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Colonel Stacy: "Greetings, civilians! I'm Colonel Stacy. Some of my close friends call me Theresa."
Audience: "Hi, Theresa!"
Colonel Stacy: *kiss*

Royal Canadian Air Farce is a long running Sketch Comedy group which began radio broadcasts in 1973 and switched to TV in 1993, with TV specials before that time in 1980 and 1992. The original stable cast consisted of Roger Abbott, Don Ferguson, Luba Goy, John Morgan, and Dave Broadfoot, many of whom have become institutions in Canadian entertainment in their own right.

The Air Farce's mix of political and cultural satire has been a mainstay of the program, and has in many ways set the mold for political satirists of later years, both Canadian and abroad.

The show came to a close with the 2008 "Final Flight" season, culminating with their series finale on December 31, 2008. However, the troupe continued to produce New Year's Eve specials until the final such broadcastnote  took place on December 30, 2019.


  • Acronym and Abbreviation Overload: Done in sketches dealing with the merging of the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties (eventually the Alliance Party and later the current Conservative Party of Canada), see Fun with Acronyms.
  • Adored by the Network: In-universe. One skit showed the schedule for upcoming shows for newly created cable channels. The network controlling these extra channels adored Seinfeld, because it appeared on all channels in the same timeslot. But not as much as the Seinfeld channel, which occupied every time slot.
  • Aerith and Bob: Heikki Flergenpootz and Svetlana, relatively speaking.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Invoked by Lucien Bouchard in a Season 4 sketch.
    Lucien Bouchard: The situation in Quebec has reached crisis proportions. There's rampant unemployment, a huge economic decline, plus I cannot stop the clock on my VCR from flashing douze, douze, douze!
  • The Artifact: Unlike other politician (and other noted figure) impersonations, whose appearances changed as the real person aged or changed their appearance, Abbott's Jean Chrétien kept his brown hair long after Chrétien went gray in real life.
    • News from Away’s theme tune is actually a nautical version of the theme the series used for their skits spoofing CBC’s Prime Time News. After the real Prime Time News was cancelled in 1995 and the original skit’s theme was discontinued, News from Away‘s version would remain for the rest of Air Farce‘s original run.
  • Artistic License - Aviation: Rule of Funny applies, of course, but Mike from Canmore’s Crash Course Landing sketch starts with Captain Hailey and co-pilot Hank getting “Maharaja’s Revenge” from both of them eating chicken curry prior to their flight. Regulations clearly state that in Real Life a flight’s pilot and other crew members must eat different meals from each other in order to specifically prevent a scenario like the sketch’s from happening.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Finland's version of "Coach's Corner" titled "Koachen's Kkorrnneer".
  • Atomic F-Bomb: Taken to its literal extent with the F-Bombs, which replaced the Chicken Cannon after the series finale.
  • Audible Gleam: Several of the sketches, including the New Years' Eve 2012 spoof of Murdoch Mysteries, employ this.
  • Berserk Button: It doesn't take a serious mention of Visa for Dave the Cabbie to warn his customer "No Visa, I kill you." He also tries to calm himself if his customer isn't a fan of something stereotypically Canadian.
  • BFG: The Chicken Cannon, Canada's biggest Weapon of Mass Distraction, which the troupe uses to make fun of various people and things in the news (as well as, at the start, Canada's military budget cutbacks in the 1990s). It is loaded with Abnormal Ammo: sometimes a rubber chicken, but often a mix of various gawdawful stuff appropriate to the target.
    • Plus jello. There's always room for jello.
    • The cannon was replaced by the aforementioned "F-Bombs" on the subsequent post-finale New Year's Eve specials, which take the form of missiles filled and dropped from the top of the studio in a similar manner.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: The show did not spare its network, the CBC. Arguably the bulk of their 1998 New Year's Eve special was devoted to lambasting the CBC for its then-recent presentation to the Canadian Radio and Television Commission.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Luba Goy’s hair would go from her natural brunette (in the 1970s) to blonde (from around 1980 to early seasons of the TV show) to redhead (most of the TV show right up to the present day).
    • Later seasons saw Goy illustrate this trope as the redhead to Jessica Holmes’ blonde and Penelope Corrin’s brunette (see page image).
