CTV Television Network

Just Kidding

Network: CTV Television Network

Broadcast Run: 1983 to 1985

Broadcast Medium: Television

In the 1950s, radio broadcaster Art Linkletter’s House Party show featured a segment where Art asked American kids questions about daily life which often prompted hilarious answers, prompting him to use the oft-repeated phrase “kids say the darndest things”. CTV’s Just Kidding proved that Canadian kids did too. They took cameras (often hidden) into schools and interviewed Canadian kids aged 4 to 9 on a wide range of subjects, such as government, love and marriage. The interviewees had been preselected based on teachers’ recommendations, and the results were often extremely funny.

Cheryl Wilson hosted the series for its entire run: in year one John Kastner was her co-host, and in year two Bill gave way to stand-up comic Steve Brinder. Cheryl (now Wilson-Stewart) recalls that one her favourite question-and-answer sequences was when she asked an 8-year-old girl, from an elementary school in Forest Hill, Toronto: “If I were to start looking for a husband, is there anything I should know…anything I might change about myself…do you have any advice?” – and the young lady replied, without hesitation: “YES! First of all, you need to get more attitude……you need to do something about your clothes……go to Creeds and get some new stuff……and maybe you need, you know, bigger hair. That might do it!”

Just Kidding was produced by John Kastner and Bill Hartley, using the facilities of CFTO-TV Toronto. It played for two years on CTV, 1983-85, on Saturdays at 7:30pm.

Written by Pip Wedge – March, 2003