Ed the Sock
Ed the Sock is a puppet, created and voiced by Steven Kerzner, that became a Canadian television personality who first appeared in the 1990s. He has grown in cult-celebrity status, and his highest popularity has been during the first decade of the 21st century. He is best known for his appearances hosting programming on MuchMusic and his own talk show, Ed's Night Party, later renamed Ed & Red's Night Party. Ed the Sock has a scowl, a cigar sticking out of his mouth and a rough, gravelly voice.
Kerzner was a producer in the 1990s at Newton Cable, during this time the show went through several co-hosts which included Harland Williams, Eric Tunney and Tim Rykert. After Newton Cable was purchased by Rogers Cable in 1993, Kerzner was able to repackage the program for a wider cable audience with Ed the Sock as the star.
The new show attracted the interest of producer John Brunton, who took the program to CITY-TV. This show, co-hosted by "Humble" Howard Glassman (better known as half of the local radio morning show Humble & Fred), debuted on February 10, 1995, at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time. Brunton later departed the show after having some creative differences with Kerzner.
Kerzner was also a political aspirant, running unsuccessfully as a candidate for school trustee and for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in the 1990 Ontario provincial election. A fiscal and foreign-policy conservative, Kerzner's political heroes at the time included Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. In recent years, however, he has offered left-of centre views, arguing in favour of rights for same-sex couples, care for the homeless and other causes. He has since stated in a 2009 interview that he is no longer a conservative.
Ed's Night Party and other projects
Besides Ed's Night Party, which aired in countries around the world including the United States (late night on the G4 Network), Ed was a fixture on MuchMusic. The show was in the late-night slot because of its overt depictions of sexuality, primarily involving sexualized women and Ed's off-colour remarks. Among Ed's shows were Ed's Big Wham Bam, a weekly live two-hour program; and the annual Fromage, a program which featured and mocked the cheesiest music videos released in the year, which Ed began hosting in the late 1990s, following former host and Fromage creator, MuchMusic VJ Christopher Ward. Ed also hosted a popular but short-lived series in which he and guests watched and made fun of bad movies called Ed's Nite In.
Ed was joined on Ed's Night Party! by Liana K (Liana Kerzner, wife of Steven), a busty redhead who became Ed's first female co-host and his most popular one, and who also is featured in a pin-up calendar, which was offered on Ed's official website. For several years, Liana has been the senior producer and writer of all Ed's projects. With the addition of Liana as co-host, the show was renamed Ed & Red's Night Party. Ed the Sock maintained co-hosting duties. This was the last Fromage as Ed's relationship with Citytv ended when new owners re-branded the channel, but the Ultra-Fromage style was a template for what would become I Hate Hollywood on CHCH-TV
Ed & Red's Night Party ended its CITY-TV run on August 31, 2008. Creator Steven Kerzner stated that, while the weekly TV show was ending, the character would likely live on in other projects that were already in the works.
Return to television
After two years off the air, Ed returned to television on CHCH-TV Hamilton with a new show This Movie Sucks! which is similar to his old show on City-TV, Ed's Nite In. The show is once again co-hosted by Liana K and also features comedian Ron Sparks. In each two hour episode Ed has guests over to watch (and make fun of) a bad movie. This Movie Sucks! was named one of the five best television shows of 2010 by Toronto Entertainment and one of the three best new shows of 2010 by Excalibur Magazine. A third season of This Movie Sucks! is currently under production.
The series will be joined on CHCH-TV by another Ed-hosted series called I Hate Hollywood which was originally expected to air in September 2010, but was later rescheduled and is now scheduled to air Wednesday nights and weekends, beginning May 2, 2012. The show will feature Ed and Liana making fun of the latest celebrity gossip and news.
Ed is based on two actual people, whose names remain undisclosed.
