The ID slide above is part of Canadian television history. When CBLT, the local TORONTO channel went on the air for the first time, viewers were greeted by a back-to-front, upside down slide, put there by an overly-fastidious technician.
EMIL ZVARICH got his 15 minutes of fame by cleaning the slide one last time, and then popping it into the projector and up it went to air. Making things worse, all the CBC brass were in the control room at the time. Then a film jammed in the projector gate. It was September 8, 1952 – and CBLT was born.
From our kindly neighbours at the BUFFALO COURIER-EXPRESS “Observers in eastern New York say they are amazed at the professional skill demonstrated by CBLT. All in all, it looks as though Canadian television is sure of a substantial US audience.” From a TORONTO newspaper critic – “CBC television was not triumphant in its opening. There was little worth sitting through and nothing you’d want to endure a second time.”
And from another kindly Buffalonian – “. . . three hours of unusual, interesting and highly professional entertainment . . . their pattern could well be followed by the US television industry. All in all, a very refreshing evening.” “TORONTO RECEPTION GUARANTEED!” – an advertisement in a Lewiston, New York store selling television sets.
<Among those who performed that night – puppets Uncle Chichimus & Hollyhock>
<GLENN GOULD, who later appeared often on both television and radio.>
<DON HARRON (shown here as Charlie Farquharson) – writer, producer, director, actor, comedian, star of the US television series ‘HEE HAW”>