  • Brake Angrily: Dave the Cabbie does this at one point when a passenger mentions paying for a purchase (to an associate on the phone, not for the cab ride) with her Visa card.
  • Breakout Character: If there was a face of the show, it was Mike from Canmore, the slow but sweet-natured Albertan who occasionally snarked back to those who put him down. It helps that despite his lifestyle and frequent misunderstandings being the butt of the joke, he's still a pretty nice guy who generally wants to help any way he can.
    • Colonel Stacy as well, due to his authoritative nature and never being the target of the joke.
  • Butt-Monkey: The politicans lampooned, of course, but Lucien Bouchard stands out as consistently having this treatment from just about everyone else even in-universe.
    • Stockwell Day (Ferguson) comes a close second, due to the Real Life Day's numerous political and media gaffes at the time. Unlike Bouchard, however, Day was nice enough to guest star as himself on a New Year's special lampshading his public perception.
    • Joe Clark generally fell under this as well, due to his nostalgia for his nine months as Prime Minister, as well as being leader of the Progressive Conservatives during the party's decline in the 1990s.
  • Canada, Eh?: Played with in every single episode. The troupe are accomplished mimics and play regional characters from across the country.
  • Canon Immigrant: Mike from Canmore was only one of four radio show characters (other than politician impersonations) to make the leap to the T.V. show, where he would firmly establish his characterization and origins, before soon re-appearing on the (then-concurrent) radio show.
    • The other radio show characters to appear on the T.V. series were Dave Broadfoot's Sergeant Renfrew, Big Bobby Clobber, and the Honourable David J. Broadfoot, Member note  for Kicking Horse Pass.
    • Sergeant Renfrew and the Honourable David J. Broadfoot originated in Dave Broadfoot’s standup act decades prior to him joining the Air Farce troupe before the run of the radio show.
  • Can't You Read the Sign?: In a 2001 sketch, Anne McLellan is at a gun store helping people register their guns. A guy brings his rifle in and puts it on the counter. Anne says, "Ugh, did you not see the sign?" and points to a sign reading "DO NOT bring FIREARMS to gun registry office." The guy looks at the sign and says, "Well, I don't smoke!"
  • Captain Obvious
    Announcer: Coming up next, the overnight forecast.
    Weather Guy: Dark!
  • Catchphrase: Usually at least one per character, taken to new heights in the "Canadian Moment" skits (see also Running Gag)
    • "You got that right!" "You betcha!" "Tell me about it!" "Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah!" "Totally!" (A Canadian Moment)
    • "I'm Mike. From Canmore."
    • The page quote, from the opening of Chicken Cannon News.
    • "Okaaaay, for sures on dat!" (Jean Chrétien)
    • "No Visa! Take Visa, I kill you!" (Dave the Cabbie)
    • "Ever wonder?" (The Confused Philospher)
    • "I'm smarter than you; I'm Gilbert Smythe...Bite-Me." (Critic at Large)
    • "How's she goin', my trout?" (Jimmy O'Toole)
    • "Get Stuffed!!" (Jock McBile)
    • "When I regained consciousness..." (Sergeant Renfrew of the Canadian Mounted Police)
    • "Now get out of my store! Get out of my store!" (Akbar the Outspoken Convenience Store Operator)
    • Heikki Flergenpootz and Svetlana start their news broadcasts by saying, "Goodnight," and end by saying, "Hello!"
    • "Gosh, I love me." (Stockwell Day)
    • "Crazy crazy!" (gently sips espresso) (Stavros, the Espresso-Drinking Greek, from English as a Second Language News)
    • "I'm not bitter." (John Nunziata, usually in an extremely bitter tone of voice)
    • "Hi! I'm Ed Broadbent!"
  • Caustic Critic: Gilbert Smythe-Bite-Me.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: In a sketch about Forbes Magazine's list of billionaires, the host (Goy), when listing Dr. Phil, asks "How can you take advice from anyone who looks like Hank from The Larry Sanders Show?"
    • Much was made of Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty's resemblance to Norman Bates.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The point of Sister Bonaventure, the Cursing Nun.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Svetlana often does this during ESL News segments. For example, Heikki asks her to give a weather report and she says, "It's pretty warm in here." When he asks her for the health news, she says, "I'm feeling pretty good."
