Headhunter, Buckshot and Terrible Ted
When I was a young boy around five years of age my dad had a wrestling bear living in a cage. Under the back porch steps. I’d let my Revel ice cream drip on my bare toes and dangle my feet between the wooden steps so the bear could lick it off. Us Hart kids thought that was pretty cool. I figured it was a good way to keep my feet clean - and it kind of tickled too.
It just so happened that I was invited to the next door neighbor’s birthday party, which was going to be held up at CFCN at a kiddie show called The Headhunter Show.
I’d never been to a birthday party or been on a TV show so I was pretty hyped when I got on the set and took my seat on the bench. Out from behind the curtain suddenly came Terrible Ted - that very same bear who lived under our porch!
The bear handler scuffled around with Ted just long enough to amuse us kids. Some of the kids were even scared, but not me! Heck, me and Ted were practically on a first name basis and no doubt he appreciated the ice cream drips!
By the end of the show Headhunter, the host, came around interviewing various kids. When he came to me he innocently asked, “Wouldn’t you like to have a bear like that in your back yard?” It seemed like a pretty stupid question. I matter of factly told him, “I already have a bear like that living in my back yard.”
Well, he kind of winked at the camera and chalked it up to the over active imagination of a five year old boy. This was all the opening he needed to have a little fun as I found myself pleading with him to believe that I really did have a bear just about that exact same size living at my house! He had some more fun with me but then the show ended and I felt really annoyed that as hard as I tried nobody believed me!
I remember getting home only a few minutes later, since CFCN was so close, and my mom, who'd seen the whole thing on TV, gave me a big warm hug and smiled, “Aw dawling, no one ever believes me when I tell them what goes on around here either!”
You might be wondering where the heck I’m going with this. Well, I wanted to tell you about Buckshot, which is the show that replaced Headhunter. I was at a Flames game a few weeks ago when the happy go lucky face of Buckshot himself, Ron Barge, appeared on the giant screen. Dick Clark’s got nothing on Buckshot, who looks the same as he did twenty-five years ago! It was while I was leaving that some drunk spotted me and in quite a dissing give-me-a-break tone he pointed and bellowed out, “First Buckshot, and now The Hitman!” I wanted to deliver a nice wise crack back but as I made my way to my truck I realized that I took it as a huge compliment to be held up to the same light as Buckshot!
For kids to have heroes is an important thing and I always took that part of my job seriously. I always took great pride in knowing that if young kids were watching The HItman they were in good hands.
I met Buckshot many times over the years, mostly when I was a kid hanging around CFCN, and he was always as gentle and kind as he was on TV. But I always heard Benny the Bear was a total jerk!