In the history of Canadian broadcasting, few individuals have come close to matching the accomplishments and accolades that Montreal-born comedy writer Tim McAuliffe has achieved throughout his career.
After garnering international attention and two Writers Guild of Canada Awards for his roles as a showrunner, executive producer, and writer on CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes and as a writer for Canada’s most successful sitcom of all time, CTV’s Corner Gas, McAuliffe took his talents south of the border and proceeded to accrue credits alongside some of the biggest names in entertainment for series such as The Office, The Last Man on Earth, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and many more.
More recently, McAuliffe returned to Canada with fellow This Hour Has 22 Minutes alumni Mark Critch to co-write the screenplay for CBC’s newest hit comedy show, Son of a Critch, which premiered last week to rave reviews from viewers and critics alike.
Despite only recently wrapping production on the CBC series’ first season, McAuliffe has remained as busy as ever—with new and ongoing projects that include Peacock's MacGruber and Paramount Plus’ Players—so we decided to chat with the iconic Canadian comedian about his favourite food and drink spots to visit in his hometown.
Fairmount Bagel in Montreal. I grew up in Montreal and some of my most cherished childhood memories involve buying hot bagels from the counter, and then eating them with a little cream cheese on the car ride home… And then vacuuming the car for three hours.
Easy one. Arahova Souvlaki. It’s a mini-chain in Montreal and easily the best food I’ve ever eaten in my life. Their tzatziki is perfect. No dill. Lots of garlic. Pairs well with the DuMaurier smoke that wafts through the open windows. Last time I was in Montreal, I took two $35 Ubers to eat a $9 meal. $80 for two ‘souvlaki pitas,’ and it was worth every penny.
Chalet Bar-B-Q. You know a Bar-B-Q chicken restaurant is going to be good when the walls, booths and tables are all the colour of gravy. I’ve loved this place for as long as I can remember. If you go, order the hot chicken sandwich with extra gravy. It’s like a chicken and french fry smoothie with a slab of wet white bread to class it up. Also, good news, the restaurant is less than a five minute drive from the cardiology wing of Montreal’s new MUHC super hospital.
Grumpy’s Bar on Bishop. My dad used to hang out there in the 80’s and would tell stories about the local media types who would frequent it, Mordecai Richler, The Gazette’s Nick Auf Der Mar and CJAD’s Ted Blackman were the names I’d hear a lot. And so when I started working in local media (at CJAD), I decided to start hanging out there, as well.
I would take my $6.25 an hour for ‘hitting play’ on commercials during Dick Irvin’s Montreal Canadiens broadcasts, and drink a couple of beers, all the while listening to stories—all heightened by time—that the bartenders told about the glory days of that now-legendary institution.