  • Confronting Your Imposter: In one sketch, "Pamela Wallin" (Goy) interviewing "Jean Chrétien" (Abbott), only for the real Pamela Wallin to interrupt and take over, and the real Jean Chrétien to interrupt and continue the interview.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: A recurring conspiracy theorist character likes to share his theories with strangers on the street. According to him, the Kennedys were assassinated by Hitler, George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden are brothers, bin Laden is in Canada working at a gas station, and the Chernobyl accident happened because aliens spilled a Slurpee on the control panel.
  • Cool Old Lady: The Queen Mum (Abbott), who usually just sits around drinking gin, proclaiming she has “a new hip”, and making cracks at her son-in-law and grandson.
  • Crash Course Landing: Mike from Canmore is unfortunately tasked to do this in one sketch.
  • Creative Closing Credits: An early sketch with Ferguson's Pierre Trudeau ends with Trudeau's name added to most of the individual closing credits.
  • Crossover: If the Special Guest isn't a politician, chances are they're a CBC or CTV actor reprising their role from their respective series, i.e. Nicholas Campbell from Da Vinci's Inquest, Julie Stewart of Cold Squad, the cast of Street Legal, etc.
  • Crosscast Role: Roger Abbott as The Queen Mum
    • John Morgan as the "One Fat Lady" note 
    • Abbott and Don Ferguson as Tim Hortons cashiers Betty and Cecelia, respectively.
    • Luba Goy appeared several times in later seasons as a beer-gutted, mustachioed male gun proponent in sketches related to Canada's then-new long gun registry.
  • Dark Horse Victory: The TV show started just before the 1993 federal election and did a prediction of who would win, naturally they chose the funniest answer, the separatist Bloc Quebecois, with the other four parties splitting the rest of the country evenly. Prime Minister Lucien Bouchard commented there would be no point in Quebec separating since he'd be stuck with the rest of Canada.
    • Funnily enough, the Bloc proceeded to turn in their strongest result ever, becoming Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, which no one (else) saw coming.
    • The same joke was used during the 2006 election special, except this time it was even funnier because the then-current leader of the Bloc Québécois was the rather mild-mannered Gilles Duceppe. Alan Park makes him look like a deer stuck in headlights during the press conference announcing his victory.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lucien Bouchard, though he's usually deadpan in general anyway.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Season 2’s “O.J. Clue” sketch has Abbott’s character proclaim “Bad taste? Not in America!”. Truth in Television too, as Canadians (and Canadian media) are so averse to sensationalizing and making entertainment out of their country’s true crime stories that pretty much any movie or show based on them will surely be American-made, with little Canadian involvement at most.
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: John Morgan's characters (most notably Jock McBile) will occasionally use words such as "bugger" or "wanker" with no audience reaction (other than to the punchline said words are a part of). Seeing as Morgan was from Aberdare, he likely took advantage of this trope on purpose.
  • The Ditz: Mike from Canmore; many others also qualify, but he's the undisputed king.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Dave the Cabbie. Also this news report:
    Heikki Flergenpootz: Quebec drivers can now turn right on red light. Next big hurdle for Ministry of Transportation, getting Quebec drivers to stop at red light.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first few seasons had set pieces of the colourful grid-patterned stage visible in many sketches, before the pattern was painted over and later removed entirely.
    • Mike from Canmore was originally "Mike from Calgary", his monologue being in front of the city's skyline. The radio show originally had him from Canmore, and later other cities starting with "C", such as Coquitlam.
    • Abbott's Jean Chrétien used far fewer English malapropisms and grammatical errors in his earliest appearances.
    • The first "Canadian Moment" sketch did not feature Vera (Luba Goy) or Charlie (John Morgan), with Charlie joining in the second sketch and Vera joining thereafter.
    • Stan's first sketch had him calmer, offered only a slight price reduction over his competition, and lacked the "Hi, Stan!" audience prompts that would become a staple of subsequent appearances.
    • Jimmy and Seamus O'Toole were originally unrelated Cornerbrook fishermen who had decided to go into giving "codwatching" tours.
    • The first “Videopinion” sketch had a completely different, much longer expository opening sequence explaining its format. That, and it was originally called “Video Opinion”.
  • Flanderization: Compare earlier seasons’ appearances of Ferguson’s Preston Manning, where he sounds far closer to the real Manning, to around Season 5, where he’s seemingly incapable of speaking in lower tones.
