This half-hour children’s series for 8-12 year-olds started life as an effort by the Manitoba Theatre Workshop to reach a broader audience through television, and featured MTW students doing improvisations. Production was eventually taken over by producer Rod Webb of CTV affiliate CKY Winnipeg, and the format expanded to include songs, stories and scripted sketches.
Janis Dunning was one of the stars of the show, and Canadian actor Scott Bairstow, who later gained fame in television series like Party of Five (where he played opposite Neve Campbell), All My Children and Lonesome Dove, credited the four years he spent doing improv on Let’s Go, and working with Dunning, as being “where it all started”, and as “a great training ground for a young actor.”
Over the course of the 214 episodes of Let’s Go, composer Victor Davies wrote well over 400 songs, fourteen of which were enshrined in an LP featuring “Janis Dunning and the Let’s Go Kids”.
Let’s Go made its debut as part of CTV’s Saturday morning children’s block in September 1976 at 10:30am, and moved to 9:30am the following year, remaining there for four years. In the fall of 1981 it moved to 9:00am, where it stayed until the final episode played in September 1987.
(NB This program had no connection with a short-lived series of the same name which played on the CBC in 1967-68).
Pip Wedge - March, 2003