Some people contend that it inspired the creation of Ed's American counterpart Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. The controversy dates back to 1997 when Ed agreed to appear on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. The appearance was suddenly cancelled, and one to three months later, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog debuted. Ed afterwards expressed such resentment towards Triumph that NBC (the network that aired O'Brien's show) stated they "didn't want Ed anywhere near Triumph" when Conan visited Canada for a week of shows during February 2004.
Aside from television, Ed has had some radio appearances and has guested at several sci-fi conventions. He and Liana K co-hosted the first ever Constellation Awards in 2007. He also was an advice columnist for Faze Magazine in 2001 and 2002.
With other performers in the Toronto community, Ed is a sponsor of and appears annually at the Toronto-based convention called Futurecon, which is held every year on New Year's Eve, frequently with partial proceeds benefiting charities.
Since June 23, 2011 both Ed and Liana have been hosting Ed & Red's Podcast for gwmp.tv.
Shortly before the start of the 2011 federal election, Ed announced his intention to run for Prime Minister of Canada as head of the new "Fed-Up Party". The FU Party's stated goals include fighting apathy and stupidity in government. Throughout the campaign the "FU Party News Centre" posted links to various articles and videos trying to encourage people to vote and criticizing the political establishment, especially the government and re-election campaign of Stephen Harper. Around this time, Ed also started his own WordPress blog called "Nobody's Puppet!" where he elaborated his thoughts on politics but also on the media industry.
Ed declared victory for the FU Party on April 28, 2011, citing that he had successfully assailed apathy after the record turnout at advance polls, and because to him the "Orange Surge" showed that Canadians had learned that they have a choice. While not officially endorsing the New Democratic Party, Ed stated that the "NDP has become the FU vote" and as such withdrew from the race. While the election did grant the NDP a record number of seats in Parliament, actual voter turnout was not much higher than in 2008, which helped the governing Conservative Party to win the majority of seats. Ed stated he hopes the FU Party will continue to provide "smartass commentary for a dumbass political establishment." It should be noted that Fed-Up was purely a joke political party and was never registered with Elections Canada.
- Much Ado About Ed by Sam Tweedle
- Ed the Sock brings his wisecracks back to TV The Canadian Press, May 13, 2010 (Article by Bill Brioux)
- The rough life of Ed the Sock TV GUIDE, 2010-06-03 (Article by Janine Oliveira)
- Sock it to me! At home with Ed The Sock's creator The Toronto Star, April 4, 2009 (Article by Rita Zekas)
- CHCH expands programming for fall Media in Canada, July 27, 2010 (Article by Katie Bailey)
- CHCH-TV 'tweaks' format THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR, August 26, 2010 (Article by Steve Arnold)
- "Citytv socks it to Ed". Toronto Sun. June 25, 2008.
- Phung, Wei. "Looking Back At All The Best of 2010", Toronto Entertainment, 27 December 2010
- Miller, Amy. "The Best New Shows of 2010", Excalibur Magazine, 6 January 2011
- The Best New Shows of 2010
- Ed the Sock brings his wisecracks back to TV with new indie show on CHCH The Canadian Press, May 13, 2010 (Article by Bill Brioux)
- Ed The Sock Returning To Save Television CHARTattack, May 14, 2010 (Article by Kate Harper)
- “This Movie Sucks” Discussion bureau42.com, July 11, 2010
- Is Triumph just a poor man's Ed the Sock??
- Ed the Sock Everything 2, Originally posted on June 19, 2008. Retrieved on May 4, 2011
- Ed The Sock Headlines This week’s edition of The Sports Guys January 21, 2011
- 2007 Constellation Awards Archive
- ASK ED & RED... Faze Magazine
- Ed & Red's Podcast gold water moving pictures
- Ed the Sock for Prime Minister - TV Legend announces new party to fight apathy & stupidity Ed the Sock Website, March 23, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2011
- Low voter turnout Monday helps deliver Conservatives' coveted majority The Canadian Press, May 3, 2011