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The Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour was a radio comedy show on CBC Radio One for four seasons, running from 1997 to 2000.

The show was set in a fictional café of the same name, in the equally fictional town of Blossom, Alberta. Both Blossom and the café were originally described in Tom King's award-winning novel Green Grass, Running Water, though it was run by different characters. The show borrowed numerous elements from King's novel.

The show featured King (playing himself), Floyd Favel Starr (playing Jasper Friendly Bear) and Edna Rain (playing Gracie Heavy Hand). All the main characters were Canadian aboriginals, and the show was a skillful mix of scathing political critique and cheerfully irreverent comedy.

Despite the name, the show was in fact only 15 minutes long, and typically ran as a segment on CBC Radio One's This Morning. The show had a number of regular segments, including:

  • Gracie's Authentic Traditional Aboriginal Recipes (including puppy stew, fried bologna, and Kraft Dinners)
  • the Authentic Indian Name generator (featuring three wheels that could automatically create names like "Stewart Coffee Armadillo", or "Rosemarie Clever Tuna")
  • Friendly Bear's Blackout Bingo (play bingo at home using a card you made up; the number called was usually "B8")
  • Gracie's Conversational Cree (designed for simple but useful phrases, such as "Please ask the chauffeur to bring the car around" and "How long will we be in port?")

It also regularly featured short guest spots on the "What Else Do you Do (When You're Not Being Famous)?" which featured interviews with the likes of Tomson Highway, Laura Vinson, Graham Greene and an actor playing Louis Riel.

The Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour returned for a one-off hour-long show in 2002, recorded live at Regina's Globe Theatre, Regina,

Its famous closing line was "Stay Calm, Be Brave, Wait for the Signs".


2006 revival

The original Dead Dog cast has returned on Dead Dog in the City which airs weekly on Sounds Like Canada with repeats on Nighttime Review beginning on April 6, 2006. Twenty-six new episodes are planned which will be aired again over the summer of 2006.[1] This new iteration also stars Tara Beagan as Portia Jumpingbull. The closing line is now "Stay Calm, Be Brave, Wait for the Signs, Leave Good News Alone."


  • Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour, Vol. 1 (1998)
  • Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour, Vol. 2 (1999)
  • Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour, Vol. 3 (2000)
  • Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour, Vol. 4 (2001)


  1. ^ Dead Dog Cafe, accessed March 26, 2006]

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