TORONTO — Canadian comics remember John Candy as a genuine talent whose legacy continues to reverberate among new generations of fans.
Here is what some comedy stars told The Canadian Press about Candy, who died 25 years ago on Monday:
The Toronto actress, who knew Candy through the “SCTV” gang, remembers being on a plane with him rehearsing for an appearance on “The David Steinberg Show” and not being able to get through a line without laughing.
“He was adorable,” Eastwood said. ”John was as nice as you think he was, if not nicer, and he just wanted to laugh all the time and have fun. He made me howl.”
The St. John’s-born creator of “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” recalls “yelling” at Candy for five minutes about his use of the term ”Newfie” in a Second City show he directed in the 1970s.
She quickly backed down after he showed tremendous empathy.
“I would have yelled much longer but he was just the nicest man, it seemed to me, so I had to go, ‘Well, I mean, it’s not right,’ and he was going, ‘Yeah, it probably isn’t,’” Walsh said.
“He was the most agreeable fellow. He certainly damped down my righteous rage.”
The political satirist from St. John’s said Candy was an influential and beloved part of his generation.
“Everyone watched ‘SCTV’ and John Candy was the big breakout star, and that was in a room of people who all became giant movie and film stars,” Mercer said.
“So everyone is impacted by him. These days, of course, his legacy lives on because ‘SCTV’ is bootlegged the heck out of on YouTube. I think at least a dozen times in my life I’ve spent the night watching John Candy clips, and of course he lives on in ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles,’ which will be a classic as long as there’s an Earth.”
The “Baroness Von Sketch Show” cast member said Candy connected with a lot of people.
“There was something about him that you just want to hug him and be around him and near him,” she said. “I went to go see the ‘SCTV’ panel last summer and they were talking about how he had an entourage … because people just liked to be near him, so they would just follow him around.
“He had that amazing thing of just so funny but so warm and so human, that he drew you in and you just can empathize with him so much.”