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Nothing Is Sacred On Kid's Laugh-In

By: Sid Adilman, 1979

Kidstuff: Let kids take over a TV studio to create and star in their own program? You've got to be crazy. TV just isn't done that way. Well, that's what is done on Whatever Turns You On, a sparky CTV kid's show pilot due on the air Saturday morning at 10:30 on CFTO and other network stations.

It's one of the freshest ideas in Canadian children's TV, a junior-league Laugh-In with comedy sketches, groaning riddles and general good fun for viewers 9 to 15 years of age.

Even adult guests, Laugh-In's Ruth Buzzi, pop group Trooper, and comedian Les Lyle (sic), don't get in the way of the youthful cast plucked from Ottawa schools.

In this show, entertainment and not education is front and centre. Nothing's sacred, not even poor bad-mouthed CBC. "I told you not [to] watch nasty, violent American programs," Buzzi, playing the mother, tells one youngster. "Oh Mom," comes the reply, "Canadian shows are boring." And replies the mother: "The government pays CBC $500 million to make sure they're boring, so people won't watch TV much."

Whatever Turns You On, which takes viewers behind the cameras for more tomfoolery, is a spinoff of a well-rated weekly kids series on CTV station CJOH in Ottawa. It's called You Can't Do That On Television and on a local basis runs phone-in contests and gives prizes along with comedy. The network version has no phone-in but steams along delightfully. A credit to producer Roger Price who masterminds the Ottawa series. Make sure the kids watch it.