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Sunday, July 2, 2017

July 2: Bob Robertson Tribute

Tonight we're going to pay tribute the great Bob Robertson, who passed away in March. There was a beautiful (and hilarious) memorial service for him at Bard on the Beach on Friday afternoon, but if you didn't get there, this might help.

Bob, along with his comedy – and life – partner Linda Cullen, was a guest on What's So Funny? three times over the years: on episode 41 in 2005, then on episode 69 in 2006 (along with Trevor Devall), and again in 2011. Tonight I'm going to play clips from all three of those episodes. You'll hear Bob talking about his early days in commercial radio, the Double Exposure heyday, the live revue called the Snides of March they did on Granville Island, and his book Mayan Horror: How to Survive the End of the World in 2012. Along the way, we'll hear some old clips and he'll do some voices.

They say never meet your heroes, but Bob Robertson was an exception. He was a superstar to me growing up in Victoria. He was the funniest deejay I'd ever heard. As the weekend man on CFAX 1070 from noon to six, I'd listen all day, often with my cassette recorder poised to record one of his numerous regular segments, like Little Mansion in Oak Bay, the Moldy Oldie Music Vault, a conversation with Old Ernie (with Bob doing both parts), and always a phone call from Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (also voiced by Bob), who always condescendingly got Bob's name wrong. Bob was the best.

He went on, of course, to real fame with his wife Linda on CBC radio for 10.5 years, then over to CTV, with Double Exposure.

In the late '90s, I had a job where I had to do the daily banking. More than a few times, I saw the great Bob Robertson in the bank but he was too mythic for me to approach him. Cut to: 2004, when I started hosting What's So Funny? on Co-op radio. I figured, what the hell, I'll contact Bob and Linda and see if they'd come down to the downtown east side to do my rinky-dinky little show. I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. And they graciously accepted. They couldn't have been nicer.

Bob gave me an autographed copy of his book on their last visit to the station in 2011, but even better, knowing that I was such a big fan of his early CFAX days, he gave me a disc with a bunch of his old radio bits.

He was a great guy and he is missed.

We're on the air at 11 pm on CFRO 100.5 FM. You can livestream us at or find us on TuneIn Radio. I think it's going to be a long one, in the 90-minute range, so get a nap in!

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