King of Kensington: Season 1, Episode 1

Variety Store (25 Sep. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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Episode cast overview:
Al Waxman ...
Larry King
Fiona Reid ...
Helene Winston ...
Gladys King
Bob Vinci ...
John J. Dee ...
Ardon Bess ...
Nestor Best
Mina E. Mina ...
Ashok Sharma (as Mina Mina)
Jane Mallett ...
(as Jane Mallet)
Nick Nichols
Greg Zenon ...
(as Gregory Zenon)
Ivor Barry ...
Edgar Whitney Wallace


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Release Date:

25 September 1975 (Canada)  »

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When Ya Help Someone It Comes Back
1 May 2013 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Larry King (Al Waxman) - the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants runs and owns a struggling variety store in Toronto's Kensington Market area. Business is bad and hours are long but he always finds time energy to help people and is looked to as a kind of informal social worker/community leader.

In this first episode we see him sponsor an immigrant from India who, without knowing Larry runs a variety store or where, wants to open his own variety store on the same block as Larry's store.

King of Kensington - despite its regal sounding Anglo-Saxon name was a show about the working-class and small-business people in Toronto - a city then just coming into its own as a centre of cultural diversity.

The great thing about it for Canadian TV viewers was that it was a high-quality take on the American sitcom with a Canadian twist and very specific references to what was topical in our country politically and socially. This show on our government subsidized national broadcaster was highly critical of the government.

We weren't quite finished with outsourcing our TV programming to the United States and Britain by this time in Canadian broadcasting history. Nor had we ceased to create domestic programming that reflected the natural wonders of Canada's outdoors. But this articulation of the urban experience was a beginning and thus a landmark in domestic broadcasting.

Coming as it did years after the disastrous 'The Trouble With Tracy' it is a wonder anyone ever wanted to make a sitcom in Canada again.

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