View Full Version : Help Me, Canadians!

12-20-2009, 05:59 PM
... or anybody knowledgeable about Canadian pop culture, geography, etc..

I'm looking for a name for a Canadian superhero. I'd like something that's a pun or a play on words that only an authentic Canadian would get.

For example, in the US, we might have a guy named the Yankee Clipper, or the Brooklyn Dodger, the Empire Statesman, the Jersey Devil, the Florida Panhandler-- stuff like that.

Something based on a Canadian folk hero, a geographic feature, or a local legend would be perfect. English or French is fine, and bonus points for a really bad pun.

Thanks in advance, and A mare usque ad mare.

12-21-2009, 01:37 AM
Here's two links I found, hopefully they help. And by the by, I've seen a lot of Captain Canuck graphic novels in the stores as of late. ^_^




12-21-2009, 06:03 AM
I'm not Canadian but something like this?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/08/Big_Joe_Mufferaw.JPG/200px-Big_Joe_Mufferaw.JPG (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Big_Joe_Mufferaw.JPG) http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/common/images/magnify-clip.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Big_Joe_Mufferaw.JPG)
Statue of Mufferaw in Mattawa, Ontario (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattawa,_Ontario).

Big Joe Mufferaw was a French Canadian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Canadian) folk hero from the Ottawa Valley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa_Valley), perhaps best known today as the hero of a song by Stompin' Tom Connors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stompin%27_Tom_Connors). Like Paul Bunyan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Bunyan_(lumberjack)), he made his living chopping down trees. The name is also sometimes spelled Muffero, Muffera, and Montferrand. The last spelling is more common among francophones; anglophones who had trouble with it used one of the other spellings.
In addition to being the subject of many Paul Bunyan-esque tall tales, Mufferaw is sometimes enlisted as a defender of oppressed French Canadian loggers in the days when their bosses were English and their rivals for work were Irish. In one story, Big Joe was in a Montreal bar, where a British army major named Jones was freely insulting French Canadians. After Big Joe beat the major, he bellowed, "Any more insults for the Canadians?"
Some Mufferaw tales take place in the United States.
A real strongman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strongman) by the name of Joseph Montferrand (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Montferrand) lived from 1802 to 1864. French Canadian writer Benjamin Sulte told this man's story in a 1975 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_in_literature) book. He also is the subject of a chapter in Joan Finnegan's 1981 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1981_in_literature) book Giants of the Ottawa Valley (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Giants_of_the_Ottawa_Valley&action=edit&redlink=1) and her 1983 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_in_literature) book Look! The Land is Growing Giants (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Look!_The_Land_is_Growing_Giants&action=edit&redlink=1). Bernie Bedore of Arnprior (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnprior,_Ontario) also wrote several books recounting Joe's adventures.
A statue of Joe Mufferaw was erected outside of the Mattawa Museum in Mattawa, Ontario (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattawa,_Ontario), during the spring of 2005. It was carved by local carving artist Peter Cianafrani, and was his last statue before passing away later in the spring. A plaque commemorating his name sits at the base of the statue.

The Stompin' Tom Connors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stompin%27_Tom_Connors) song describes the following tall tales (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tall_tales), with many references to the Ottawa Valley:

Joe "paddled in to Mattawa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattawa,_Ontario) all the way from Ottawa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa) in just one day".
Joe had a "pet frog who was bigger than a horse, and barked like a dog."
Mississippi Lake was formed as a result of sweat dripping off his face, as the citizens of Carleton Place (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carleton_Place,_Ontario) can attest to.
Joe portaged (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portage) from Gatineau (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatineau,_Quebec) to Kemptville (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kemptville,_Ontario), to see his girlfriend, and "he was back and forth so many times to see her, that the path he wore became the Rideau Canal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rideau_Canal)."
He "put out a forest fire halfway between Renfrew (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renfrew,_Ontario) and old Arnprior (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnprior,_Ontario). He was 50 miles away, down around Smiths Falls (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smiths_Falls,_Ontario), when he drowned out the fire with five spitballs."
He "jumped in the Calabogie Lake (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Calabogie_Lake&action=edit&redlink=1) real fast and swam both ways to catch a cross eyed bass (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cross_eyed_bass&action=edit&redlink=1), but he threw it to the ground and said "I can't eat that," so he covered it up with Mount St. Pat (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mount_St._Patrick&action=edit&redlink=1)."
After drinking a bucket of gin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gin), Joe "beat the living tar out of 29 men and high above the ceiling of the Pembroke (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pembroke,_Ontario) pub, there's 29 boot marks, and they're signed 'with love.'" This is a reference to the Pembroke Hotel, a favourite of Stompin' Tom.



Anarchic Q
12-21-2009, 06:14 AM
The Loony. (Canadian dollar coin)
The Beaver Bay
The Mounty! (Horse mounted police)
The Toque (Beanie hats)

12-21-2009, 06:45 AM
You guys are awesome. Thanks for the suggestions/links.

