher Turner was unavailable. Having just recently gotten himself married and departing on his honeymoon, we kind of understood his dilemma.

(My daughter was quite unhappy with this outcome, as Gavin was one of her faves, but she’s young, she’ll get over it.)

 

FIVE)  Your wife, Lexa Doig (most recently of Arrow), is a brilliant actress; do thespian couples face more challenges than the average coupling?

I would never deem to imagine what constitutes “normal” in a modern context. I would say that travel and hours of work are a bit of a problem in our biz, but we’ve somehow managed to keep the ship from capsizing.

 

Stunning!  (And Lexa looks good too.)

 

SIX)  What’s in your pockets right now?

Lint.

 

Fun Side Fact:  As a bellman I meet all sorts of travelers. I once met a couple of middle-aged cosplayers who brought along some Stargate SG-1 costumes that were sticking out of their bags. He was Michael’s Daniel Jackson… and she was the Stargate.

Think about it…

SEVEN)  Not content to tweet out your feelings on the state of the world, you put your money where your mouth is with a charity bazaar and an auction option on your website; do you attribute this to your Canadian working-class roots or are you just an exceptional human being, Michael?

I would hope that anyone that is in a position to help someone that is having a hard time, would and should. My family has an open and giving heart. Sometimes to our own peril.

(This answer has touched me in a deeply personal way and I want to thank Michael and his family for all the good work they do to help their fellow human beings.)

 

EIGHT)  The late great Alan Thicke left this world doing what he loved most, playing hockey. (Okay, there may have been at least one thing Alan loved more, but one can’t really do that on ice, especially not in the presence of one’s teenage son.) As a fellow aficionado of the sport, would you like to share this fate, if given the choice?  (Yes, discussing your passing may seem cold, pun intended, but I strive to be different.) 

When I go, it will hopefully be doing something I love, like our dearly departed Canadian Icon colleague. I don’t know if hockey is ideal. I would prefer somewhere warmer. Yes: hint, hint….

 

NINE)  You love your fans and as such, you’ve put in time at many a con; do these appearance usually leave you spiritually energized (if not physically drained) or have there been times where you regret not becoming a lumberjack or a businessman?

Having spent my summers doing less than desirable jobs to pay my way through school, I can say that I have no regrets about my career choice.

As I always say: “It beats working for a living…”

(As a bellman, I can attest to that.)

 

TEN)  Do you ever watch a movie/TV show with your kids only to have them ask, “Hey, why aren’t you on Modern Family or in John Wick, dad?”

I don’t know if our children actually see my wife and I as actors. The only time it dawns on them that we are is when we’re occasionally on shows that they actually watch.

 

ELEVEN)  Any new projects on the horizon that you’re at liberty to discuss with us, Michael?

Nope. Nothing on the horizon right now. Just enjoying being home for awhile.

 

TWELVE)  Saving Hope isn’t just a wholly-unique medical drama with the best lens flare on television; in my house it’s the show that allowed my daughter and I to bond while live-tweeting. This may be a bit much to ask, but what five words come to mind when you think of your years at Hope Zion?

Five words…… hmmmmm.

  1. Angst.
  2. Argument.
  3. Relief.
  4. Family.
  5. Blessing.

 

THIRTEEN)  Can you recall the first time you realized your work resonated in people’s lives long after the performance ended?

Nope. Cant recall the first time. However, that is the soul-goal of actors: to affect the audience. Its the rush that we all get addicted to.

Thank you! And thanks to all the Saving Hope fans around the world that has kept the show going for 5 wonderful years. The show will always occupy a special place in my heart.

(Likewise, buddy.)

And that, my friends, concludes our program for today. “Thank you” doesn’t begin to cover the debt I owe today’s guest, but it’s all I have. Yes, I am a cheap bastard, thank you ever so much for noticing.

The truth is, I don’t feel my work is worthy of the brilliance of Michael Shanks but I’m going to bite the bullet and publish this sucker anyway. Thanks for being here to watch me suffer, everyone.

See in the lobby and on the small screen and various devices, kids…

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Why I Love Being Canadian.

There are many things one can choose to be in this life but you can’t pick your parents or where you’re going to escape from the womb.

That said, I’m damn glad my origin story began North of the border. Here’s why.

ONE)  Our leader, while obsessed with selfies and his own smile… isn’t Donald Trump.

 

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TWO)  We’re known the world over for our cuisine (though poutine isn’t exactly a shining example of what we’re capable of in the kitchen) and our role as peace keepers.

Though my wife will kick your ass nine ways to Sunday if you cross her.

 

THREE)  Canada is home to some of the sexiest creatures on the planet. And I’m not just talking about me…

 

Yes, you can come in, Elisha Cuthbert….

 

By the way, Miss Cuthbert married a hockey player. it doesn’t get any more Canadian than that.

 

FOUR)  WE CREATED SUPERMAN!  It’s a fact. Get over it, America.

 

 

FIVE)  Our money pisses Americans off. So I have to admit, that makes me quite happy.

“It’s so many different colors!  And you’ve got one dollar and two dollar coins with weird-ass names like ‘the loonie’!  What the hell’s going on in this country?” – Actual quote from an American guest. Man, that eleven-year-old girl was surly.

SIX)  William Shatner is one of ours.  Yes, that fact is a double-edged sword, I know.  But in the end, he gave the world Captain Kirk, Denny Crane and more hammy performances wrapped up into a career spanning decades than any actor will ever be able to lay claim to. So that’s nice, right?

 

SEVEN)  Residents of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, leave their cars unlocked to offer an escape for pedestrians who might encounter Polar Bears.

Life in this country is not only hard at times, it’s wacky as fuck. I love that about my home and native land.

 

EIGHT)  Our version of Niagara Falls is green, lean and filled with some of the coolest souls in the Multiverse. And I’m not just talking about me…

 

Okay, so this pic isn’t exactly “green”.  Shut up.

 

NINE)  Prostitution is legal in Canada. Buying the services of a prostitute is not.

Okay, so we’re also complicated as fuck.  I also love that about us.

Yes, this pic is wrong, hypnotic… and awesome.

 

TEN)  Canada has no weapons of mass destruction since 1984 and has signed treaties repudiating their possession.

We’re defend our land with our lives, but at our core, we’re lovers, not fighters.

 

ELEVEN)  Dildo is a town on the island of Newfoundland, Canada.

Need I say more?

 

Happy 150th, Canada. I love this country and all it stands for. Like towns named after sex toys, a national animal that makes people giggle and think of a female sex organ and our reputation as a nation of decent, harmless folks.

Who will fuck your shit up if you go too far in mocking us.

See you in the northern, non-frozen lobby, kids…

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