May he Rest In Peace

Comedian John Morgan, star of Royal Canadian Air Farce, dead at 74
TORONTO (CP) – John Morgan, who played the dim-witted Mike from Canmore on CBC’s The Royal Canadian Air Farce, was remembered Tuesday as “eccentric, talented, prolific and funny.”
Morgan died Monday of a suspected heart attack at his home in Toronto. He was 74.
“He was .†.†. the most memorable friend and colleague any of us will ever have,” Morgan’s Air Farce colleagues, Roger Abbott and Don Ferguson, said in a statement.
“He was a performer with whom audiences loved to laugh.”
When Air Farce moved to television in 1993, it quickly became one of the network’s top shows. Before that Morgan, Abbott, Ferguson, Dave Broadfoot and Luba Goy had become a staple of Canadian radio.
Besides Mike from Canmore, Morgan’s other Air Farce creations included Jock McBile and the Prophet on the Mount.
“He was surprised to find himself a television star at an age when most men are thinking about retirement,” said Abbott and Ferguson.
When asked once about the success of the show, Morgan said: “You know what they say: we use satire against our leaders; Americans shoot theirs.”
In 1992, the Air Farce team became the first Canadian inductees into the International Humour Hall of Fame.
Ferguson, who knew Morgan for 34 years, said he was a natural clown.
“He was a terrific raconteur. He was really completely engaged in life. He flew a plane, drove a sports car, he loved opera,” Ferguson said in an interview Tuesday.
“He knew everything there was to know about tangos. He didn’t dance, but he knew the music … he had these weird interests – you know, you wouldn’t expect a guy who was a comedy writer to fly a plane and be an expert on tangos, but he was.”
As well, Morgan was a voracious reader.
“Every time he sat down to write a comedy sketch he had all of his little peculiar quirks and interests floating around in his brain, and he could draw upon all kinds of information – arcane and otherwise – to make a script work,” Ferguson said.
Morgan also co-created the CBC Radio series Funny You Should Say That and wrote the pilot of the popular TV series King of Kensington.
He served as script consultant and writer for several other CBC-TV comedy series.
In England, he had his own BBC Radio series called It’s All in the Mind of John Morgan.
Morgan retired from Air Farce in 2001, telling colleagues that after 35 years of writing comedy it was time to step down.
He had been healthy in his retirement, and his death came as he was preparing to go on a Bermuda vacation with his son.
The news came as a shock to his CBC colleagues.
“We’ve been between tears and laughter all day … one minute we’re all reminiscing about what John said and we’re killing ourselves laughing, and then in an instant we start weeping,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson said Morgan had spent his winters in Europe since retiring, and had been planning to go there again at the end of November.
Morgan, who was born in Wales, was an only child. His wife died in the early 1990s and he never remarried. He is survived by his daughter Sarah, who lives in New York, and his son Chris.
There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements.
“I know that John wanted something very small – small enough to be invisible would have been his preference,” said Ferguson. “He was a reluctant celebrity. He hated all the fuss.”