While I was a Masters graduate student, I conducted a number of interviews for my book on Character Creation and the Law. One such interview was with the legendary Ernie Coombs who I knew as Mr. Dressup while growing up. Coombs died 4 weeks after this interview was conducted which makes it his last official interview ever. I take great pride in sharing that interview with you all, in this full episode tribute to Ernie Coombs Mr. Dressup.
I asked some musician friends of mine to write a Tribute Song to Mr. Dressup Ernie Coombs to the tune of O' Canada. Below is that video.
Ernie Coombs played Mr. Dressup on television for almost 30 years. He died in 2001. The show Mr. Dressup still airs in reruns. Millions of Canadian children grew up watching this Icon, and remember him, Casey, Finnigan, Aunt Bird, Truffles, Chester, Alligator Al, and the rest of the gang. If you are a Mr. Dressup and a Tickle Trunk fan, let others know about this original creation to spread the word.
-Frank (A Mr.Dressup fan forever)
Just wanted to share some recent media appearances I have made in case you missed them.
To learn more about what Frank Kermit can do for you,
or to sign up on the FrankTalks newsletter please visit:
Frank on CJAD.com 800 AM on the Passion Radio Show
On September 28, 2016
Dating Dilemmas 74
This is Frank Kermit's 114th appearance on CJAD's Passion radio program. Frank Kermit joins producer and host Dr Laurie Betito and Fritz-Gerald of Elite Speed Dating to talk about the Dating Dilemmas people face.
-Would You Date a Virgin?
-Meet David Essel
-Boundaries vs Preferences
-Is it stalking or pursuing a love interest?
-Is it OK for a woman to ask out a man for a 2nd date?
-Online Dating Scam Advice
-How to help a woman leave a 7 yr abusive relationship
-Dating is NOT for cowards- It is JUST one date
CliffsList.Com Interviews Frank Kermit
You can find this interview at the updated Cliffslist interviews Frank Kermit page
Frank Kermit on CJAD.com from August 2016
August 26, 2016
Dating Dilemmas 73
This is Frank Kermit's 113th appearance on CJAD's Passion radio program. Frank Kermit joins producer and host Dr Laurie Betito and Fritz-Gerald of Elite Speed Dating to talk about the Dating Dilemmas people face.
-Does the number of sexual partners matter?
-How to talk about a drug involved past on a date?
-Dr Laurie calls Frank a Drama King
-When a guy is told he is too clean and straight to date
-Online radio Matchmaking
-Finding time to date your spouse
-her ex is dating her best friend
-MGTOW man refuses to date because of how mom divorced dad
-should a man pay for sex?
Remembering Bob McDevitt
by Frank Kermit
Bob was a great guy. I had the great fortune of working as his Teaching Assistant for two years, when he was a lecturer at the Journalism of Concordia University. I got to sit in on his classes and absorb his lectures, and study the way he would convey his 30+ years of journalist experience to class after class of students.
His lectures included journalism know how, grit, and personal stories from his days as a professional. I still remember some of the stories he told, which communicated exactly the honorable good, and the painfully disgust that is humanity, and how to present a story to be fair and balanced.
Thank you Bob for your wisdom and the opportunity to work for you.
Robert (Bob) McDevitt - Obituary
McDEVITT, ROBERT (BOB)
September 6, 1931-September 8, 2016
After several months of declining health, Bob McDevitt died September 8, 2016 at the Jewish General Hospital with his wife Pat at his side.
Starting as a 16-year-old sailor in the Merchant Navy, Bob lived life to the fullest. He had an illustrious 34-year career in broadcasting, beginning as Ol' Saddlesores, a country & western DJ in Sudbury, Ontario. Bob eventually moved to the CBC in Montreal where he spent 27 years as a sports journalist, interviewing everyone from Muhammad Ali to Lester B. Pearson. After taking early retirement from the CBC, Bob embarked on another adventure, teaching Broadcast Journalism for 12 years at Concordia University and helping shape a new generation of journalists. This fact was endlessly amusing to Bob, a kid from Park Ex with only a grade 8 education.
