So lucky you, this is the first time this skit, co-produced by current Vancouver Canucks beat reporter Rob Simpson, has been seen in 18 years after it was yanked off television after one viewing.
Years before Coors Lite came up with the idea of using a football press conference as the basis for humour in a TV beer commercial, “Simmer” and camera guy Dave Falcone came up with the idea for a program called Maple Leaf America at the 2004 NHL All-Star Game in Minnesota.
Simmer is the longest tenured NHL on-air commentator and journalist in the Vancouver market, having been paid to cover NHL games since the 1980’s as a teenager. He’s our current Vancouver Canucks beat reporter who used to (attempt to) work comedy into the TV show he produced with a crew on the east half and west half of North America.
This one involved NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and hockey legend Gordie Howe, who made an annual appearance on the program over four seasons at All-Star Games, usually in an interview format. This time it was a cameo for a different purpose.
The guy sitting next to Simmer was a hockey reporter recruited on the spot and we, to this day, don’t know who he is. Maybe we’ll find out now. We think he was from Connecticut.
We’ll continue to be breaking stories and keeping you up to date on all things Vancouver Canucks, but with five months until the next Vancouver Canucks game we figured it was a good time on a Sunday morning to finally bust out that NHL skit/bit that was censored.
Plus, it marks the start of the roll-out of all of the old episodes of this show on youtube, on the 20th anniversary of the program’s debut. That’ll start shortly.
You’ll see why, whether it was teasing the commissioner’s long time habit of looking off into space while talking or the smart ass remark at the end, we’ve never been too popular with the boss man.