Gerard Parkes Gets Drunk on “Today’s Special”

If you’re familiar with the late Gerard Parkes, best known for playing Doc on Fraggle Rock, you probably got a big kick out of his hilarious cameo in The Boondock Saints as a profane bar owner with Tourette syndrome. But that wasn’t the first time Doc ever showcased his angry side. I recently combed through Gerard Parkes’ filmography and saw one credit which suddenly brought back traumatic memories from my childhood. And lo and behold, I even found the footage for it. If you were a Canadian kid during the 1980s, you might remember the TVOntario children’s show, Today’s Special, which showcased the escapades of a group of characters inside a department store while it was closed at night. At one point, Parkes made a guest appearance on an episode of the show as an alcoholic photographer, who gets progressively more intoxicated during an overnight photo shoot while he sneaks sips from his whiskey flask. Yes, you read that right! This may have been the first time I was ever introduced to the concept of alcoholism and, believe me, at that age, it was pretty disturbing to see lovable old Doc from Fraggle Rock get drunk and start chewing out Muffy Mouse! But I give major props to Today’s Special as I doubt you’d find many children’s shows willing to do something like this these days.

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