CanCon Flashback: Definition

Definition host Jim Perry on set

Definition host Jim Perry on set

The game itself was a groaner, we never cared for all that give a letter, take a letter stuff – but That Song sucked us in and Canada watched the game show Definition, with host Jim Perry, for 15 years.

From 1974 to 1989, Toronto housewives, with the help of CFTO TV personalities, would solve silly puns, sort of hangman-style, to win really low rent prizes. Even at a very young age, it was clear the prizes were really really, very cheap. From Definition’s Wikipedia page:

If they solved the puzzle the team received a small merchandise prize and $10 for each unrevealed blank. If they failed to solve the puzzle $10 was given as a consolation prize. Five consecutive wins allowed the players to play for a bigger prize like a refrigerator.

The show, while popular, was also frequently mocked for the cheapness of its prizes, which were usually small appliances, pen and pencil sets, or other small courtesy gifts. Only the show’s annual championship tournaments offered expensive prizes, such as a car or a resort vacation.

The announcer was weatherman Dave Devall. That Song is Quincy Jones’ Soul Bossa Nova, which we all knew as the Definition theme song, until it became the Dream Warriors’ 1991 hit My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style, and later blasted into infamy as Austin Powers’ theme song. Fun fact: Both Mike Myers and Definition were created in Scarborough, Ontario. Definition is probably where Myers first heard the song. It’s certainly where we heard it.

I loved that sign. Ladies and gentlemen, Definition.

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