On November 22, 2002, the Slime Society's Will Dyess had the privilege of interviewing cast member Marc Baillon about his time on YCDTOTV and Whatever Turns You On. Below is the transcript.
How did you get your job on the show?
I was a member of a Scout troop that attended a jamboree in Scotland the summer before the show began. Two members of that troop (Mike Patton & Tim Douglas) had been recruited for show because of their involvement in a musical troop. When cast members were asked if they knew any French kids, they called me. I showed up for one drama class and that was that.
How old were you when the show began?
I was twelve or thirteen when I first showed up. The last day of filming for the final episode of WTYO was on my 14th birthday.
Do you recall any particular scene\scenes of which the making of was notable, or something, anything that happened behind the scenes, etc.?
It was a bunch of kids getting to dress up, play act, be on TV and get paid good money. We had a great time but I really don't recall anything of interest happening. Mostly it was kids being kids.
You were on the local, live version of the show. Do you recall any live mistakes, bloopers, etc. that you were a part of?
One in particular. I was giving away a radio to the first caller with the right answer. I kept calling it a record. When we went to commercial, the whole crew and the other kids yelled out "radio". When we went back to air, the whole cast was on the link set with me to explain to the viewers that my French background was causing me to say the wrong thing. It was very funny and embarrassing. When the segment ended we all collapsed in laughter on the set. The cameras were still rolling and they broadcast us rolling around in hysterics.
Another time we did a whole live show on location in one of Ottawa's parks. Taped segments were linked with live segments. I don't recall but according to the director (Geoff Darby) I missed one of my cues. I wasn't where I was supposed to be, and the showed went to black. According to Geoff, it is the only time he has ever been forced to go to black during a show. He still holds it against me. Oh well.
I couldn't even begin to try to name all the people you worked with on the show (partly because I haven't seen all the shows you were in), so could you just think of some notable cast members you worked with, and tell a little about what they were like (preferably including Ruth Buzzi, and Les Lye)?
I was young and impressionable, and a little naïve, I think. Anyway, Kevin Somers and Jono Gebert were the cool guys I looked up to - they got fan mail! Lisa Ruddy was great fun to be with. Ruth Buzzi was great. I had been a fan of hers for some time and was thrilled when I would have the opportunity to work with her. She even asked me for some language coaching for a movie she was doing. I think she had to speak with a French accent. We spent an hour or two in a dressing room practicing French pronunciation. Les Lye was an amazing man. He was fun, professional and amazingly talented. So many characters, so well done.
The two seasons that you were on included special guests in some of the episodes I've seen (editor's note-including cartoonist Jim Unger and football player Tony Gabriel, and the various bands that have played on the show)...what was usually the feel on the set when someone like that would come on the show?
I can't speak for everyone, but I don't remember any great buzz. I know we were probably the most excited when Tony Gabriel was on the show. He was a hero in Canadian football, particularly in Ottawa where he helped Ottawa win the '77 Grey Cup (our Super Bowl). He and most of the cast of that show spent some time in the CJOH parking lot tossing a football. It was my claim to fame for awhile.
How did your parents feel about you being on the show? I've heard from some cast members that theirs were supportive, others, the exact opposite.
At first they were supportive I think. They certainly never voiced any opposition. I know that my dad didn't enjoy the show, but then again it was a kids show. They tired to the driving and the time commitment. After a while they thought it was too much for a 13 year old - too unreal. I needed to be in school, playing outside etc. Not doing TV shows until late at night on school nights and weekends. They finally pulled me out as I said.
I have no idea what they thought of Roger Price.
You were on the show when WTYO got cancelled...how did you find out, and do you remember why, exactly, they cancelled it?
I quit the show before we knew, I think. I don't remember anything about that.
Was your leaving the show related to the end of WTYO? If not, what were the circumstances around your departure?
My parents made me quit. I loved working on the show, but I guess it was a taking a toll on my schooling, my participation in other sports (like hockey and skiing). I lived about 45 minutes away so my parents did a lot of driving. It was wearing on them. I didn't want to quit, but looking back they did the right thing.
Do you still keep in touch with some of the cast\crew you worked with?
Not really. Since the reunion weekend I have been in touch with Tim Douglas and Kevin Schenk. We have done a lot of living since the show. It’s a little hard to pick up out of the blue.
What have you been doing with your time since YCDTOTV?
I joined the Air Force, when to military college, was based all over Canada, served in Greenland, Italy, served a tour in Somalia. Retired, traveled through Asia, taught English in Korea, had two kids, have been working in Public Relations as a writer for the last 2 years.
Very interesting! Thank you very much for your time, we really appreciate it!