    • Craig Lauzon’s Stephen Harper, while far from acting like a normal human being, was still calmer and less robotic in demeanor in his first appearance compared to subsequent sketches.
  • The Fool: Mike from Canmore, who often runs into good fortune despite his dim nature (like winning a knowledge-based game show), or at least avoids disasters or misfortune from directly affecting him.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode:
    • Season 7 saw the full-length story "The Prime Minister is Missing" (a Whole-Plot Reference of sorts to The President's Plane is Missing), where Jean Chrétien goes missing and interacts with the gang from "A Canadian Moment", while other politicians on Parliament Hill scramble to try and take power. At the end, all of these efforts fail, Chrétien shows up in Ottawa again, and he steps down from his post to give the position to Mike from Canmore.
    • Season 8 saw the episode-long parody of the then-recent Canada: A People's History, "Canada: A Mildly Informative, Not Overly Long People's History", featuring various impersonations and Special Guests in place of various Canadian historical figures.
    • Season 9 had the episode-length News from Away special report "Air Travel: What's Up with That?", with Jimmy and Seamus O'Toole reporting on the then-current state of Canada's airline industry, interspersed with segments from various politicians (Jean Chrétien, Joe Clark, Adrienne Clarkson) about air travel (or in Clark's case, the prime ministers he admires).
  • Four-Man Band: Roughly the first half of show's run had the cast consist of Roger Abbott, Don Ferguson, Luba Goy, and John Morgan.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Preston Manning considers calling the new joint party formed by the Progressive Conservative and Reform parties the Conservative Reform Alliance Party. Deborah Grey is quick to correct him, however, saying it had to be changed "because it was crap".
  • Gallows Humor: Queen Elizabeth, in a sketch set after Princess Diana’s death, resulting in arguably the darkest joke in Air Farce history:
    Queen Elizabeth II: (into a tape recorder) Himm himm himm. Note to me, buy shares in FTD note . (beat) Oh, and have paparazzi follow Fergie.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Queen Elizabeth trying to correct Jean Chrétien's malapropisms regarding royal titles.
    Jean Chrétien: Your Majesty, I thought we agreed not to make this guy a Pearl!
    Queen Elizabeth II: (beat) Earl.
    Jean Chrétien: Or a Duck!
    Queen Elizabeth II: Uh, Duke.
    Jean Chrétien: Or a...
    Queen Elizabeth II: Uh, don't even try to say "Count"!
  • The Ghost: Mike from Canmore's neighbour Mr. Zywicki, who is mentioned several times, one sketch stating that he had taught Mike how to fly an airplane.
  • Hardboiled Detective: From time to time, John Morgan would have skits where he would monologue as one of these in a Noir style, wearing a trenchcoat beneath a dingy streetlamp, lampooning political goings-on in the Canadian federal Parliament.
    "It's tough being a dick in Ottawa; the town is so damn full of them."
  • Horny Scientist: Professor Ick, the unattractive and extremely horny female scientist.
    • Implied with Professor Aphazard.
      Professor Aphazard: As we all know, there are many types of pests that invade our homes. Roaches, mice, termites, and of course, the worst of all, the unwanted solicitor. No no, I'm not talking about women with big hair, short skirts, and a bucket of mascara. You know, the kind who stand on the street corners and say "Back again, eh Professor?".
  • Hypocritical Humor: One Professor Aphazard sketch has him pitching his videotape for warding off unwanted solicitors, only to end it by stating he will go door to door selling it, and "won't take "no" for an answer".
    • After talking the ear off of his customer, Dave the Cabbie ends at least several of his sketches with "I thought [the customer would] never shut up."
  • Immigrant Patriotism: Dave the Cabbie, see Berserk Button.
    • Svetlana also has this at times.
      Svetlana: The problem with letting that many new immigrants into the country is, it takes away jobs from the old immigrants!
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: The final Air Farce Live era, along with the change in writers that came with it.
    • Later “Videopinion” sketches would do away with its short opening sequence by around Season 8, when the sketch and its format had become familiar to viewers.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Jimmy and Seamus O'Toole. Seamus always wears a yellow raincoat and matching rain hat and Jimmy always wears the same outfit in black. The New Year's specials are a slight exception; Jimmy and Seamus have their collars pulled down to show that they're wearing tuxedos under their raincoats.