Professional life aside, Bob was perpetually curious about the world, and people were his oxygen. He loved few things more than hoisting a jar with friends and was actively involved in a variety of clubs, including the Montreal Irish Rugby Football Club, the Montreal West Curling Club, the NDG YMCA, the Cavendish Club, and the Fossils.
Above all, Bob was a devoted family man, supportive, generous, and loving, who taught his children invaluable lessons in the way he embraced honesty and integrity in his daily life, sometimes to the detriment of his professional life.
Bob went out true to himself: not quietly. His last few days were eased by the expert and humane care of the doctors, nurses, and staff at the Jewish General Hospital, for which the family will be forever grateful.
Bob embodied these lines from Invictus, his favorite poem:
"I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul."
Well done, dear husband. Well done, dear dad.
Bob leaves behind Patricia, his wife of 56 years, his three children, Katy, Neale, and Craig, and their respective partners and children.
At Bob's request, there will be no funeral service. There will be a visitation on Thursday, September 15, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Collins Clarke MacGillivray White Funeral Home, 5610 Sherbrooke St. West, Montreal. Cards of condolence may be sent to the funeral home.
A celebration of Bob's life a party will be held at a future date. Details to be announced later.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Bob McDevitt Award Endowment at Concordia University: online at concordia.ca/givenow; by telephone at 514-848-2424, ext. 3884; by sending a cheque payable to Concordia University to: Concordia University, 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W., FB-520, Montreal, QC H3G 1M8. When making a contribution, donors should specify their gift is for the Bob McDevitt Award Endowment.
Get Comfortable With The Causes of Grief
by Frank Kermit
This is the first of a series of articles I want to present
on the topics of Bereavement, Grief and Mourning.
The reason I created this group of articles is because I think
that people who are coping with loss generally,
do not get the compassion and support they really need.
People are generally uncomfortable with dealing with any sort
Whether the grief is their own, or dealing with the grief of others.
It makes for awkward interactions, and that is not right.
A person in grief is too wrapped up in their own emotions,
to really notice the awkwardness of the people around them
offering any kind of support.
And those people who would want to offer support,
are too concerned they might make things worse
for the person in mourning.
So these articles aims to help prepare all people to better
manage their sense of loss, and how to better support
the people in their lives who are experiencing a loss.
Losses that may cause grief include:
-Death of a loved one.
-Being diagnosed with a chronic or terminal disease.
-Disability from a severe accident or illness.
-Divorce or the end of a relationship.
-Miscarriage or stillbirth.
-The birth of a child with a birth defect.
-A diagnosis of infertility.
-Learning that your child or teen has developed a behavior problem, learning disability, or substance abuse disorder.
-A move from a familiar home. This is especially hard for older adults.
-Loss of independence after a serious accident or illness.
-An act of violence or a natural disaster.
-Starting school (loss of the comfort of home and familiar surroundings).
-Gaining increasing independence and self-responsibility in the late childhood and teen years (loss of dependence on parents).
-Marriage (loss of independent decision making).
-Birth of a child (loss of independence).
-Retirement (loss of income, work-related identity, and daily social contact).
-Aging and maturing (loss of physical strength and youthful appearance).
As you can see, chances are that EVERYONE is going have to cope with loss
at some point in their lives.
It is fundamentally important that we all develop coping skills.
I hope people find these articles useful.
by David Black
Today I am absolutely dejected as I unfortunately had to say goodbye to the best friend I've ever had in my entire life.
We had the best 13 years together that any dog and human could ask for, and I wouldn't trade one day of the time we got to spend together. You were intelligent, cunning, brave, loyal. You never needed a leash, you could say human words. You even had a sense of humour, which may sound unbelievable but anyone who knew you knows how smart, present and eerily coherent you always were.
I will miss you forever and I will never ever forget you!