Big Joe is perfect. I can stick him on a team called the Edmonton Heroes (abbreviated 'EH', of course).

12-21-2009, 07:27 AM
How about Pogg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace,_order_and_good_government) Driver (http://www.nfb.ca/film/log_drivers_waltz/)? You can call his arch-nemesis Blackfly (http://www.nfb.ca/film/blackfly/).

12-21-2009, 04:19 PM
Stompin' Tom is definitely the best name one could ever come up with for a Canadian superhero - we've had a few characters:

Bible Bill (William Aberhart who was premier of Alberta - not a great superhero name, though)
Grey Owl
King Ralph (Ralph Klein - another former premier of Alberta who liked the hootch a bit too much for his own good)

I suspect, though - since most Canadians identify with our nation's proud history of peacekeeping, the best name would be "The Peacekeeper"

12-21-2009, 08:05 PM
Thanks, Ariella and Saskatoonian. "POGG!" sounds like a great battle cry to me, as Stompin' Tom leads the gang into the fray.

12-22-2009, 01:38 AM
...or, less arcane than my first attempt, you could call him Stanley Cupp.

Mike Martyn
12-22-2009, 04:08 AM
And then there's the first premier ( like govenor in the US) of British Columbia who's name was l'Amour De Cosmos. ie: lover of the universe. He'd changed it from his birth name of course.

My personal hero would be the man who taught me how to snowshoe and paddle a canoe, Ted Byfield.

12-22-2009, 04:23 AM
Yeah, Stompin Tom.

Joey Keithly too if you're from the old school punk crowd. (He usually goes by "Shithead" though).

I don't know who Captain Canuck is, or that Joe Guy. Louis Reil led a rebellion and was hanged for treason, then pardoned poshumously. He's kinda famous where I am now.

And then there's Ralphie... I mean really, what politician can get away with walking into a homeless shelter drunk, literally throwing money around and telling people to get a job. And then get sympathy from his electorate?? Guy's a fucking phenomenon.

Oh! This guy! The Log Driver! I'll be every Canadian on this board can sing along to this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ekqsHP9Sck
(only because it was played in ad spots between morning cartoons in the late 70s and early 80s)

Besides Stanley, we've also got a Grey Cup. Named after Earl Grey. Yup, like the tea. That should work for a good pun. He can have a flashy cup and saucer and magical biscuits. ;)

12-22-2009, 04:55 AM
A play on the Grey Cup would indeed be good if you want one that virtually all Canadians would get and very few people outside the country would. Joe Montferrand might have been big news 150 years ago, but I don't think most modern Canadians have heard of him.

Geographic features? You might get somewhere with the Canadian Shield. Every kid learns about that in public school geography.

Punning around with John A. Macdonald (our first prime minister) might work too. John Eh Macdonald is already popular. He was also a well-known lush, so there's comedic potential. Again, most non-Canadians would miss the reference, but virtually all Canadians would get it.

Good luck.

12-22-2009, 06:49 AM
Ummm... Reeeeeally not sure I should say this at all.

I have been working on a strip called What The Canuck, about a boy called What, for the past couple of years (probably 30% completed now, but I haven't touched it in a while). There are so many funny things about Canada (the "Canny da" story is, unfortunately, complete nonsense) that I may have to rework some of the existing material to include more recent jokes.

12-22-2009, 07:07 AM
hell, my location is a joke in itself.

Bob: "How did they name Canada?"
Doug: "Gee, I dunno. How?"
Bob: "They put all the letters of the alphabet in a toque and pulled them out one by one. C, eh. N, eh. D, eh."

Which reminds me... Bob and Doug. Strange Brew. Hosers and Beer and the call of the loon.


Force someone to wear a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey. Every Canadian kid was forced to read "The Hockey Sweater". No one but Canadians read Can-lit. Even some of us actively avoid it.

12-23-2009, 02:57 AM
Just find some of Rick Mercer's "Talking to Americans" for some ideas.... :D

Thought rightly, a Canadian superhero is likely to be a hockey player...and probably playing for a *real* team like Les Canadiens, not the Make-Beliefs! ;)

12-24-2009, 11:40 PM
Thought rightly, a Canadian superhero is likely to be a hockey player...and probably playing for a *real* team like Les Canadiens, not the Make-Beliefs! ;)
Yeah, but if you're really Canadian you'd call them the "Habs"

**short for Habitants, a Canadian-french (this is distinctly different from other french) word roughly meaning "the locals"

12-30-2009, 06:42 AM

"Blue Nose"
"Regina Pat"

I'll think of some more eventually.

12-30-2009, 10:32 PM
Maurice "The Rocket" Richard -- hockey player
Crazy Canucks -- ski champions

> I'd like something that's a pun or a play on words that only an authentic Canadian would get.

French: Se faire enfirouaper -- to be had, tricked. Comes from "in fur wrapping" -- having sex with locals in a remote fur trade shack.