I was walking through the CBC building, when I noticed, in the broadcaster’s ‘museum’, a Friendly Giant display. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, Friendly Giant was a Canadian kid’s TV icon, a winsome, recorder-playing giant who palled around with a giraffe and highly literate rooster.
The display featured his castle, tunic, the real Jerome the Giraffe, a slightly worn Rusty the Rooster still in his book bag and even the armchair where ‘two more could curl up in’.
And it really took me back (and aback). How something so painfully naïve resonated with a generation of children. It’s still very vivid to me. Like Nancy Sinatra’s boots or the Beatles on Ed Sullivan.
Those were the days when you could catch an unknown performer on Sunday evening and on Monday, they were a star. The days when you turned on ‘the tee-vee’ and watched what was on. And you lived in the comfort that pretty much everyone you encountered had the same shared experience as you so there was this automatic common ground.
I know we have more choice these days. And really that’s quite exciting. I know there’s something fresh and new and ‘completely different’ around the corner. (But which corner is it? I want to know.)
Yes, social media certainly lives up to its name. But still I miss the Friendly Giant. And Ed Sullivan. And Johnny Carson.
I guess I’m pining for a simpler time.