22 Minutes’ Three-decade Legacy of Laughter

A new special celebrates 30 years of This Hour Has 22 Minutes

A new special celebrates 30 years of This Hour Has 22 Minutes

On October 11, 1993, CBC debuted a new series that satirized current events, putting a distinctively Canadian spin on the news of the day. 

Since then, This Hour Has 22 Minutes has evolved into something more than just a satirical TV comedy series to become part of the country’s cultural fabric, something that’s evident as the show celebrates its milestone 30th season this year.

While the cast has changed over the years, the laughter-generating mission of 22 Minutes has remained consistent. This is apparent in This Special Has 30 Years, a retrospective look back on its history, exploring how the show turned into such a homegrown cultural force.This Hour Has 22 MinutesCBCCanadians couldn’t help but fall in love with the ever-expanding cast of recurring characters, such as Cathy Jones’ “sexual affairs correspondent” Babe Bennett, Greg Thomey’s scandal-ridden politician Jerry Boyle and Mary Walsh’s Marg Delahunty, whose politician-spoofing stunts while crashing press scrums (occasionally while costumed as Xena: Warrior Princess) often generated bigger headlines than the stories the show spoofed—like the time Marg accosted then-Toronto mayor Rob Ford on his driveway, leading the late politician to stumble into a whole new scandal when he called 911 to complain and verbally abused the operator with a barrage of profanity-laced insults.

In addition to insights from current stars Mark Critch, Aba Amuquandoh, Stacey McGunnigle and Trent McClellan, the new special also features interviews with CBC News icon Peter Mansbridge and series alums including Walsh and Rick Mercer.

“Political satire is as relevant, perhaps more relevant, today for Canadians as it was when the show first premiered,” said 22 Minutes exec producer Michael Donovan of the show’s enduring popularity. 

This Hour Has 22 Minutes airs Tuesdays, October 11 on CBC