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This Hour Has 22 Minutes celebrates 22 years on the air

12/04/2014 04:00 EST | Updated 02/03/2015 05:59 EST
This Hour Has 22 Minutes is celebrating a milestone birthday. The satirical television series has been a staple of CBC's prime-time lineup for 22 seasons. 

The award-winning, record-breaking Canadian comedy institution will be recognized live at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox on Thursday night with a star-studded gala.

The event features current cast members Mark Critch, Cathy Jones, Susan Kent and Shaun Majumder, as well as former cast members, writers, and the politicians they’ve spoofed over the years, all sharing their favourite moments.

The evening will be hosted by CBC’s Jonny Harris (Murdoch Mysteries, Of All Places).

Next week, 22 Minutes will celebrate its momentous birthday with a special hour-long retrospective episode entitled This Hour Has 22 Years.

The special will look back at the show's legacy and best moments that made the award-winning, savage satire a hotbed of Canadian comedy. 

It airs Tuesday night at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television.

Jean Chretien was 'amazing'

There's a lot of material to choose from after more than two decades of jokes, sketches and ambushes with politicians. 

When asked about which politician was the best to work with Shaun Majumder didn't hesitate and chose Peter MacKay and Bob Rae.

Critch added that former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien was "amazing" and also cited the comedic stylings of former Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams. 

The cast also spoke about the challenges of keeping the material fresh after two decades and Critch reflected that "the great thing is having that news element."

"There's always something new happening," he said. "You got to be loose and just go with it and it takes care of itself."

As for the future of the program, Majumder is optimistic.

"Whoever comes through, whether it's us or new cast members," he told CBC, "this show should live forever in my opinion."

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