This really stings, and I'm trying to just keep reminding myself you are in a better place and no longer suffering. You were my entire world and my heart I literally loved you and thought about you as much as any people in my life.
You are and always were people too as far as I'm concerned, and I will remember you and miss you and cherish you and the time we spent together as best friends forever.
I hope your soul is somewhere, running with people who love you and take care of you and your eating all the pita bread, cheese and pizza you could ever want.
Rest in peace Hagan, I'll always love you and you'll always be my Hoogy and my number 1 best buddy.
Remembering Merv Williams
by Sheldon Eric Fried
I am totally shocked to hear the news about the passing of my friend as well as my former work colleague Merv Williams. I worked with him many years at CJAD, Mix (now Virgin) 96 & CHOM. He had an extraordinary sense of humour & shared many laughs. Merv was also extremely talented and I remembered he would work so many hours at a time.
He loved his work at the radio stations and he would always go to bat for the people who knew him and worked with him. Merv is now on stage up above looking at us from heaven and telling us stories that will make us smile and laugh. You will be missed.
My deepest sympathies to his family, friends, & loved ones. My heart & thoughts shall be with all of you during this very difficult and painful time.
(The funeral) was a very emotional day for many people like myself to pay tribute to a former work colleague, a person with a great sense of humor - the late Shannon Mervyn Williams whose life had been taken away way too early as we gathered all together and said goodbye to him one last time.
There were many people who had spoken about Merv; some had amusing stories, while others had sad ones. The turnout was incredible as the hall was filled to capacity of people - many from CJAD, Virgin 96, & CHOM.
It was a tribute to a wonderful Human being. It was nice to catch up with one another however, hopefully in the future, will be under better occasions. There were many stories told and shared by all of us if Shannon. I was proud to work with a dedicated, humorous, and down to earth individual who never had a bad word to say about anyone.
To everyone in Shannon Mervyn Williams' family, thank you for allowing us to get to know him and having the opportunity to work with him.
Thank you also for allowing all of us to all come together and pay tribute one last time in honour of the late Shannon Mervyn Williams - forever in our hearts and thoughts. R. I. P!
Rest In Peace my good friend!
Remembering the Dead at a Wedding
by Frank Kermit
Sometimes, couples who marry want to do something
at the wedding in memory of the people who passed away.
This happens, especially when the death was recent.
At my wedding, my wife and I did a little ceremony at the reception
where we lit a candle and read an inscription, announcing it was
in memory of various relatives that had died, who would have
wanted to attend. It was very short, but it did bring us come
comfort, and it was also comforting to some of the attendees
who were still in mourning.
We all cope with loss differently.
It is important for the wedding couple to also remember,
that not everyone will appreciate your efforts
to pay tribute to your lost loved ones.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make,
is they try to tell someone else that how they grieve is wrong.
For example, this story is of a wedding I attended:
A father dies a few months before his son is set to be married.
At the wedding, a special tribute is made in honor of the late father.
The groom and his mom dance to a song that was in memory of his dad.
All the guests were invited on the dance floor to circle them.
Then it happened...
at one point, the groom and his mom started to cry a little.
It was not a hysterical cry at all, but the tears were evident.
Everyone around them formed into a circle continued to move to the music.
...except one man.
He started to raise his voice to tell the DJ to stop the music.
He was an uncle in the family, and felt that the song and tribute
was making them cry and that it was wrong.
So he made a fool of himself trying to stop the tribute.
Luckily, the DJ and the rest of the guests ignored him.
The uncle was not comfortable with seeing, or dealing with, grief.
He tried to "protect" everyone else from grief as well.
That was the worst thing he could have done, and lucky for
everyone at the wedding, the DJ was smart enough not to listen to him.
Make sure that you let the DJ, or other wedding professionals involved know about any potential trouble-makers, and let the wedding professionals also know exactly what your wishes are
in case a wedding guest decides to act out.
