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Dave Broadfoot

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Dave Broadfoot OC (December 5, 1925 – November 1, 2016) was a Canadian comedian and satirist.[1] He is best known for his performances as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Farce.[2]

Early life[edit]

Broadfoot was born in North Vancouver, British Columbia, to a religious family. He left high school in 1943 and joined the merchant navy, serving until 1947.[1][2]


In the late 1940s, Broadfoot returned home and participated in community theatre in Vancouver, eventually gravitating towards comedy.

He moved to Toronto in 1952 and for ten years was a writer and performer in the stage revues Spring Thaw[3] and The Big Review.[4] In 1962, Spring Thaw had a run at the Hammersmith Theatre in London, England under the name Clap Hands, with a cast that included Broadfoot, Corinne Conley, Jack Creley and Eric Christmas.[5]

In the 1950s and 1960s, Broadfoot appeared on several CBC television shows, including The Big Revue, the Wayne and Shuster Show, and Comedy Café, on the Ed Sullivan Show in the U.S. in 1955, and on radio with Funny You Should Say That.[6][7] He also had occasional film roles in the early 1970s, including in the films Hold on to Daddy's Ears (Tiens-toi bien après les oreilles à papa), The Rebels (Quelques arpents de neige), Enuff Is Enuff (J'ai mon voyage!) and The Sloane Affair.

From 1973 to 1993 he was a member of the radio version of the Royal Canadian Air Farce.[2] He retired from regular performing when the troupe moved to television, although he continued to appear on the show as an occasional guest star, including the TV series finale in 2008.[8]

In addition to stand-up routines in the traditional format, Broadfoot created a number of recurring characters[9] including, most notably:

  • Big Bobby Clobber, a professional hockey player who seemed to have taken a few too many hits or else was not very sharp to begin with.[10]
  • David J. Broadfoot, the Honourable Member of Parliament for Kicking Horse Pass, representing the New Apathetic Party. (Kicking Horse Pass is a mountain pass in the Canadian Rockies with a negligible population.)
  • Sgt. Renfrew of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Broadfoot performed this character for the RCMP on a number of occasions, receiving 'promotions' over the years.[11] He was an honorary Sergeant-Major. Broadfoot also wrote the scripts for a comic strip adaptation based on this character, which was drawn by Olga Urbansky in the late 1970s.[12]

After leaving Air Farce, Broadfoot toured comedy clubs and appeared at the Just for Laughs festival. He starred in the 1998 comedy special, Old Enough To Say What I Want,[13] and two years later in Old Dog, New Tricks, winning Gemini Awards for both.[6]

Broadfoot also starred in the short-run sitcom XPM. He received several ACTRA and Juno awards and was an Officer of the Order of Canada.[2] In 2003, Broadfoot received a Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement for his work in broadcasting.[14] He wrote an autobiography, also entitled Old Enough to Say What I Want (ISBN 0-7710-1657-3). He retired in 2005. Beginning in 2006, the Canadian Comedy Awards gave the Dave Broadfoot Award for Special Achievement.[15][16]

He also did voices for two animated Christmas specials, George and the Christmas Star and Bluetoes the Christmas Elf, and made a guest appearance as a hospital patient in the hit TV series, Puppets Who Kill. Broadfoot died on November 1, 2016, at the age of 90.[6]


  1. ^ a b Erickson, Annette. "Dave Broadfoot". Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica-Dominion. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "Dave Broadfoot, iconic Canadian comedian of the Royal Canadian Air Farce, dead at 90". Toronto Star, Peter Edwards, Nov. 2, 2016
  3. ^ Ottawa Citizen. "Spring Thaw's 17th edition is now cast". January 4, 1964, Entertainment p. 3. Retrieved on May 27, 2013.
  4. ^ "Canadian Comedy Legend Dave Broadfoot Dies at 90". Hollywood Republic, 11/2/2016 by Etan Vlessing
  5. ^ "Clap Hands Finds London Home". The Globe and Mail, October 13, 1962.
  6. ^ a b c Iorfida, Chris (November 1, 2016). "Dave Broadfoot, Royal Canadian Air Farce comedian, dead at 90". CBC News. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  7. ^ "Dave Broadfoot" Archived November 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, The Canadian Encyclopedia
  8. ^ Horace Newcomb; Lambdin Kay Distinguished Professor for the Peabody Awards Horace Newcomb (February 3, 2014). Encyclopedia of Television. Routledge. pp. 1969–. ISBN 978-1-135-19472-7.
  9. ^ Brownstein, Bill. "Air Farce veteran Broadfoot commandeers La Diligence". Montreal Gazette, August 9, 1986, p. C-3. Retrieved on May 27, 2013.
  10. ^ Mary Jane Miller (November 1, 2011). Turn Up the Contrast: CBC Television Drama since 1952. UBC Press. pp. 151–. ISBN 978-0-7748-4321-8.
  11. ^ Broadfoot, Dave (July 1, 2006). "Dave Broadfoot's Canada". Smile of the Day (blog). Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  12. ^ "Olga Urbansky". Lambiek Comiclopedia. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  13. ^ Michael Schultz (October 31, 2012). Heckle: Notes From The Peanut Gallery. BookBaby. pp. 39–. ISBN 978-0-9879627-0-6.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Dave Broadfoot – biography". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  15. ^ "Nominations & Awards Archives". Canadian Comedy Awards. The Canadian Comedy Foundation for Excellence. Archived from the original on May 15, 2021. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  16. ^ "The Canadian Comedy Awards & Festival". The Canadian Encyclopedia. March 4, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2017.

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