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Canada Appreciation Month: Lorne Michaels

Every day throughout December, Toons is taking the time to show some appreciation for our neighbors to the north for all that they have to offer. 

Today, Toons would like to recognize a Canadian who has indirectly touched the lives of nearly every American over the age of 12 in one way or another. A Canadian who has equally influenced several generations of comedians and comediennes. Today, Toons recognizes....

Lorne Michaels

In November of 1944, Lorne Michaels was born in the small Canadian town of Toronto, Ontario. Except his name wasn't Lorne Michaels then. His birth name was Lorne Lipowitz.

Who Lipowitz would grow up to be is the significant part of this story.

For whatever reason, Canadian entertainment is extremely hit or miss. Maybe it's lack of funding. It could be lack of exposure which brings less importance. Either way, Lorne would grow up thriving in showbiz as a writer and producer after moving to the United States.

His successes in include credited work with CBC Radio (Canada), Laugh-In, The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show and the Canadian comedy series The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour. That last one doesn't sound very "terrific" but apparently it garnered some accolades over it's short life because Michaels was able to keep plugging away.

Then he, along with NBC president Herb Schlosser and Dick Ebersol, created what has become a pop culture staple here in the States: Saturday Night Live.

Shortly after creating SNL, he came up with another sketch comedy show which gained huge popularity in Canada and on Comedy Central called Kids In The Hall.

Both shows have featured some of the most well-known legends in the history of comedy as regular cast members. George Carlin, Jim Beluschi, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy, Chris Farley, Chris Rock, Mike Myers, Andy Kaufman. The list goes on and on. And on some more.

His work on spin-off movies and television shows is equally long. From Wayne's World to Coneheads to Three Amigos, over 30 years of movies. And on the small screen, shows like 30 Rock, Portlandia, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon all have felt his influence.

So, for providing the world with a man whose career has spanned five decades and brought us all so much joy, we salute you once again, Canada!


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