Canuck Stars and Comedy Legends Turn Out for ‘Take Off, Eh!” All-Star Benefit

Mike Crisolago | July 19th, 2017
Dave Thomas

Comedian Dave Thomas, his nephew Jake Thomas and brother Ian Thomas at the "Take Off, Eh!' benefit in Toronto.

Canadian comedian and SCTV alum Dave Thomas and his family faced a major setback when, in January, Thomas’ nephew Jake was paralysed from the waist down in a snowmobile accident. Wanting to raise awareness and money for Jake’s family and spinal cord research, Thomas, like most anyone in his situation, turned to his friends for support. And luckily for the 68-year-old, his friends include comedy legends, entertainment titans and big-hearted philanthropists, all of whom descended on the Second City Mainstage in downtown Toronto on Tuesday, July 18 in support of Take Off, Eh: An All-Star Benefit for Jake Thomas.

The evening, hosted by Martin Short and headlined by a reunion of Thomas and Rick Moranis as Bob and Doug McKenzie, raised $325,000 to benefit ‘Jake Thomas’s Road to Recovery’ and Spinal Cord Injury Ontario. The event included performances and appearances by Dan Aykroyd, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Rick Mercer, members of The Kids in the Hall, Paul Shaffer, Geddy Lee, Murray McLauchlan, Ian Thomas (brother of Dave and father of Jake) and more. The SCTV alumni, including Levy, O’Hara, Short and, of course, Thomas and Moranis, reprised some of their best known characters from the famed Canadian sketch show, thrilling fans and adding a nostalgic and sentimental punctuation to the event. Thomas spoke with Zoomer ahead of the all-star evening, which you can read here. 

Before the show the special guests dined at filmmaker Ivan Reitman’s restaurant, Montecito, and gathered after the show at Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant, where Catherine O’Hara was spotted among a group viewing old SCTV clips of John Candy on televisions throughout the establishment. Photographer George Pimentel was on hand at both locales to snap the A-list attendees, which you can scroll through in the slideshow below. And to make a donation to Jake Thomas’s Road to Recovery’ and Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, visit and/or

Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas.


Rick Moranis and Eugene Levy.


Dave Thomas and Martin Short.


Canada’s Walk of Fame CEO Jeffrey Latimer and Catherine O’Hara.


Michael Douglas and Roots co-founder Michael Budman.


Comedian Rick Mercer and the Royal Canadian Air Farce’s Luba Goy.

The Kids in the Hall’s Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson.


The Kids in the Hall’s Dave Foley.


Director Norman Jewison and his wife Lynne St. David.


Rush’s Geddy Lee.


SCTV and Saturday Night Live alum Robin Duke and Dan Aykroyd.

Musician and band leader Paul Shaffer.


Roots founders Michael Budman and Don Green.


Canadian music producer Bob Ezrin.


Artist Jimmy Budman and architect Diane Bald.


Philanthropists Suzanne Rogers and Vona Bitove.


President of Cineplex Media Salah Bachir and his husband, artist Jacob Yerex.

Developer and Musical Stage Company executive producer David Daniels and his wife, producer Kate Alexander Daniels.


Warner Music Canada President Steve Kane and Warner Music Canada’s VP of Radio Promotion Steve Coady. 


Andrew Alexander, Second City’s CEO and Executive Producer.