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John Morgan of 'Air Farce' dies

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TORONTO - John Morgan, the man who brought a host of characters to life on the popular CBC comedy show Royal Canadian Air Farce has died at the age of 74.

Morgan was one of the founding members of the long-running comedy series, which originated on CBC Radio and continues to this day on television.

In a statement released to employees, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said the veteran funnyman died on Monday.

"He was eccentric, talented, prolific, funny, and the most memorable friend and colleague any of us will ever have," his Air Farce colleagues Roger Abbott and Don Ferguson said in the statement.

He was perhaps best known for his character Jock McBile, the perpetually disgusted Scotsman. His other original characters included the monosyllabic Mike from Canmore, and over the years he also lampooned political figures like bland Liberal MP Herb Gray and Russian leader Boris Yeltsin.

Morgan co-created the Air Farce comedy show back in 1973, first airing on CBC Radio and then moving to CBC television in the early 1990s.

In 1969, the Welsh-born comedy writer co-created the CBC Radio series Funny You Should Say That. He went on to serve as a script consultant on a string of CBC-TV comedy series, and even penned the pilot of that rarest of Canadian television commodities -- the hit sitcom, King of Kensington.

Before turning to comedy writing in 1966, Morgan had worked as a newspaper reporter, a magazine editor, a school-teacher and a pub owner.

He retired from the CBC in 2001, leaving the longtime comedy quartet as a trio of Abbott, Ferguson and Luba Goy.

The arrangements for Morgan's funeral have yet to be announced.
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