Music

Music

Where’s Billy Crystal when we need him?

JOHN INTINI April 5 2004
Music

Music

Where’s Billy Crystal when we need him?

JOHN INTINI April 5 2004

Music

CLOSING NOTES

Where’s Billy Crystal when we need him?

JOHN INTINI

Alanis Morissette will join the ranks of a notso-elite club when she hosts the Juno Awards on April 4 in Edmonton. In fact, scanning the list of previous hosts makes one pine for a Canadian Billy Crystal—or at least a Whoopi Goldberg. What we have had is Burton Cummings—and lots of him. The Guess Who singer guided audiences through Canada’s biggest night of music four times: 1979,1980,1982 and then again in 1983 with Alan Thicke. Comedian Howie Mandel ruled the stage twice in the ’80s and Paul Shaffer paid his dues in 1991.

1980

1993

1996

2000

There have been a few caught-in-a-timewarp moments. Once when Anne Murray took the reins in 1996, when grunge rock was popular. And again in 2000 when the Moffatts took a turn. Don’t remember them? Maybe that’s because their 15 minutes were nearly up when the credits started rolling.

Of course, there have also been a few success stories. The cast of This Hour has 22 Minutes was a crowd-pleaser in 1995, as was Rick Mercer when he did the gig solo in 2001. A year later, the Barenaked Ladies got big laughs with some Juno-tailored silly songs. But for the most part it’s been a pretty weird collection of Canadian celebrities. And now Alanis—isn’t it ironic?