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Canadian Jackass: Before Johnny Knoxville, There Was Cap’n Video

You've probably never heard of Ralph Zavadil. And he doesn't care. Or does he?

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

August 13, 2013 - 1:00 pm
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It’s too easy to use what you might call the “Anvil alibi”:

“Well, the guy was Canadian. He was cursed from the start.”)

Fortunately, a documentary about Zavadil called Beauty Day doesn’t use Cap’n Video’s nationality as an excuse to get bitterly, stupidly anti-American.

That said, Zavadil is one of THE most Canadian guys I’ve ever seen — the type I grew up with, even dated a few times.

(True story: I didn’t realize the guys in Fubar were actors until later.)

Hell, Cap’n Video could be my dad:

Smarter than he looks, but more or less content to make a living of sorts with the least amount of effort, often with little regard to legality.

He measures out his life in cigarettes and beer, in hockey pools and Rush concerts and tax refunds.

He spends his cash on Harley Davidson ephemera instead of saving up for an actual bike.

He’s more interested in juvenile, gross, vaguely dangerous fun than in family and female companionship.

His best friend is his dog, which he boasts is “half wolf.”

His “retirement plan” is either winning the lottery or falling off a roof and collecting disability.

He’s such a familiar “type” that he’s a staple of Canadian TV and cinema, who occasionally breaks out into international consciousness:

Remember Wayne’s World and the Mackenzie Brothers?

(And no, I don’t know what it is about Canadian guys and cable access. Anybody looking for a master’s thesis?)

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