I have to admit. I don’t really know shit about Canada. The first time I was even aware of it was when my family first got cable in the early 1980’s and I use to watch “You Can’t Do That on Television” on Nickelodean ( now more commonly referred to as simply “Nick” but back then we pronounced the whole thing because we had more time on our hands pre-internet/texting ). Because of that show I thought Canada was a magical place where kids could run entire television studios, where if you said “I Don’t Know” green slime would fall from the sky, and all adults looked like Les Lye.


I loved the shit out of that show. I’m a comedian now and I honestly consider that show one of my first comedic inspirations. Along with Turkey Television and SCTV. Kids in the Hall was a favorite later as well so I have no problem with Canada when it comes to it’s comedy imports. I do however take issue with some of the musicians that Canada has given us over the years. Let’s review:

ANNE MURRAY– Credited with paving the way for future Canadian songstresses such as Celine Dion and Shania Twain. Thanks Anne!! (he shouted sarcastically). I needed you like a I needed a burger from Barth’s. I know, I know, people LOVE them some Murray. Boring people.

BRYAN ADAMS – Okay, I love Bryan Adams. I do. I could listen to “Summer of 69” a million more times and not get sick of it even after I found out it’s about the summer he first did 69 with a girl and not about the year. That’s actually true! but as icky as that truly is it still did not ruin the song for me. My problem with Bryan is not even his fault really. When his juggernaut of a ballad “Everything I Do” came out (from Kevin Costner’s steaming pile of animal scat called “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” ) I had just moved to a new school. I started to go with a girl from my class (yes, “go with”…that’s what you did when you liked someone in small town Nebraska ). She LOVED that song. So, I bought her the cassingle of it ( remember those? cassettes with one or two songs on them? What a forward thinking trend that was for 3 weeks in 1991 ). Well, two weeks later she dumped me for the other new kid and they made it their song!!! To this day I can’t hear it without thinking about her singing, “There’s no love, like your love, and no other, could give more love….oh, except THAT GUY.” The only saving grace is that they ended up getting married later and are still together. So, he was like my Kevin Bannister from “High Fidelity”. It was fate not me! Still hate that song though.

SARAH MCLACHLAN – I discovered Sarah in college around 1993 when “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy” came out. I loved and still love that album.


I had the cassette of it and wore it out in my car. I was a bit obsessed with her. I even went back and found her previous albums on cassette and wore those out as well. I went to the first Lilith Fair for fucksake! Therein lies my problem with Sarah. I blame her for me not getting laid my first couple years of college. No college girl wants to bang a male Lilith Fair goer who likes to make them mix tapes. Talk about their problems with them? Sure. Tell them about why men suck? You bet. Fuck them within an inch of their life? Not a chance. As an 18 year old college kid I needed the latter but spent years as the former. I was basically just a mix tape making masturbator for 2 years.

The other problem I have with Sarah is:


Yes, her heart is firmly in the right place but she is now and forever will be equated with gimp puppies and malnourished kittens. I was dating a girl who would get so sad when those commercials came on she wouldn’t want to have sex. Thanks again Sarah.

ALANIS MORRISSETTE – My next female Canadian obsession after Sarah (and also a former cast member of “You Can’t Do That On Television”). I had just moved to Los Angeles in 1995 and heard “Hand in my Pocket” on an indie station there. I related to that song so much I thought I wrote it. I went to a Record store (they use to have these places where you could physically go and buy music) in West LA and they only had 1 cassette of it (I held out and bought cassettes for way longer than I should have obviously)


They only had one because no one had really heard of her yet. “You Oughtta Know” had not taken over the airwaves yet and I felt like I was the coolest person in the world to discover this amazing new artist (who is also almost the exact same age as me. 1974 represent!!) Well, once she took off I noticed all these 14 year old girls singing along to every song of hers that I had related so much to as a 21 year old man. So, Alanis made me come to the painful realization of how uncool I actually was (I’m totally cool with being uncool now though).

Speaking of painful and uncool…

NICKELBACK – I’m not sure if the whole band is from Canada or just Chad Kroeger the lead singer.


Either way…C’MON CANADA!!! WTF?? I realize America gave the world Creed so maybe this is just your way of paying us back. Well played Canada. Well played. Actually, not well played, cliché ridden, faux rock is a more accurate description. And that Chad dude just married Avril Lavigne (it scares me that I can spell her name right without looking it up) so I guess now they are some sort of Canadian royalty. Look out William and Kate!!