    • Mike from Canmore's blue plaid shirt, brown vest, and red Calgary Flames hat.
  • Long-Runners: Fifteen years, not including the show's decades on CBC radio.
  • Malaproper: Jean Chrétien, who could seriously give Oswald Bates a run for his money.
    Jean Chrétien: We are both flatulently bisexual.
    Bernard Lord: I think you mean "fluently bilingual."
    • So much so that a "Jean Chrétien Thesaurus" became a punchline prop.
      Paul Martin: It won't help you understand him, but, who'd want to?
  • Metaphorgotten: In a Season 8 episode, Joe Clark tries to give a Rousing Speech in the House of Commons, but it's not terribly inspiring:
    Joe Clark: I would like to go on record as saying how good it is to be back in the House of Commons, riding a wave of glory while hanging ten on the Conservative board of optimism, and shooting the curl of success as I, uh, well, uh, that's as far as I can carry this stupid surfing metaphor.
  • Must Have Caffeine:
    • Stavros the Espresso-Drinking Greek in the "English as a Second Language News" segments.
    • Valerie Pringle is another example; she chugs entire pots of coffee during the early morning news.
    • This could also apply to the "Canadian Moment" gang, considering how much time they spend at the coffee shop.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: "Debate '93" announces itself as "an open-ended debate, with the major political leaders, and also Audrey McLaughlin." See also The Unfavorite.
  • Naked People Are Funny: David Suzuki's appearance on Air Farce has him walking in for an interview wearing only his glasses and a briefcase. He speaks in Double Entendres, announces his new show "The Nature of Thingies", and opens the briefcase to show off his "genetically altered banana".
  • New Year Has Come: The Air Farce television series had a yearly New Year's Eve special, "Year of the Farce", with sketches poking fun at the year's events, and usually ending with the Chicken Cannon dealing with the worst people of the year. The Backdoor Pilot for the series was the 1992 edition, and fittingly, the series finale for the television series ended up being the December 31, 2008 episode.
    • Although, due to December 31, 2011 falling on a Saturday (meaning Hockey Night in Canada. of course), the 2011 special was aired on the following Sunday instead, and was known as the "Air Farce Not The New Year's Eve Special".
    • The opposite situation occurred for the series' final New Year's special, which aired on December 30, 2019.
  • The '90s: Officially starting close to the 1993 federal election, Air Farce could be a time capsule of the Canadian media and political landscape of the time, to say nothing of the many traces of The '80s that still remained at that time (big hair on Goy's impersonation of Wendy Mesley, etc.). As the decade went on, characters would be updated in appearance to fit their Real Life counterparts, most notably Preston Manning, who had a Running Gag about changing his appearance to stay politically relevant.
  • No Indoor Voice: SHEILA COPPS! YA HEAR ME?
    • Preston Manning, especially in his later sketches.
  • Noodle Incident: What exactly did Harold from Possum Lodge do to be sentenced to community service and tasked with firing the Chicken Cannon?
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: John Morgan, while sporting the appropriate accents playing U.K.-based characters like Jock McBile, didn't bother covering his natural Welsh accent for Canadian characters like Deborah Grey or Charlie from the "Canadian Moment" sketches.
  • One-Song Bard: In at least one sketch, Rita MacNeil's other songs are all variations of her hit song "Working Man".
  • One-Steve Limit: Ultimately subverted. After the introduction of Mike from Canmore, the number of characters also named Mike would be lessened significantly, but this was not done with politician impersonations or mentions, like Ontario premier Mike Harris and former prime minister Lester B. “Mike” Pearson. Lampshaded in Season 5’s “Brain of Canada” sketch when Mike from Canmore “correctly” guesses Pearson as the answer to a question simply by saying his own name.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Dave the Cabbie will accept Visa if it means getting a tip.
  • Operator from India: In a Season 14 episode, a woman calls an alarm company when someone tries to break into her house. She reaches an overbooked operator in New Delhi who keeps putting her on hold to handle calls for Air Canada, Dell Computers, a pizza parlor, and an escort service.
  • Parody Commercial: A hallmark of both the radio and TV shows. Most of the ads spoofed are of Canadian commercials, with some exceptions.
