This imaginative and ambitious one-hour Saturday morning children’s program was a major success story for CTV. The lead performers were Doug Springall, Harry Coates, Suzin Schiff and Cathy Cornell; the musical director was Cliff Jones, the choreographer Maryann B. Joffe, and former Ontario Educational Communication Authority staffer Janis Nostbakken was the education supervisor. The series was produced by Bill Hartley.
Each show had songs and skits, performed by the resident cast and a number of adult guest performers, in various settings including a concert stage, a giant pinball machine and even a Tinker Toy set. There were remote video inserts with Canadian celebrities talking about and presenting their favourite parts of Canada, and “what does your mom/dad do?” segments in which kids narrated videos of their parents at their jobs. There were quizzes, magicians, advice segments and dramatizations of typical children’s problems and suggested solutions.
Kidstuff was produced in the studios of CFCF-TV Montreal. The series debuted in September 1975 on Saturdays at 10:00am, where it stayed for four full years. Though only 26 original half-hours were produced, such was the quality and originality of the material that it continued to appeal to new and returning viewers in repeats for the breadth of its four-year span. The series won a gold medal at the International Film and Television Awards in New York, and an ACTRA Award in 1976. An LP was issued featuring many of the songs used during the series.
Pip Wedge - March 2003
Special thanks to Doug Springall
Written by Pip Wedge - March, 2003