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

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

Child sex offender should get 12 years: Crown prosecutor

Stuart Peter Hunt has pleaded guilty to 10 child sexual exploitation and pornography charges

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

Red Deer-area dads going through divorce are invited to Man Up

Support group formed to focus on positive activities, networking

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

Most Read