  • Pet the Dog: While he’s usually quite selfish and egotistical, Abbott’s Jean Chrétien will occasionally give an appreciative, kind remark to another politician, like when he genuinely compliments Goy’s Kim Campbell on her debate performance in “Debate ‘93” and defends Preston Manning (Ferguson) when she punches Manning out. Too bad Chrétien then gets a knee in the groin in return.
  • Pilot Movie: "1992: Year of the Farce" was the first Air Farce special to be specifically intended for television (The first two specials were simply a televised version of the troupe recording the radio version), and ended up being a Backdoor Pilot for the Air Farce television series which debuted later in 1993.
  • Poirot Speak: Jean Chrétien, even though he’s merely from Quebec, not outside of Canada, and his English consists more of malapropisms and incorrect tenses than actual French speech patterns.
  • Punny Name: Rex Murphy (Ferguson)'s segment "Murphy's Law".
    • Farming couple Eb and Flo.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: A very macho sports host character's favorite sport? Synchronized swimming. (He "gets wet just thinking about it".)
    Buck McSweeney: "You don't like synchronized swimming and you dare to call yourself Manley?"
  • Recycled Set: Especially prevalent in early seasons.
    • The colorful grid-patterned set decoration, see Early-Installment Weirdness.
    • Sketches like early Jock McBile, Sheila Shelley, and other one-off desk-oriented sketches shared the same green bulletin board wall background with newspaper clippings.
    • Utilized In-Universe with the “Videopinion” sketches.
  • Regional Riff: Used fairly often to denote certain regions in Canada (and elsewhere), see the bagpipes opening Jock McBile's monologues.
  • Running Gag: 75% of any given show is composed of Running Gags. Many of the most popular skits keep coming back on the strength of recognizability and running "bits" within them.
    • The most notable political one was Paul Martin (Ferguson)'s not-at-all-subtle yearning for Jean Chrétien to retire so Martin can become Prime Minister. note 
    • Seamus O'Toole spends the 1999 New Year's Special passing himself off as Rick Mercer, Peter Mansbridge, and Jeanne Beker in three separate sketches, before the actual public figure would arrive and see him off.
  • Shown Their Work: The troupe's recording in different Canadian cities allowed them the opportunity to incorporate regional humor into every radio show. This carried over to the Factory Outlet Spring Clearance Special note , and later to the TV series, when the troupe taped special episodes in Brandon, Manitoba, and St. John, New Brunswick.
    • Goy's Elizabeth Taylor always saying hello to her "dear, sweet, wonderful fans" is actually based on a line of Taylor's from The Mirror Crack'd.
  • Shout-Out: Abbott’s pilot character from Mike from Canmore’s Crash Course Landing sketch is named Captain Hailey, a reference to Arthur Hailey, author of the novel Airport.
  • Special Guest: Many a politician or newsmaker has found themselves on the show, whether they agreed to it or not.
    • Also, stars from other similar shows have made appearances, most notably when Rick Mercer from This Hour Has 22 Minutes appeared to mentor character Seamus O'Toole, who was trying to deliver a "streeter"-style commentary in Rick Mercer's style.
    • Jean Chrétien took the opportunity to critique his portrayal as sounding more like Preston Manning.
  • The Stoic: Lucien Bouchard takes top prize, being unable to smile even when he makes a genuine effort.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In “The Prime Minister is Missing”, both the Liberals (Paul Martin and Sheila Copps) and the Reformers (Preston Manning and Deborah Grey) consider “dinner with [then-Liberal MP] Art Eggleton” synonymous with death.
  • Surreal Humor: "The Confused Philosopher", complete with Steven Wright-worthy internal logic.
    "Why doesn't onomatopoeia sound like what it means?"
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Averted with Jessica Holmes’ Charlene from the “Canadian Moment” sketches, as despite her similar name to John Morgan’s Charlie, she’s slightly but noticeably more of a Cloud Cuckoolander than the straightforwardly cynical Charlie.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Virtually every politican spoofed has issued one.
    • Taken up to eleven by Jean Chrétien in the "Club Fed Grand-Mere" sketch as the words "Not the Owner" repeatedly flash on-screen.
      Jean Chrétien: Okay, for sures on that. Prime Ministering Chrétien here, invite you to come to Shawinigan, and stay like at this lovely inn that I dos not own. Conveniently locate next doors to the golf course which I also dos not own!
