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Although Marc started out on the sister show
You Can't Do That On Television like the other kids in 1979 but however, Marc was more recognised on WTYO.
He was always trying to get a date with Moose, trying to avoid his Aunt Agatha so she wouldn't kiss him and was making smart remarks in class.
Marc was asked by his parents to pursue his schooling and other activites after
WTYO was axed as it was eating up his time and now has a family of his own and was once an Air Cadet.


 
Greg:
Now you were in of course the sister show of Whatever Turns You On called You Can’t Do That On Television as at the time it was just a local community kids show on CJOH-TV that started in January of 1979. However, only a dozen of kids were chosen to be in WTYO. Did you have to try out for the show?

Marc: I didn’t try out for either show. For YCDTOTV, after all the kids were picked through tryouts at Ottawa schools, they began taking drama lessons in the fall of 1978. I guess the producer and the director wanted a French kid to help write gags. The cast was asked if they knew anyone bilingual who would be interested. Two of the kids, Tim Douglas and Mike Patton, knew me from a Scout jamboree and asked me to come to try out. I went to a drama lesson and never looked back. I have no idea how we were picked to be on WTYO, but I don’t recall any tryouts. The whole previous season was a tryout, I suppose.

Greg: I understand your skit in the pilot episode shown in May of 79 was the same one used in the second ep of YCDTOTV when you were reading a cue card that was saying the show was run by pansy directors etc. Or was the skit reshot for the pilot. Since you did it what was the real story cause Jono Gebert’s skit on the weather forecast in the pilot ep of YCDTOTV was reused for the pilot ep of WTYO so was your skit reused too?

Marc: I think it was reshot, but I can’t be sure.

Greg: Now it did show an audience laughing but according to Rodney Helal there was no audience except for the musical guests and the audience shown laughing was from something else. Do you know what it was?

Marc: I did that skit live for a studio audience that we had assembled to watch Trooper (I think). I am not sure if that scene was taped at that time or not, but I did perform it live. I remember it vividly.

Greg: Was Roger Price airing the pilot to see if it would become a series for the new season or was the new season definitely going to happen at the time you guys shot it?

Marc: I think it was a real pilot and the season contract hinged on the success of the pilot. I remember there being some anxiety surrounding the success of the show.

Greg: Why didn’t Elizabeth Mitchell return to WTYO when it became a series?

Marc: I haven’t the foggiest idea.

Greg: How old were you when the show aired in the fall of 1979?

Marc: If my memory serves me right, I turned 14 on the last day of filming.

Greg: What was the experience like being in the series?

Marc: I had a wonderful time on both shows. I remember a lot of laughter and joking around. It seems to me that we all got along well together and we had a lot of fun. It was a great opportunity to be part of something like this. We made great money. I think we made $17 an hour plus overtime on weekends. And we always worked weekends since we were in school during the week.

Greg: Did you know who Ruth Buzzi was at the time or saw her in other TV shows?

Marc: My parents were big “Laugh-In” fans and so was I. When I found out that Ruth was going to be on the show, I just about flipped. I was really excited. I think we all were.

Greg: What was it like working with her?

Marc: She was really great. She was friendly and funny, obviously, and really didn’t set herself apart. I have no idea how she and Les got along. They sure seemed to have fun during rehearsals and taping. One of my favourite memories of Ruth is of a private time with her. She was working on another project at the time and she was called upon to do a French accent. She asked me for pointers on pronunciation. So for an hour or so we went over her script or notes or something, and we worked on a French accent for her. It made me feel important.

Greg: Did you have to do retakes when she played your Aunt Agatha trying to kiss you as I’m sure it was hard to keep a straight face?

Marc: I’m afraid I don’t remember.

Greg: Your character also tried to win a date with Moose. Did you have a crush on her at all?

Marc: I liked Christine but I didn’t have a crush on her.

Greg: Why was Moose her nickname on the show?

Marc: No idea.

Greg: Are you really part French as well as Canadian?

Marc: Well, I’m French-Canadian. I was born in Quebec to a Francophone mother and an Anglophone father. I did all my primary schooling and some of my secondary schooling in French. We moved to Eastern Ontario when I was 3.

