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Canadian Satirical and Comedy Writers Mobilize; Beg Stockwell Day to Remain in Politics

A coalition of Canada's satirical and comedy writers representing a wide range of interests, from The Royal Canadian Air Farce to Frank Magazine, have united to make a plea to embattled Canadian Alliance Leader Stockwell Day to remain in national politics.

Since Day put his leadership on the line in July by announcing that a new leadership contest will be held for the Alliance within the next six months, comedy writers and comedians have been panicking. His non-committal attitude towards whether or not he will actually be a candidate in the new leadership race has made comedy industry representatives even more nervous, so much so that they have formed a pro-Day advocacy group entitled Canadian Comedy Workers for Day (CCWD).

Canadian comedy's raison d'être, Mr. Stockwell Day.

"Stockwell, the country needs you. We need you to look deep inside yourself, if possible, and realize your importance to the country's largest industry and biggest export: comedy," said Lisa Dyment, a writer for This Hour has 22 Minutes and noted Canadian comedy historian.

"We're talking about an individual here whose significance cannot be underestimated. I mean, Stockwell's arguably the most lampooned Canadian public figure since (former Prime Minister) Mackenzie King."

Added CTV late night talk show host and official Liberal Party of Canada comedian Mike Bullard: "Please, Mr. Day. Think of our productivity here in Canada that you so often complain about. What would your departure do to help?"

Traveling stand-up comedian Jimmy DeWitt also expressed concern, particularly with regards to his act's freshness should Day not run in the leadership race: "I've milked Day for seven or eight months solid now, I mean, the stuff he comes out with….it just writes itself," said the Niagara Falls-based comic.

Staff writers from This Hour has 22 Minutes stage a CCWD sponsored pro-Stockwell Day protest outside CBC headquarters in Halifax.

"I guess if I had to, I could dig out my old Chrétien impressions or something in a worst case scenario. For me, dat stuff never go howt of style," said DeWitt with a hearty chuckle as he cracked the room up with some classic Jean Chrétien imitations.

In anticipation that Day will run as a candidate, numerous comedy industry workers are taking out party memberships so that they can vote for Day in the new leadership race, according to Alliance party officials.

"I haven't seen so many new memberships pour in so quickly since (former Alliance leadership candidate) Tom Long signed up all those dead Quebeckers last year," said an anonymous Alliance official.

"We didn't even have this many members back in the pre-jet ski, debate cue card, Niagara River, secret spy, libel lawsuit, Canadians outside Alberta didn't know anything about this guy other than he's good looking which must mean he's competent salad days," said the party official.

Cindy-Sue Fullmore, Day's spokesperson this week, declined comment on the activities of CCWD, other than mentioning that their support is "appreciated," and "demonstrative that Stockwell Day still has plenty of supporters amongst grass roots Canadians who have confidence in his abilities," failing to notice the irony in her comments.

Posted on August 24th, 2001

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