I wonder what Chad and Avril’s kid would look like? My guess it would be this:


JUSTIN BIEBER – I realize as a grown ass man it’s no surprise I don’t “get” the Biebs. I’m also a bitter, broke failure and the fact this kid was discovered on youtube irks the piss out of me. Any kid getting discovered on youtube really pisses me off actually. Does it have something to do with the fact my comedy videos on youtube tend to get under 1,000 views? Partially. However, I’m tired of seeing kids thrust into the spotlight and making tons of cash because of the simple gimmick that they are kids. People will post videos on facebook and say, “This kid is amazing!” And I’m like, “No. They’re not. They are kids and have no life experience and I could give less than a fuck.” I recently saw video someone posted of a 10 year old girl singing Etta James’ “At Last”. Her parents rented a recording studio to try to cash in on the “isn’t it amazing how my kid sings adult songs?!” trend. No. Fuck off. How about you have your kid go out for school choir, learn their craft, get an education, learn about life, and then pursue a career. Etta lived man. You can hear it in every note she sings. You can’t teach that or imitate that. When I hear a 10 year old singing, “At laaaaast…my love has come along…” I think, “what love are you talking about kid? And at last? You haven’t waited for anything very long. You’re fucking 10. Shut up and tell your shitty parents to put down the fucking camera for a second and have a conversation with you once in a while”.

14 year old girls made the Biebs a multi-millionaire and that’s what’s really scary. That they are calling the shots at all. 14 year old girls are some of the worst people on the planet. That includes terrorists. If you don’t believe me spend some time in a line at Burger King with some.

Biebs is also responsible for helping unleash the song dubbed “the song of summer” by assholes that dub things like that. I’m talking about the song “Call Me Maybe” by another Canadian Carly Rae Jepson. He “discovered” her.  He just discovered his balls when they dropped recently but he’s discovering talent now too?  Fuck.  Actually, that song was catchy and kinda of cute at first but then I read that she is 26 years old! 26!? That’s way past college age and she is singing that song? How about grow up maybe?

I mostly don’t like Biebs because he wears his pants like this:



If you combine every shitty fashion trend from the last 40 years it still would not be half as fucking dumb as the pants past the ass “prison bitch” look.  

This horrible trend I’m sure was started in America though so for that Canada you are forgiven everything.

And thanks again for Les Lye.  (Also a quick shout out to Christine “Moose” McGlade).

Thanks for reading. If you guffawed or tittered at all reading this please check out my funny photo blog here: captionamerica and find me on twitter: bradthecomedian

45 thoughts on “YOU CAN’T DO THAT ON THE RADIO

  1. Congratulations! You have exquisite taste. As an American, you hate all that Canadian *talent* almost as much as I, as a Canadian, hate it. You missed Empress Celine Dione and Isn’t I Moronic Morrisette.

  2. Man, I miss You Can’t Do That. That show was sheer genius when I was a little kid. And Alanis was on it, wasn’t she?

    • It was so fun to revisit that show. I hadn’t thought about it much until I started typing this blog post. I loved it too (obviously). A kid’s show with absolutely zero educational value. Priceless. Alanis was on it. I mentioned that. I realize I wrote a lot though so you may have missed it. Thanks for reading it at all though. I appreciate it!

  3. My brother and I would sneak watching You Can’t Do That On Television because my mother said it wasn’t a good show for children to watch, and we weren’t allowed to. Too bad she was always at work when it was on – SUCKAH! 🙂 I loved that show!

    I also loved Alanis, Sarah and Bryan. I think it was the time and not necessarily that I was a dork. Okay, maybe I was. That You Outta Know song was bitchin’!

    • Yep. That show was a kid’s show that was basically the antithesis of a kid’s show. It really had an effect on me. Remember “Barf’s Burgers”? Where each sketch ending with the kids puking? Or “The Firing Squad” sketch? A kid tied to a pole before a firing squad!?! Awesome. Or the highly dysfunctional parents? Talk about bitchin’! They could never get away with that shit now. Sad.

      I still love Alanis. Haven’t gotten into her music since about 1998 but I have great memories of “Jagged Little Pill” despite what I said in the post. 🙂 And yes I was, and still proudly am, a dork.

      • Haha! Yes! I remember all of those sketches! So sad that my son was deprived of such great television 😦

        Jagged Little Pill holds a special place in my 1990/early 2000’s dorky little heart 🙂

    • You can’t really count Shatner as a musician can you? I mean talking like Captain Kirk over music does not a musician make. I’d say The Transformed Man album is a lot closer to comedy and I’ve never had a problem with Canada in that regard.