If you can predict who might be the kind of person to act out,
at your wedding,
it might be a good idea to let that person know ahead of time
what you are planning.
This is not about getting that person's permission.
It is more about letting that person know,
so the shock of surprise
in combination of the grief and mourning
does not motivate that person
into doing something
that will turn your wedding
to a spectacle.
Remembering August 1, 2012.
Today I had to say goodbye to a wonderful companion.
Lucky was a black rescue cat. He was about 5-6 yrs old when we adopted him.
He had health problems from day 1. Over the last 4 years we did everything we could to care for him, and make him comfortable, and give him a good life.
He was very sweet, would try to lick groom my son when my son was just an infant, never bit, never scratched, purred when he was held, and acted grateful for any affection that came his way.
I know it seems silly to attach human conditions to pets, but that is what it felt like to us.
Our remaining cat Treun with whom he was very bonded with, already feels his absence.
I am saddened by this loss. Heart Broken really.
His health simply deteriorated to the point where his suffering was constant. I had sincerely hoped he would have been able to hold on until we were able to financially afford a home in Nova Scotia where he could have a back yard to frolic in...but time has its own agenda. I will place a small marker on the land once we get there to pay homage to his life, and sprinkle his ashes nearby so that he always will have a proper resting place.
I love you Lucky cat.
Sean Keane Tribute
By Frank Kermit
The first time I got to know Sean Keane was back in January 1995. I had seen him perform on stage a couple of years earlier, but it was only in 1995 that I got to know him more personally. I was a student in Communication Studies at Concordia University in the Television Production Level 2 course, and was part of a small team of students producing a documentary on the topic of comedy as our major class project. We were a young, eager group, hungry for the chance to showcase what we could do, and build up our portfolio to get jobs in the industry.
The documentary entitled Laugh-Trax featured stand-up comics Alastair McAlastair, Sean Keane, the musical sketch comedy team of Radio Free Vestibule, and a group of wannabes comics from a workshop on stand-up comedy led by more established comics Barry Julien and David John McCarthy. At the time, that documentary represented one of the most important works any of us Concordia students had ever ventured doing towards carving a name for ourselves in the industry.
We were grateful for any participation we got from the talent we filmed. I remember that Sean Keane was actually incredibly supportive in ways that we could not have begun to imagine. Sean gave our documentary more time in being filmed and interviewed than we could have reasonably expected.
One night, Sean had invited us to videotape him doing a full set at a comedy club. The team filmed him, but the crowd was just not as high on his style of comedy as we would have liked. Sean’s humor was unique and sometimes, it took audiences a little while to really get the character he played on stage. Nonetheless, we were grateful just for getting the chance to record the man in action. As the crew packed up, Sean made a phone call. He had reached out to someone at another comedy club that same night asking if he could crash the show, and perform on stage so that the students he was helping out could get another shot at recording him live on stage. The club administration agreed.
In walked Sean Keane, with a group of students who feverishly but quietly set up their equipment at the back of the bar, getting an audio feed from the club’s sound board while the other comedians performed and Sean worked out the details with the M.C. for the night, about how to introduce him. The MC made it a point to say that Sean Keane was in the house, crashed the party and was going to be a special unannounced attraction. Sean headed towards the stage, with his trademark theme song playing (the man had his own theme song!!), and the crowd went nuts. THIS crowd knew who Sean Keane was. His act was over the top (as usual), but there was something a little different. He knew we were filming him and he put on an awesome performance that included and extra dance with M.C. of the night Alastair McAlastair. At the end of the set, the crowd roared, and we got the footage we were desperately looking for. Thank you Sean Keane!
In time, I would learn that Sean actually had some anxiety about performing live and on camera. Despite that, he performed for us twice in one night when he did not have too. What a guy. Sean Keane the human being, was incredibly far removed from the character he played on stage whose comedic remarks included a rudeness, grunts, and the narcissists comments of a self-centered glory hound.
