a peek inside the fishbowl

17 Jan, 2009

The Littlest, Longest-Running CanCon?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

Okay. Who recognizes these lyrics? They’re from a very well known Canadian television show:

There’s a voice that keeps on calling me
Down the road, that’s where I’ll always be.
Every stop I make, I make a new friend,
Can’t stay for long, just turn around and I’m gone again

Maybe tomorrow, I’ll want to settle down,
Until tomorrow, I’ll just keep moving on.

This song has been permanently embedded in my brain since last weekend. (Ha! Here it is on YouTube!)  This is most unfortunate, but I have no one to blame but myself. I, Andrea, have introduced The Littlest Hobo to a new generation of children.  

One morning last weekend Sarah and I sat down to watch TV. As I scrolled through the onscreen guide I spotted The Littlest Hobo. I loved this show when I was her age! I explained the premise:

“You see, there’s this dog, a big German Shepard, and he travels around the country helping people who are in trouble.”
“What’s his name?”
I thought about it. “I don’t think we ever learn his real name, but every person he meets gives him a new one. But after he leaves and meets someone new he gets a different name.”

Sarah really enjoyed the show, but I had to pause about a dozen times to discuss what was going on. I had to explain what “hobo” means, for starters. And the particular episode we watched included a ransom note (the kind made by letters cut out of the newspaper), blackmail, a talk-show host, and the term “hit and run” …  (I KNOW) all of which required dutiful explanation. It took us awhile to get through it all (thank god for the pause feature on our PVR). It was er, educational, to say the least.

Did you know the show has been on since 1979? (Here’s the Wiki entry about it.) It helped broadcasters fulfill their CanCon requirements (best explained here) back then. Still does, I guess. I can’t believe it’s still on air!


9 Responses to "The Littlest, Longest-Running CanCon?"

1 | porter

January 17th, 2009 at 12:03 pm


I recognized the lyrics but couldn’t name the show, Bert knew it right away!
I didn’t even know it was a Canadian show…maybe I did but can’t remember. I used to watch it as a kid too…I think Bug would like it just because it’s about a dog even if the content would be over her head.

2 | Lynn

January 17th, 2009 at 12:28 pm


We sing that song to each other all the time around here. Often times we modify the lyrics to match what we’re doing…it’s a modern classic!

We watched the show with the kids about a year ago, I think – we were visiting my mother and she gets very few channels. I was surprised at both how scary it was, and how terrible the production values were! It definitely wasn’t the fantastic TV show I remembered.

3 | Virtually There

January 17th, 2009 at 1:52 pm


Without reading the other comments, it’s gotta be Littlest Hobo!

4 | Virtually There

January 17th, 2009 at 1:54 pm


Okay, after I guessed, I read the rest of your entry. Hold on now… it’s still on?! I had no idea!

5 | Gwen

January 17th, 2009 at 2:58 pm


Littlest Hobo! Loved that show! Used to watch it when I was little and I remember always being so sad at the end when he would leave the people that he helped! It’s still on in the wee hours, I know this because I had occasional insomnia near the end of my last pregnancy :)

6 | karen

January 17th, 2009 at 6:44 pm


I loved that show and loved the song. I am always pleased when I happen to see it on tv and always try to catch the song if not the episode.

7 | lacoop

January 18th, 2009 at 12:54 pm


Got it on the first line. Littlest Hobo. Loved it when I was a kid. Even as a kid I figured it must be Canadian, the way it was produced.

8 | vanessa

January 19th, 2009 at 6:27 am


jumping frog ! we might have even had it in the uk –

9 | Vanessa

January 19th, 2009 at 8:45 am


how lame is it that tears sprang to my eyes as soon as I read the first line? I used to cry at the end of every show – I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t just STAY DAMMIT and live with a nice family!
lol.. it seems my genes have been passed on – my oldest (10 yr old boy) burst into tears at the Sarah McLaughlin Humane Society commercial last night!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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