A rollicking, behind-the-scenes look at Canada's favourite comedy troupe


Toronto, Ontario, Oct. 12, 2011--


By Don Ferguson and Roger Abbott

“Saying the unsayable. That’s always been our job, and we love doing it.” – Roger Abbott, in Air Farce: 40 Years of Flying by the Seat of Our Pants

Canadian comedy icons for almost four decades, with diehard fans numbering in the millions, Royal Canadian Air Farce exemplifies brilliant comedic mayhem.

Written by two of the founding members of Air Farce, Roger Abbott and Don Ferguson, this candid memoir is full of anecdotes, scripts and photographs from the authors' private collection. They describe every aspect of their hard-scrabble early life in 1970 as an onstage comedy troupe, their historic run on radio, and their spectacular success on prime-time television.

With contributions from many of their longtime friends and collaborators, including Dave Broadfoot and Luba Goy, Air Farce takes readers behind the scenes into the day-to-day creative vortex of one of the most popular comedy shows in the history of Canadian television. You’ll read about:

  • Touring the country in the early 80s, often pulling shows together while on the road, and the mental toll it took on the troupe
  • How the now traditional New Year’s Eve show came to be
  • Making the jump from radio to the TV series, with the smallest writing staff in scripted television
  • Guest stars over the years, including Jean Chretien, Preston Manning, Jean Charest, and Brian Orser
  • The great friendships and loyalty among the performers, particularly between Roger and Don, but also with their various collaborators, cast and crew

Roger Abbott was born in England in 1946. He immigrated to Canada in 1953 and grew up in Montreal, where he began his broadcasting career off-the-air in programming and management in private radio.

Don Ferguson was born in Montreal in 1946. He too worked in private radio and as a photographer and documentary filmmaker until he discovered that comedy writing and performing were more fun.

Friends since they were thirteen, Roger and Don became two of the founding members of Royal Canadian Air Farce, which ran for 24 seasons on CBC Radio.

When Air Farce made the jump to a weekly television series in 1993, it became an instant hit. It was one of the highest-rated series in Canada for 16 years, and over that time its average audience topped 1 million viewers.

Erin Kelly
John Wiley & Sons Canda
Email: ekelly@wiley.com
Phone: 416-646-4582