Years later, I would run into Sean Keane while I volunteered at the West Mount Legal Clinic in the YMCA. Sean told me that he wasn’t performing as much, but that making people laugh was still in his heart, and that he had lots of ideas that he wanted to explore in the future related to comedy. Found out he was a real health nut, and had the biggest soft spot when it came to animals. Once again, Sean Keane the human being was so far removed from the character he played on stage. We would see each other regularly on the streets of NDG for years, with a friendly hello and small conversations.
Every time I ran into him, all I could think of to myself is: There was an entertainer with the elusive IT factor. He knew how to press the right buttons and given long enough to warm over the crowd, could evoke a reaction from almost anyone. I always believed that he just needed the right break, and that he would be an overnight success. I never questioned it.
In late 2012, I was on Facebook, and George Bowser (Bowser and Blue) wrote in that Sean Keane had died at age 52. Shocked was an understatement. How could someone so in love with healthy habits and so full of life be gone? And so young? It just did not make sense.
Sometimes, I think about Sean Keane while I go about my day-to-day routine, and I am always bothered by one thing. The fact that someone like Sean, with the raw charisma and IT factor power that Sean had, never made it to the Tonight Show. If I ever get to the Tonight Show myself, I think I will bring a picture of Sean Keane with me, and help introduce the world to him. From what I understand, it was one of his dreams, and if I can help him like that, in the same way he helped out a bunch of students achieve their dream so many years ago, I would like to think it is the type of karma that Sean would have enjoyed.
“Sean was the most unique comic I’ve ever met. He had his own style, own look even his own theme song! Sean was just a kind individual. Always great to speak to or hang out with him, he will be greatly missed,” says Joey Elias of the CJAD comedy show.
“I loved Sean. His comedy was special and he will be missed,” says Alastair McAlastair of the CBC.
Many of Sean Keane’s friends and family are organizeda night of comedy and memories in October 2013 at the Comedyworks. On the card were Terence Bowman, Winston Spear, Mike Paterson, Peter Radomski, EJ Brule, and Kevin MacDonald.
Finally I would like to present a never before released interview that I helped record of Sean Keane.
After Sean’s funeral I went searching for a copy of the Laugh-Trax documentary we did. I reached out to various people that I thought might have a good quality copy but to no avail. The only copy I managed to track down was an old copy of a copy on a VHS videocassette. The audio was echoed in some sections of the tape, and there were significant glitches throughout the video that compromise it’s production value. Looking back on what we thought was a masterpiece when it was originally produced, the framing of the camera shots, the ever changing audio levels, and the lack of proper lighting from shooting scenes in a dark comedy club, it really does only look like a student video project.
However, Sean’s interview clips did have enough stable audio attached to them to transcribe most of what he said. This documentary was presented at the end of semester student viewing night at Concordia around April 1995 in front of less than 100 different people, and has only been witnessed by whoever had a copy of the video and their friends. This was way before youtube and social media. For all intent purposes, this interview with Sean Keane was never properly released.
I thought it would be a respectful gesture to share with you all, what Sean was so willing to share with us and our audience
Clips of audio of Sean Keane’s comedy:
Please keep in mind that these jokes were performed in the context of Keane's persona character who was for all intense purposes could come across as an arrogant vulgar jerk. Comedian Sean Keane was able to make the distastefully vulgar and rude character likable and laughably funny, the same way that actor Carroll O’ Connor was able to make the gruff, bigoted ignorant character Archie Bunker into a beloved figured and TV icon.
THAT was part of the genius of Sean Keane.
Clip: “There are no lesbians, just chicks that have yet to meet me.”
Clip: “I think my grandmother stuffs her bra. At least it feels that way (Ahem!)”
Clip: “Have you seen this ad? A little old lady comes on the TV screen and says, f*ck-f*ck-f*ck, suck my t*ts, suck my t*ts? no? maybe it’s just my imagination then.”
