The town of Orillia is celebrating a special anniversary this weekend.
It’s the 100th anniversary of Stephen Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. His seminal work is largely based on the summers the McGill University professor spent in the town.
Fred Addis is the curator of the Leacock Museum in Orillia. He says Sunshine Sketches laid the foundation for the Canadian self-deprecating style of humour.
And Leacock’s influence stretched beyond Canada’s borders. John Cleese credits Sunshine Sketches as the inspiration for the Monty Python Four Yorkshiremen sketch about four old men trying to outdo each other with stories of their childhood poverty.
It’s estimated more than a million copies of Sunshine Sketches have been sold. A new edition was published last month.