This is the episode you've been waiting for, comedy fans. Dave Thomas tells how he almost became an ad man, a real life Don Draper, On the very day, however, that the young Canadian dazzled the ad men in New York, winning the Coca-Cola account, he got a call from his old McMaster University chum Eugene Levy that changed his life. There was an opening on the Second City stage in Toronto. Was Thomas ready to throw away a career in advertising for $145 bucks a week at the Old Firehall?
Yes he was, because it meant working with Levy, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, John Candy, Andrea Martin, Harold Ramis, Paul Shaffer, Catherine O'Hara, Joe Flaherty and others. Thomas fit right in and helped shape the comic sensibilities of a generation.
He talks about how ad writing helped him understand how seconds count in comedy. He talks about how there were two sides to John Candy, and how, when Bob & Doug took off, he and Rick Moranis were ready to step away from SCTV.
"I don't think I had a single funny idea left," he says about the relentless challenge of filling 90 minutes a week for NBC.
Thomas also salutes the comic heros who inspired him, including Bob Hope and Johnny Carson. He speaks of his early days on the David Steinberg Show and shares Tom Poston stories from working on Grace Under Fire. He explains why he made the switch to writing for such TV procedurals as Bones and The Blacklist.
Plus: he picks one of the true TV classics as his favourite, all-time theme song.