  • Take That!: Hamilton, Ontario, so often to the point that the full-length "The Prime Minister is Missing" humourously removes Paul Martin's reference to the city.
  • Talk About the Weather: In an early "Canadian Moment" sketch, Sam (Abbott) and Al (Ferguson) are waiting for a bus in winter and they start a conversation consisting solely of variations on the phrase, "It is cold!" Then Vera (Goy) walks up and asks, "Cold enough for ya?" and the three of them start/continue talking about the cold. Then Charlie (Morgan) walks up and makes a few comments about the bus being late again. The other three ignore him, then he says something about how cold it is, and the others then immediately include him in their conversation.
  • Theme Naming: Mike from Canmore's friends included "Chuck, from Rimbey" and "Claire, from Burnaby".
  • Theme Tune: "Sonata Para Bombachas", by Barenaked Ladies.
  • The Unfavorite: Joe Clark, who is shown in several sketches to literally be the only Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament.note 
    • "Debate '93" has NDP leader Audrey McLaughlin knowing full well she doesn't stand a chance of winning the election, thus barely putting in an effort. note 
    • Stockwell Day and his Alliance Party, see Verbal Backspace.
    • Brian Mulroney stands out among former prime ministers, due to the fallout from his Airbus scandal in the 1990s, augmented by his general receding from public life thereafter.
    • Ontario Premier Mike Harris, due to the Walkerton water supply’s E. coli disaster (amplified by his prior relaxing of utility regulations), as well as being premier of the province home to Air Farce itself and its audience members.
  • Unusual Euphemism: When a skit requires a character to say "the F-word", they use the word "pup", sometimes quite obviously.
    • There's also a rather risqué sketch from the October 15, 2004 episode featuring a bureaucrat (Jessica Holmes) explaining why government money was used to fund a film about the male sex organ, only she doesn't want to use a word that might offend people so she replaces it with "bicycle." "The film makers are also looking for men who are willing to show their bicycles on camera. Apparently men are happy to talk about their bicycles, especially with other men who might have slightly smaller bicycles. So that's why the government is putting money into this film project. But if you want me to be perfectly honest, I think men spend far too much time thinking about their bicycles."
    • Another sketch featured a scientist doing a report on sex, while replacing all the terms with city names. The reporter who is interviewing him ends the sketch by saying "I'll never look at a map the same way again!"
  • Verbal Backspace: Happens fairly often.
    Stockwell Day: Let's look at the facts surrounding my leadership of our party. Since I took over, our founder, Preston Manning, has announced he's getting out of politics. We've had quite a few members leave the party. The latest poll puts our popularity just below E. coli bacteria. Okay, let's not look at the facts.

    Afghani Puppet: People have the wrong idea about Osama bin Laden!
    Peter Mansbridge: Then he's not a bloodthirsty fanatic who's lost touch with the real world.
    Afghani Puppet: Oh. I guess people do have the right idea.
  • Verbal Tic: Just about every political caricature has one, from Preston Manning's long, drawn-out "Refooooorrrm!" to Joe Clark's bellowing "cluck" of a laugh.
  • Vocal Evolution: Especially compared to the days of the radio show, see Ferguson's straightforward impersonation of Pierre Trudeau versus the more inflected affectation he took as the TV series went on.
    • Zigzagged with Luba Goy's Queen Elizabeth. 1982's Factory Outlet Spring Clearance Special is a good example of how she initially sounded closer to her real voice (as it aired during the run of the radio show), while early seasons of TV show had her noticeably higher-pitched. By the 2019 New Year's special, however, her voice would be much closer to how it was originally, presumably because the higher pitch would have been a strain on Goy's voice.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: A frequent feature of Sister Bessie's sketches, in order for her channel Vision TV note  to censor the more profane parts of her tirades.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: A joke in the 1980 special has then-PM Pierre Trudeau stating that his son Justin “becomes 21 in 1994”. This is incorrect, as Justin would have actually been 22-23 years old that year. It’s possible the writers got Justin confused with his younger brother Sacha (who was born on the same day but in 1973).
  • Wrong Insult Offence: Preston Manning in an edition of "I Love That Word Refooooorrrm!":
    Preston Manning: Today, I want to dispel the accusations that our party is racist. We are not racist. We're homophobic!