      I can’t believe you never heard of Lilith Fair until last Saturday. What a strange coincidence that you read this post soon after.

      I don’t really listen to the radio but sometimes songs just creep into your ears anyways against your will like that “Call Me Maybe” bullshit. It was almost impossible to escape that song over the summer no matter where you were.

      • I live under a pop-culture rock I have to admit. Most of my friends tend to be guys, they probably don’t go to very many Lilith Fairs – I’d go to a Frank Zappa Fair any day of the week.
        I’m the queen of wacky coinkidinks – I write about them often…like today 🙂

        William did have a couple of records – who can forget the ear splitting version of Mr. Tambourine Man?

      • I also refuse to acknowledge Justin Bieber’s existence – and I have nothing nice to say about Brian Adams. But I do love Canada -SCETV is most excellent. And I’m a fan of Muddoch Mysteries – I can’t resist 1900s detective.

      • I’d go to a Zappa Fair over a Lilith one any day of the week!

        Mr. Tambourine Man was on The Transformed Man as was Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. And both were so bad they were good (but mostly very bad). He said he was reading the lines as if he was on LCD. Um, okay Bill.

  4. I’ve never been a fan of Bryan Adams, and I’ve always hated the song “Summer of 69.” That being said, you just made the song sixty-nine times more interesting to me. Thanks for the educational tidbit…

    Very funny post!

  5. I am so glad I am not the only person who associates Nickelback with Creed. The late ’90s were indeed a frightening time since our eyes and ears were brutalized by these groups.

    Hilarious post! You Can’t Do That On Television was awesome. I liked the housewife who always wore her yellow rubber gloves, even when she went out to eat,

    • Thanks! Yes, Creed, ugh, the WORST. I’d say Nickelback is a little better but that’s also like saying being shot in the face is better than being stabbed in the face.

      YCDTOT (as the cultist call it I believe) was awesome! I remember the housewife with the yellow gloves! Ha! She was the only other adult on the beside Les Lye. Classic.

  6. I have to say you pretty much nailed every one of the “talents” (excuse me while I spit up in my mouth a little) that we as Canadians also can not tolerate. This is why we sent them to the US. You have a much higher tolerance than we do for such things. My apologies but it had to be done. You did, however, forget #1 on my list. Celine Dione…please keep her.

    • I sarcastically thanked Anne Murray for paving the way for Celine. I didn’t feel like talking about her much more than that because she’s a given as far as intolerable goes. Thanks for the comment and no thanks for the imports. 🙂

  7. i feckin’ LOVED you can’t do that on television. who was the creepy dad that must’ve so been the pre-cursor for ‘al bundee’ — remember him? he was always dirty and drinkin’ beer and had his hand in his pants. i was thrillingly appalled and enthralled by that show. i ALWAYS watched it. anyway, this post had so many goodies in it. you said, ‘cassingle,’ and the entire bit about you being a mixtape making masturbator for years was glorious, just glorious. loved, brad, loved. you should’ve put a link to your blog at the end, so people can find you. anyhoo, i’ll be promoting this one on my page today. so fun, so fun. xoxo, sm

    • It’s great to see all these You Can’t Do That On Television fans come out of the woodwork. Les Lye was the guy that played all the adult roles. When I think of that dad character I see Al Bundy BEFORE there was an Al Bundy for sure but even more I see Homer Simpson BEFORE there was a Homer Simpson. Amazing. That show was actually quite edgy. There will never me anything else like it I don’t think. So awesome.

      Thanks for the all the love. Glad you liked it! I put a link just now at the end of the blog but I should have done that before. I’m shite at self-promotion.

  8. Loved this post but I only agree with half of your choices for lousy Canadian singers. I never liked “you cant do that on television” but then again, I’ve never really been into Canadian shows…period. I should have been born American. Oh wait…I’m not rude, overweight, or carrying a weapon. hehehe….. Love you! xo

    • Who you calling rude??? If I didn’t have a cheeseburger and a Budweiser tall boy in my hands right now I’d pull out my gun….
      Just kidding. I hate my fellow countrymen that fit that category too!

      To be fair, I actually like half of those people I wrote about too. It’s only my personal “issues” that get in the way sometimes. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

  9. Rumor has it that Canada is becoming our 50th state…Texas has to secede first…after doing some simple maths (subtraction, adding and a bit of carry-over…it’s a done deal. Brian Adams is not included…

  10. Never really watched the show you talked about but did have plenty of cassette memories of some of these peeps. But not Anne Murray. And Alanis Morrisette came along just when I needed her with her righteous anger. I think she’s mellowed a bit. Poor little Beiber — he’ll pull his pants up one day and is quickly becoming an Usher replacement. Funny post and thanks for the musical education.

