Teacher-turned-comedian Gerry Dee

Teacher-turned-comic returns to alma mater

Teacher-turned-comedian Gerry Dee says returning to his old school to preview an upcoming episode of his sitcom Mr. D was an emotional homecoming.

TORONTO — Teacher-turned-comedian Gerry Dee says returning to his old school to preview an upcoming episode of his sitcom Mr. D was an emotional homecoming.

The wisecracking TV star visited his alma mater Wednesday to speak to students and recall the days he walked those same halls as a student, and later as a teacher.

Now, he says some of those memories at De La Salle College have provided fodder for his farcical CBC sitcom, about an ill-prepared instructor who often seems to know less than his young charges.

Dee showed students an upcoming episode in which his fictional character holds a charity boxing match and enters the ring with another teacher.

He says it’s based on an actual charity boxing match in which he and another instructor pummelled each other mercilessly.

Dee says the series is fictional but admits it’s filled with homages to actual students and teachers who made an impact on his life.

They include his old hockey coach, favourite instructors and former colleagues whose names are attached to fictional characters including Mason, Cheeley, Hunt, Maya and Callaghan.

“There are homages everywhere in the show,” Dee said later in an interview, insisting that otherwise the over-the-top series is nothing like life at De La Salle College.

Following his 20-minute address, Dee said he struggled to stifle emotions that emerged when he saw the packed auditorium and was hit by various memories.

“I saw where the (students) were sitting, I envisioned sitting where the teachers were sitting on the walls, I envisioned the days I would stand there and lead the assembly in prayer,” he said.

“It was a lot of emotions going through (me). I always get emotional when I think of all that stuff for some reason.”

Dee credits the school with giving him a solid grounding in life.

“I’m living the dream that I wasn’t supposed to be doing,” he said.

Mr. D airs Mondays on CBC-TV.

Just Posted

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Report: China is driving use of armed drones in Middle East

BEIRUT — The use of armed drones in the Middle East, driven… Continue reading

Canadian home sales fall for a 3rd month; new listings also down: CREA

OTTAWA — Home sales across the country fell for a third month… Continue reading

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A rally in support of Alberta’s oil industry… Continue reading

‘Are we going to play?’ Alberta boy with rare illness no big deal for classmates

ONOWAY, Alta. — Four-year-old Porter Stanley has some new pals at preschool.… Continue reading

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A rally in support of Alberta’s oil industry… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Canada’s Kim McRae finishes seventh at luge World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Canada’s Kim McRae finished in seventh place at… Continue reading

Jeff Bridges to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Globes

LOS ANGELES — Jeff Bridges may have once been considered as one… Continue reading

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

NEW YORK — Racial justice. Obstruction of justice. Social justice. The Justice… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Most Read