My Summer Lair Chapter #250: Do You Believe In The Ballard Curse?
Jason Priestley’s pandemic project Offside: The Harold Ballard Story is streaming on CBC Gem; it had its world premiere at the Whistler Film Festival in December 2022. (Umm and yes I said Jason Priestley as in Beverly Hills 90210 and the guy who directed The Old Apartment music video by the Barenaked Ladies. Solid tune.)
Priestley’s documentary focuses on Harold Ballard who was the principal owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1972 until his death in 1990. Basically?
Ballard was a Canadian Donald Sterling who drove The Original Six hockey team into the ground; he fired 13 coaches and six general managers during his reign (of terror?). The team impressively lost…a lot.
He was misogynistic, homophobic and racist all on the record too; though many of his comments aligned with past societal values. (Documentaries like this are great because they reveal how far we’ve evolved while underscoring many of the common values we hold today will be super cringey to future generations; thankfully we’ll all be dead.)
So those are Harold Ballard’s basic bio beats but…who was he really? This is what Priestley smoothly unpacks in this decidedly unCanadian heritage minute.
To get into all of this My Summer Lair welcomes one of the documentary’s executive producers Chuck Tatham.
Chuck Tatham has been a producer and a writer on Arrested Development, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother…a whole bunch of sitcoms you’ve enjoyed. He’s currently an executive producer on Children Ruin Everything.
His big break was writing on the last 3 seasons of Full House, like back in the day “you got it dude!” Full House.
Chuck and I discuss writing for TV and being a Canadian who lives in LA…some of the names you’re about to hear are David Letterman, Will Arnett, Eugene Levy, Queen Latifah, Mike Myers, Keanu Reeves, Brooke Shields, Matthew Perry, Jerry Bruckheimer…yo.
He is a hockey fan and he plays hockey (he grew up in Ontario) so yes we do talk about the Leafs who won their last championship in 1967. Their drought between championships is currently the longest in the NHL and closing in on 60 years. Oh boy.
Behold the trailer for Offside: The Harold Ballard Story:
Host Sammy Younan
Recorded: Friday January 20, 2023 at 11:00 am
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