Switchback (Series) (1981-1989)

Switchback was a popular Sunday morning kids series which was originally developed in Vancouver and was later produced other CBC regional stations, including Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax. It was a live magazine variety show which employed a fast-moving format of rock videos, camp serials like Batman, puppets, personality interviews and toll-free phone-in contests. Each city's show was autonomous, but they all shared the name, the graphics and the weekly serials.

The Winnipeg version was cancelled in 1988 and was replaced by the Regina version, although Winnipeg still contributed segments to the program on a weekly basis. The Ottawa version (which was also being seen in Montreal) replaced the Toronto-produced show.

Rick Scott .... Vancouver Host (1981)
Gordon White .... Vancouver Host (1982)
Richard Newman .... Vancouver Host (1982-1984)
Andrew Cochrane .... Vancouver Host (1984-?); Halifax Host (1988-1989)
Stu Jeffries .... Vancouver Host (1987-?)
Stan 'The Man' Johnson .... Halifax Host (1981-1988)
Shawn Thompson .... Toronto Host (1985-1986)
Dale Martindale .... Toronto Host (1986-1987)
Howard Busgang .... Toronto Host (1987)
Eric Tunney .... Toronto Host (1987)
Laurie Mustard .... Winnipeg Host (1983-1988)
Jim Ingebritsen .... Peter Cotton Svenson (Winnipeg)
Howard Glassman .... Calgary Host (1983-84)
Ian MacGillvray .... Calgary Host (1984-?)
Keith Sandulak .... Calgary Host (1984-?)
Brigitte Robinson .... Ottawa Host (1986-1987)
Tom New .... Ottawa Host (1987)
Johnson Morretti .... Ottawa Host (?-1988)
Natalie Gray .... Ottawa Host (1987-90)
Terry Dimonte .... Ottawa Host (1988-90)
Don Westwood .... Dr. Why (Ottawa)
Bill Wright .... Regina Host (1984-1990)

Original Broadcaster(s): CBC

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Comments (12)
byClick here to see the profile of this user Disteenguished Monstoor, April 24, 2009
1 of 1 people found this comment helpful
This was my favorite show growing up, got to enjoy Adam West's Batman, Flash Gordon serials, Gangbusters, Get Smart, etc. for the first time. Stan had a unique David Letterman-esque sense of humour, always kidding about CBC.
Actually I'd like to start a fan website so I'm looking for promo materials from the show such as postcards, articles, photos, etc; I have a good collection already but looking for more. Switchback came to our school to film because of me, and I was always sending in artwork and entering contests.
It would be great to get in contact with Stan as well, if anyone has info.....I met him in Switchback's final season when I was in Art School in Halifax, did a black & white photography project on the set, got to stay after and talk to Stan, John Nowlan, and "The Gorilla", and meet Rufus (the real dog) . I sent a couple 8x10 portrait photos of Stan to CBC, and he sent me one back autographed.

My one regret is that I never got to see Switchback live in studio. I grew up with the Regina version on Sunday mornings. Bill Wright was the host, but everyone knew the chicken was the star of the show. There were music videos, sometimes shown "Combat des Clips"-style, and they serialized episodes of "Batman" and "Get Smart".

And if the phone ever rang on Sunday morning, you'd better answer it with "Make it quick, I'm watching Switchback!"
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For an in-depth look at CBC programs (1952-82),
Blaine Allan's directory