Greg: What do you mostly remember doing the show?

Marc: Laughing. I remember a lot of laughing during rehearsals, during our drama lessons, during taping, and even while doing live link sketches. There was a lot of boredom too, but mainly I remember it as a great experience that I look back on fondly.

Greg: There was the family room skits as well as the movie watching, classroom, dome and cafeteria. Which one did you enjoy doing the most?

Marc: I think I enjoyed the classroom the most. I’m not really sure.

Greg: Who did you get along with a lot in the show?

Marc: I don’t think I had a “best” friend. Kevin Somers and Jonathan Gebert were really good friends but I think the rest of us just got along well. My best friends were still back in my home town.

Greg: Were you a big fan of any of the musical guests on the show?

Marc: No. I enjoyed the performances but I don’t that I had even heard of any of them before. Maybe Trooper. When I was 13, I think I was still listening to my Dad’s favourite country radio station. The other kids on the show introduced me to more “teenage” music. For example, I remember that when I stayed at Kevin Somers’ house one weekend, he introduced me to Rush’s “Farewell to Kings.” It was a time of discovery.

Greg: The Kevin Page Band who was a musical guest on the Boss Helal episode never made it big. Do you ever see Mr. Page around at all?

Marc: I have no idea who Kevin Page is or was. I have no recollection of that band.

Greg: Now there were three episodes missing right now and one of them was Educational Programming which was my favourite and funniest one as Kevin Somers was playing the Don’t Bee whacking people with his pillow stinger and Mosse was the Nanny in the show. Also the other episodes I remember was when Kevin Schenk was doing a cereal commercial and had his tongue bit by the toy free inside the cereal plus the third one was about Ross being too hard on the kids so Ruth Buzzi’s character takes them away from him but later towards the end she is about to enroll them in school so the kids work with Ross again. Do you have any of these episodes or do you know the names or the whole storylines behind them as well as the names of the musical guests who performed in them? Any info would be great.

Marc: Sorry. Nothing.

Greg: Which episode did you like the best out of all of them and why?

Marc: I literally haven’t seen any since the first aired since I don’t own any copies of those old shows.

Greg: Did WTYO ever air in the United States?

Marc: Not that I am aware of.

Greg: Now the show was axed before the new year as it was a kids show airing on prime time hours which was not a good time slot. Were people upset at all?

Marc: I think I had already left at that point, so I don’t know. They probably would have known it was coming since they would have followed the ratings closely.

Greg: Now your parents wanted you to concentrate on your schooling when YCDTOTV reaired as a network show this time in the new year of 1981. Were you asked to return to it?

Marc: I think Roger Price was surprised that I was leaving. I think he was happy with what I was doing for the show. My parents were concerned that the show was taking me away from more important things such as school, my friends at home, hockey and skiing. The show was a very time consuming project and since we lived out of town it meant a lot of driving for my parents. I would often stay over at other cast members’ houses for the weekend when we did a whole weekend of taping.

Greg: Were you upset that your parents wouldn’t let you return to it?

Marc: I must have been upset but I don’t remember any arguments or ill feelings about it. I was having a wonderful time and making money so it would be natural to feel a little upset. I think they made the right decision. It might have been a mutual decision, I don’t remember.

Greg: Have you stayed in contact with any of the cast that was involved in the show?

Marc: I didn’t until Slimecon 2003. I hooked up with Kevin Shenk who did a little work for a website I used to have, and with Tim Douglas, the one responsible for me being on the show in the first place.

Greg: Did you ever think of pursuing an acting career afterwards?

Marc: I think I flirted with the idea, but I really wanted to be military pilot and so I pursued that dream.

Greg: What are you doing today?

Marc: I did join the Air Force but didn’t make it as a pilot. I “retired” in 1995 after 10 years of training and service. I am now a full-time stay at home dad. I have a 5 year old daughter and a two year old son. It is a blast.

Greg: Do you think eventually that all the eps of WTYO will be retrieved in A+ quality? I know that Jim Clarke has found a couple.

Marc: I have no idea. I kind of doubt it.

Greg: Well Marc, thanks so much for participating in this interview. We need to keep WTYO alive and let others know that it was out there.

Marc: You’re welcome.