RIP Roger Abbott

Just got to know about this a couple of minutes ago via Twitter. Comedian & actor Roger Abott passed away last night as confirmed by his close friend and fellow Air Farce member Don Ferguson. Ferguson said Abbott, 64, died Saturday night at Toronto General Hospital, 14 years after being diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

He kept the progressive disease secret from all but a few close friends and family until a week ago, Ferguson said. Born in England, Abbott’s family migrated to Canada when he was a baby and he was raised in Toronto.

Abbott was a founding member of the Royal Canadian Air Farce comedy troupe which started on radio in 1973  before branching to tv spots in the 80s and becoming a regular series in the 90s. His many roles on the show included his well-known parodies of Jean Chrétien, The Queen Mother, Yasser Arafat, George W. Bush and CBC news anchor Peter Mansbridge. Although the series ended in 2008 on New Year’s day, the cast has has some reunions since then.

I’ll always remember Air Farce and the comedic interludes that I enjoyed for a few years that I watched the show on Zee English. During those years, I used to watch the show around the midnight time slot that the cable channel used to air it and enjoyed the various skits. I’ll never forget Abbott’s parody of Arafat as a spokesman for a shaving razor company (‘Don’t say no sir, say Yasser’, which I found hilarious.

Roger Abbott (born July 10, 1946; died March 26, 2011)

Hope For Next Season

The Ottawa Senators may not be in the playoffs but their recent form gives us fans hope for the next season and beyond. If they can play this well and win games with this team that has a lot of call ups from Binghamton, imagine what they can do with a squad that is sure to get a few bigger name players next season! They were also assured a spot in the NHL draft lottery this spring.

A lot of the credit should go to goalie Craig Anderson, traded before the deadline a few weeks ago. Anderson has done a great job for the Senators and will surely look forward to being the starting goalie next season. On Friday night he recorded the 16th shutout of his career and his second in 12 games with Ottawa as he improved his record to 8-4-0 by blanking the Washington Capitals. The native of Park Ridge, Illinois had recently signed a 4 year contract extension with the Sens.

Because he is 29, I fully expect him to be a short term replacement maybe for Swedish youngster Robin Lerner. As the rebuilding process will see a lot of progress during the summer when the Senators use their picks in the draft and also look to shore up their ranks with a few signings, perhaps mostly on the unrestricted free agent side. There will be a few top caliber players available and perhaps looking for fresh starts at a different club. The Ottawa management will do their best and try to get a few younger players who can be folded into the rebuilding process and be long term answers for the Sens.

A few veteran players may also be looked at to provide the leadership for the next 2-3 years. A few names comes to mind as to who can do the job – Brad Richards, Jason Arnott and oh why not bring back Ottawa native & former Senator Todd White?