As was about to shut things down for the night, but then I overheard this news on CBC so I had to check it out. I am greatly saddened by this loss.
TORONTO – John Morgan, the former cast member of CBC’s Royal Canadian Air Farce, has died. He was 74 years old.
Morgan was one of the founding members of the long-running comedy series, which originated on CBC Radio and continues to this day on television.
He was perhaps best known for his character Jock McBile, the perpetually disgusted Scotsman.
His other original characters included the monosyllabic Mike from Canmore, and over the years he also lampooned political figures like bland Liberal MP Herb Gray and Russian leader Boris Yeltsin.
In an e-mail sent to CBC staff on Tuesday, CBC executives Jane Chalmers and Richard Stursberg lauded Morgan as “one of Canada’s beloved entertainers.”
Fellow cast members Roger Abbott and Don Ferguson noted in the same message that Morgan, originally a comedy writer, did not start performing until he was 40 years old.
“He was surprised to find himself a television star at an age when most men are thinking about retirement,” the two said.
They also noted that, even though he departed the show in 2001, “barely a day has gone by when we don’t quote him.”
His former co-stars urged him to return for special appearances, but he declined, saying “You’re not really retired if you keep working.”
Originally from Wales, Morgan held a number of jobs before entering the comedy world, including newspaper reporter, magazine editor, teacher and pub owner.
He began his writing career in 1966, and his credits include penning the pilot episode for the Al Waxman sitcom King of Kensington.
He also wrote and performed in England, and had a series on BBC Radio, It’s All in the Mind of John Morgan.
Morgan was once asked his reason for being a writer.
“I figured if I was going to get stabbed in the back, I’d prefer it to be with a pen,” he responded.
Fairwell Mike. If I’m ever in Canmore I’ll salute you. For more Air Farce references, check out their website.