That's right! The kid that basically started it all, and the kid that everyone remembers the most from YCDTOTV, Christine "Moose" McGlade, has answered our interview questions. Thanks for your contribution, Christine!
How did you get the job on You Can't Do That On Television?
Roger Price came to my high school and did a general audition. I went as a kind of helper for a friend who was auditioning and I think I caught Roger's eye because I was short for my age and looked younger than I was. And I was a ham.
Describe what it was like to be involved in such a popular TV show?
The show was always really popular in the U.S., and of course we all lived in Ottawa where it was somewhat popular but not like it was South of the border. Canadians are notorious for downplaying their own successes, and we never had the same degree of success in Canada as we did in the U.S. For me it was always a bit of a shock to travel in the states and be recognized in airports and malls.
What is your first memory of YCDTOTV? Your best? Your worst? Your funniest?
My first and best memory is not so much a specific one as a general one: we (the kids) were always treated as equal partners in the creation of the show. We were involved in every step of the process and if we wanted to change the scripts our opinion was taken to be just as valid as Roger's or Geoffrey's. I recall when we had a fellow called John Galt, a crazy Scot who was to design our opening, in the studio and he and Geoffrey were brainstorming out loud how they could get from this shot to that, and I made a suggestion. Not only did they listen, but my suggestion ended up in the show opening. That kind of input was very gratifying and I think a great confidence builder for a kid my age.
I guess my worst memory is just that I never slept in as a teenager! I always had to get up early on the weekend to go to the studio.
My funniest memory: again, a general one: read-throughs were always great fun, lots of laughs and joking around. Many great sketches grew out of this style of rehearsal.
Let's try some name association. What comes to mind when I mention: Les Lye? Alasdair Gillis? Doug Ptolemy? Vanessa Lindores? Lisa Ruddy? Abby Hagyard? Kevin Kubusheskie?
Les Lye: A funny, outrageous, versatile actor and an amazing family man
Alasdair Gillis: Really nice
Doug Ptolemy: Extremely short (!)
Vanessa Lindores: Eerily intelligent
Lisa Ruddy: Beneath that girl-next-door exterior lay a very quirky person
Abby Hagyard: Driven, boundless energy... This woman got her trucking license!
Kevin Kubusheskie: Insane. Definitely insane.
Please describe the process for taping a show. How many days? How long were the shoots, etc?
We would generally read through after school two nights a week for at least 3 or 4 hours. Then, Thursday and Friday after school, we would spend 4 hours (each night) in studio then all day Saturday and all day Sunday. That would basically represent a show.
What were your favorite sketches to do?
Barth's definitely. Les would crack us up with the really gross things he would do. Believe me, some of the off-camera stuff was more gross than what ended up in the show! Classroom sketches were fun too because we could wreak havoc and it was all part of the sketch.
Was this true about your relationship with Roger Price? How about Geoffrey Darby?
Some TV Producers may be a nightmare, but there is no room for that in kids TV. To work with child performers and to create television that kids at home will like and watch, you really have to develop a great relationship with the kids on the show, and really, you have to be big kids inside. Roger Price and Geoff Darby were real visionaries in kids TV at that time. They were far from being a nightmare to work with.
What is your opinion about the general direction of the show after you left?
I think the spirit of the show remained true; it was always an ensemble show with all 5 kids per episodes contributing as a team. I think that definitely continued after I left.
When you look at the entire cast of the show's run, what era of the show do you feel was the best in terms of creativity and acting?
When we first began making the show, it was a live, local show every Saturday morning in the Ottawa-area here in Canada. About half of it was the comedy sketches and the other half (it was an hour) was phone-in contests, etc. I think that those days were great because they were very unpolished; mistakes happened on air and we had a lot of fun with that. In terms of creativity and acting I think that no one directed the show as well as Geoffrey Darby, and no one acted as well as me - KIDDING, kidding.
Who was your favorite cast member (acting-wise and to work with)?
That is a hard one. I learned the most from Les Lye, of course, because he was the veteran character actor among us. I loved working with Lisa because she was quirky and unpredictable.
What did you think about the slime and water scenes?
We got a bonus for being slimed and watered, so I had no problem there.
Why do you suppose the show had such a small Canadian following seeing that it was produced in Canada?
Again, Canadians tended in those days to be very self-deprecating. This has changed a lot as there are more and more very successful Canadian shows now but in those days the attitude was sort of if it's Canadian, it can't be good.
What have you been doing since your time with YCDTOTV?
After YCDTOTV, I continued to work with Roger for another season or two on other projects. I went to art school and made a couple of short films. I worked at TVOntario, our provincial public broadcaster, as a director for 9 or 10 years, and now, I have returned to children's television as the producer of CBC Playground, the block of children's programming on CBC (our national public broadcaster).