The Rocket Showed Up On Front Page Challenge


After scoring his 500th goal in 1957, the Rocket appeared on the long-running CBC show Front Page Challenge, answering the panelists’ questions from behind their backs as they tried to guess who he was. After the question and answer part, Rocket came out and chatted for about ten minutes with the panel who, on this night, included cranky old skinflint Gordon Sinclair, lovely Toby Robins, author and joint-roller Pierre Berton, and guest Margaret Higgins.

I’ve no idea if the Rocket fooled them or not.

Front Page Challenge ran from 1957 to 1995 and was as Canadian as you can get. Fred Davis was the slick moderator, and Gordon Sinclair and Pierre Berton were usually joined by Betty Kennedy, but on the Rocket’s night, Toby Robins was doing the duties instead of Betty. The show focussed on world news headlines and the special secret guests all had some sort of connection to said events.

I thought it was a great show. Gordon Sinclair never failed to ask the guests how much money they made, Berton was informed, talkative, and at times quite witty, and Betty Kennedy was well-spoken, classy, and lovely.

Fred Davis was as smooth as smooth can be. He said the right things and was always polite with a smile on his face and well-groomed hair on his head. Not a hair out of place, actually.

CBC should bring back Front Page Challenge. Or maybe not. Maybe you can’t go home again.

Here’s a 1984 Front Page Challenge introduction so you can see what the gang looked like;


2 thoughts on “The Rocket Showed Up On Front Page Challenge”

  1. Dennis, Front Page Challenge was truly a Canadian classic.

    Did you notice the folks from SCTV spoofed it? It’s the video that comes up right after the one you posted…

    I love the bit John Candy does during the commercial break…

  2. Danno, thanks for sending that. I watched it from beginning to end and laughed. I was always been a big fan of SCTV and for that period with John Candy, Rick Moranis, Eugeny Levy etc, they were the funniest thing out there. Much funnier that SNL. For me anyway.

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