Network: CBC Television Network
Broadcast Run: 1993
Broadcast Medium: Television
Friday Night with Ralph Benmergui
Aired Friday nights from October 30, 1992 to December 31, 1993
Two of the CBC’s most valiant attempts at late night programming, 90 Minutes Live and Canada After Dark, failed to draw audiences on a consistent basis. Thirteen years after the cancellation of Canada After Dark, CBC tried it again with Friday Night, only this time it was broadcast at 10PM in the first season and 11PM in the second season. It was produced in front of a studio audience in Toronto with The Look People providing musical segues. Mark Breslin, founder of Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club was hired to select talent and acted as the show’s Executive Producer. Benmergui started his career as an actor and stand-up comedian and was chosen to host this show following his work as co-host of Midday.
The show was the familiar mix of comedy, music and chat with celebrities. It wasn’t trying to be edgy or acerbic in any way, only entertaining, and for the most part was a success. But nary a critic was to be found in support of the show after its debut. Consequently, due to low ratings. and perhaps impatience on the part of CBC programmers, not to mention the fact that there were other successful shows on the network such as Kids in the Hall, meant the end of Friday Night. It was cancelled midway through the second season.
Written by John Corcelli – April, 2002