Clip: “I just got off the phone with my manager. He says I should use more profanity in my act. So, any of you people here from out of town, f*ck?”
Clip: “I met my wife in a single’s bar. (Grunt!) She was sitting across the room at the bar and I started to come on to her. Didn’t know I could squirt that far.”
Clip: “She asked me if I would still respect her in the morning. I said, no, but I will f*ck you again.”
The Lost Sean Keane Interview of 1995
Host: How would you describe your style of humor?
Sean: Like everybody else would describe my style: Bizarre. In a way, it’s like something else has entered by body. It’s a way for me to act out like another man.
Host: How do you deal with hecklers?
Sean: I kill them (said as his on stage persona character)
Host: Does the crowd reaction enhance your act?
Sean: Oh for sure. It gives me more (to work with). When they are really with it, I get the nerve to REALLY swagger and act even more like an ass and get more physical (to dance like I did with Alastair that night.)
Host: This is asked of all the comedians we have interviewed because it happens to everyone at some point or another that does stand up comedy. How did you react to the first time you bombed on stage?
Sean: Terrible. I gave it up for a little while. Didn’t pick myself up and dust myself off right away. I was so disturbed about it.
Host: Does vulgarity offer comedy an edge? Is it funnier to include vulgarity?
Sean: I don’t like vulgarity for the sake of having vulgarity. I like vulgarity if it’s obscene to the point of ridiculous. THAT is funny to me. Because then you are laughing at how ridiculous it is, and not the vulgarity itself.
Host: I asked everyone this question. What do you do if someone finds a joke you told offensive and comes to tell you so after your show? Do you explain it to them?
Sean: I don’t like to offend people. That is not my intention. But if someone is offended because someone took it the wrong way, then I do not care. I don’t explain it to them. One woman came up to me complaining about the joke I tell about the 5-year-old daughter
Clip: “I got my five year old daughter on the phone saying daddy-daddy, please come visit me, daddy-daddy I love you I miss you I want you to be here…oh f*ck off. I got my own life to live and my plans don’t include you baby. Besides I hate hospitals”
Sean: So, this woman comes up to me after one of my shows and tells me that she has a young daughter, and her husband just left her, and that I should drop that joke. But I told her, that she made the mistake of marrying the wrong guy and that’s not my fault. This is a joke I wrote on my kitchen table at three o’clock in the morning; it has nothing to do with her life.
Host: How do you feel when you hear a joke that resembles yours, to the point you think someone stole your joke?
Sean: I get very mad. I do not like being ripped off. I have never done it to anybody else. It might sound self-righteous but I don’t like being ripped off and I don’t steal from anybody.
Host: Have you ever told a joke that someone wrote for you?
Sean: No. However I did find out that there was one joke that I was telling, and it was my mother who pointed out the joke was something someone else had told. After doing this joke for 4 to 5 years, my mother told me she saw it on TV. The joke was “I went to an all you can eat buffet, and when I got up for seconds, the manager said sorry sir, that is all you can eat”. My mother had just seen a re-run of Dennis the Menace TV show from the 1950s, where Dennis had an all you can drink lemonade stand, and he poured Margaret a little glass of lemonade, and she wanted more, and he said, sorry Margaret that is all you can drink. It’s the same joke, so I stopped saying it.
Host: Would you still have stopped it even if it was a great joke to begin with and you innocently, without knowing, told essentially the same joke?
Sean: Yes, I would still stop it. Even though I probably shouldn’t stop really because I did not steal it, but there is a bit of a code (of ethics) I got.
Host: Do you have any superstitions about doing comedy?
Sean: I was walking at the airport, and I spotted a penny from far away on the floor, and I thought to myself that if that penny is the year that I was born, then that would be my lucky penny. I picked it up and it was the year I was born. It was my lucky penny ever since.
Host: What would you like to say to end this interview?
Sean: Ladies and Gentleman, comedy is my job and I quit! Thank you and good-night! Thank you!
Dr. Laurie Betito Quotes