  11. Jeez, I’m so late in getting to this post. But YES, YES, YES, YES, YES. Amen, and hallelujah. Preach it, Brad. If I were Canadian I’d be embarrassed by these paragons of musical mediocrity. And Bieber, well, he’s the most destructive of them all. I think we should take up a collection to send that little bastard back up north and keep him from ever, ever entering the US again.

    • Thanks! I don’t want to give Canada too hard a time. After all America gave the world Kesha. I’m sorry. I mean Ke$ha. What a twat.
      I just wish Bieber would pull up his pants or just change his name to Lil Douche.
      If there is any justice in the world Bieber will go bald and slink away into obscurity.

      • Good point. I forgot about Ke$ha. She really is a dirty little piece, and not in a good way. And “Lil Douche” would be the perfect name for the Bieber.

  12. This was fantastic. I’m used to your hilarious captions, but I like your longer writing although you could have just included a pic of the Biebs and wrote “jackass”–or something funny.

    I am perplexed by Justin Bieber. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact I went out on maternity leave and came back to the school library 10 weeks later to kids clamoring for Justin Bieber biographies. And I was like “What the fuck did you just say to me?” only without the “fuck” part because, kids. And his songs are just shitballs of blah. And he seems like a punk. But maybe I’m just jealous because I never get paid for any artistic endeavors. He still sings shitball blah songs.

    • Oops! Sorry I didn’t comment on your first comment but I will comment on your comment about your first comment….
      You sound a lot like me. I like to get replies as well and think “WTF?” when I don’t.
      I liked your comment. “Jagged Little Pill” was an amazing cassette and I think they also made a CD of it. :)To think she had just turned 21 when that came out!! I know because so had I (sigh). Justin Bieber will not have that much depth when he’s 21 I bet. He’ll probably trip over his pants and crack his head open before that anyways.
      Thanks for reading and I’m always happy to angrily educate on music anytime. =)

  13. I loved the idea of this blog. I’m going to check out a few more posts. Sorely disappointed by the stereotypical “I hate Nickelback because they’re popular and famous and I can’t give an actual reason why I dislike their music” They make the same kind of rock music as other famous rock groups, and no one seems to hate them. If your response is “anyone could make rock music like that” I will believe you once you have created this music and made a few million (at least) from it.

  14. I used to write for You Can’t Do That On Television. Tried my hand at Turkey TV as well, but nobody really knew what to write for that show. And I am *not* Canadian! In fact, I was in school in Nashville Tennessee at the time. Roger Price used to love the bits of a southern accent that had crept into my speech pattern.

    Anyway, Google picked up your blog entry and showed it to me, so I thought I’d come over and say hi. Good to see so many people still love the show, and also good to hear about it inspiring new comedic talent. I still write for kids these days, albeit in a much smaller scale.

    Robert Black
    YCDTOTV writer, 1985-6

    • Hey Robert!

      I’m glad you found the blog! How cool! Technology eh? That was me trying to sound Canadian even though we both are not. 🙂

      I remember Turkey TV being more of a hodgepodge of weird sketches and shorts. I first saw “Fishheads” by Barnes & Barnes on there as well as Dana Carvey’s classic “Choppin’ Brocoli” bit. Both had big effects on me along with YCDTOTV.

      I appreciate you commenting. I was happy to learn how many people had fond memories of You Can’t Do That on Television as well after I posted this.

      Best of luck in your writing and future endeavors!

  15. OK, I’m confused; should I be annoyed or thankful that you forgot to mention either Avril Lavigne or Rush…?

    Admittedly, this isn’t supposed to be a comprehensive guide to the Junos, so I guess a few more acts I have on my iPod not getting your attention don’t need to be brought up here, eh…?

    • I briefly mentioned Avril. I did leave out Rush though because I didn’t feel like offending middle aged men that still play D & D and read drumming magazines. Their lives are sad enough already. 😉

  16. I will check out your blog! That was hilarious and I agree with just about everything. I love watching stand up. Do you have links to your comedy routines on youtube? I can give you a hit (that’s one hit less for Bieber and an extra for you). If it makes you feel better, the Biebs is passionately hated at my daughter’s school (she is 12).

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