Canuck Stars and Comedy Legends Turn Out for ‘Take Off, Eh!” All-Star Benefit
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 gofundme.com/jakethomasmuskoka and/or sciontario.org/donate.Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas.
Rick Moranis and Eugene Levy.
The Kids in the Hall’s Dave Foley.
Director Norman Jewison and his wife Lynne St. David.
Roots founders Michael Budman and Don Green.
Canadian music producer Bob Ezrin.
Warner Music Canada President Steve Kane and Warner Music Canada’s VP of Radio Promotion Steve Coady.