The Shaw Fire Log
I am not sure which parts you are from, but chances are if you live in Canada, you are more than familiar with the infamous fire log channel at this time of the year, courtesy of Shaw Cable. And, for those of who you haven’t had the privilege of watching our northerly fire log broadcast, you are definitely missing out; although, I am sure that there are many versions out there by now. Quite simply put, the Shaw channel has a looped recording of a man stoking a fireplace every now and again, as observers watch and listen to the Flames and crackles of the fire. Doesn’t it sound truly exciting?! The ironic part is that just yesterday my husband and I were researching to find out when the log would be coming on this year, as we knew it was due to debut very soon. As bizarre as it sounds, the faux-fire has seemingly become a Canadian Christmas staple in many households across the nation. A marker of the holiday season to come, if you will.
When the log first came on TV thirty years ago to date, my family and I, along with many others, thought the broadcasters were literally nuts! No other way to word it, folks. We couldn’t believe that they thought that we, as paid viewers, would want to watch someone else’s fireplace on TV. I mean, come on…surely people had better things to do with their time, didn’t they?! Why would we want to waste time watching that, when we have a perfectly good wood-burning fireplace of our own at home? Though we were aware that not everyone else had their own cozy fire, the log seemed like a flat-out crazy notion. But, oddly enough (like many other things in this world–just check out You Tube these days), the idea caught on. And, FAST! If out visiting over the holidays, or having company yourself, you were sure to come across The Shaw Channel at some point. It even became a conversation piece for many families and friends, as people ‘ooh-ed and aah-ed’ whenever the hairy-armed, plaid shirt wearing, fire stoker guy put another log on the fire or poked away at the ones already there, creating rampant approval or disapproval over his choices. Hilarious, more than anything, which it usually was-especially if indulging in a drink or two of choice to cheer away the holidays.
But, here are some rather interesting facts which I have since learned about with respect to our beloved fire log:
- The log is watched by more than three million people (which here in Canada is almost half of our population–okay, so it’s more like one-tenth, but you get the point).
- It has its own Twitter account (really?).
- You can now download the App for free, so that you can have a mobile on-the-go fake fire (in case of emergencies?;-). Naturally, I couldn’t resist a portable fireplace for my Phone.
- The mysterious gentleman, whose hand/sleeve is the only part of him that we ever see, has apparently received many a letter from women asking if he is single, which in fact, he is!
- Jon Stewart did a skit about the log on the Daily Show.
Most interesting of all, however, is why the VP of Community Programming ran the taping of the fireplace to begin with. According to globalnews.ca, “(he) wanted to find a way to keep some content on the TV but still allow employees to take time off to be with their families on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.” While having his staff over to his place each Christmas, they would tape a new version of the fire log burning to air on TV. I must say that in discovering how it all came to be, I am even more impressed with our now, must-see Christmas log tradition. I know that I will certainly be tuning in once again, that’s for sure. Funny how time has a way of changing our perspective on things–thirty years ago, I’d have thought I was nuts! Then again, maybe I am?:-).