Donald Sutherland on Tommy Douglas


The March 2011 issue of Esquire magazine just arrived and its “What I’ve Learned” interview column features the wry observations of the actor Donald Sutherland, including this one:

“There was this politician in Canada, his name was Tommy Douglas.  While he was campaigning, someone yelled at him, “Tell us all you know, Tommy.  It won’t take very long.”  And Tommy yelled back, “I’ll tell you what we both know, it won’t take any longer.”

The cleverness of the comment struck me as a witticism worthy of Mark Twain.  My ignorance about Douglas sent me in search of a little more information about him.  After a quick search of the Internet, I learned that this fellow, as many Canadians likely already know, achieved quite a bit during his time in the public arena, so much so that he was voted the greatest Canadian of all time in a 2004 BBC television contest.  Turns out as well that he is Sutherland’s former father-in-law and the grandfather of Kiefer Sutherland, the elder Sutherland’s son.  Donald Sutherland is Canadian to boot!  Who knew?  (I didn’t.)

(Photo credit:  National Archives of Canada)

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