There’ve been a lot of celebrity passings lately. Many have been given their fond farewells in the press and media, some more fondly than others. And while I’ve lost some heroes recently, I haven’t spoken much of it because – well, because the famous tend to get their due elsewhere. But today – today I’ve lost a personal favorite. And he won’t be mentioned on the front page or on CNN Headline News.
Les Lye, the adult on the Canadian children’s series You Can’t Do That On Television, has passed away at age 84.
For those of us of a certain generation – those who grew up with Nickelodeon in any way, shape or form … the kids, now adults, who knew Danger Mouse before he was a rapper, who thought Dave Coulier didn’t need Saget and Stamos to be funny, and who, given half the chance, would always opt for the physical challenge – You Can’t Do That On Television was and remains a very enjoyable reminiscence. It was silly, stupid, predictably over-the-top, and always wonderfully funny and full of wacky nonsense. The kids on the show were relative unknowns at the time and, save probably for Alanis Morissette, pretty much remain so to this day. And then there was Les.
Although he had a long and storied career in the Great White North, Les will be most fondly remembered by most American kids (myself included) for portraying numerous regular characters on YCDTOT, including Ross, the studio director, and Barth, the inexplicably disgusting chef. He’s one of those childhood memories that will forever leave you smiling.