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Arthur Black

Award-Winning Author, Radio Broadcaster & Newspaper Columnist

When it comes to making hilarious speeches, Arthur Black has more ‘material’ than most. He’s had more jobs than most people have had hot meals. Everything from deck hand on a Liberian oil tanker to editor of a British children’s’ magazine; from cattle prodder at the Ontario Public Stock Yards to host of Basic Black, one of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s most popular national radio programs ever. He also writes, narrates and hosts two award-winning television programs – Weird Homes and Weird Wheels – on the Life Network and is the voice of Consumer Update, a radio series that broadcasts on over 30 radio stations throughout Canada.


Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Basic Black
Black takes a wry look at the perils and pitfalls of being a Canadian at this challenging time in our history. But it’s not gloom and doom. Black bills himself as “Comic Relief”. His talks are designed to make audiences relax, laugh until they get damp and generally recover from the stress and tension of workshops, study sessions and all the serious stuff that goes on at conventions, conferences, symposia and other business get-togethers. He also makes a point of ‘customizing’ his talks with particular references to the group in question. Black’s motto: BELLYLAUGHS GUARANTEED OR MONEY REFUNDED.


Stephen Leacock Medal For Humour for: Pitch Black

Stephen Leacock Medal For Humour for: Black Tie and Tales

Stephen Leacock Medal For Humour for: Black in The Saddle Again

National Magazine Award for humour

National Radio Award for Best Opinion/Commentary

  • We received very positive responses from the participants, and our applause goes out to you, for sharing your enormous talent in the spirit of good fun for the holiday season. As Master of Ceremonies, you kept the mood light and lively and helped to create a weekend that participants will remember for a long time to come.

    - Chateau Whistler Resort
  • Your lighthearted humor and easy delivery bespoke turning vision into action, providing the perfect ending for the conference…I truly believe that your presentation was one of the best our association has ever had, leaving everyone with a smile on their face.

    - Marketing & Communications Manager, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • People are still talking about how much fun the evening was and how very entertaining you were (and are). You certainly delivered a “funny bone massaging” experience.

    - Executive Director, Family Service Bureau of Regina
  • Your humorous speech was key in helping to make this one of the most successful meetings we’ve had to date. The feedback from attendees was very positive.

    - Associate Executive Director, Ontario Public School Boards’ Association
  • Arthur was very much his radio personality and was well liked. He had a good mix of topics with plenty of humour thrown in with everything.

    - Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson LLP
  • A wonderful presenter. Your humorous speech was key in helping to make this one of the most successful meetings we’ve had to date. The feedback from attendees was very positive.

    - Ontario Public School Boards’ Association
  • Your humour, charm and good grace were all wonderful additions to this little festival on Granville Island.

    - Vancouver International Writers Festival
  • Your keynote on Wednesday night and the Thursday workshops provided conference participants with a delightful glimpse into the…state of Canadian ‘folk’ culture. Personally, I appreciated working with you. Your company is delightful both in person as well as on the airwaves.

    - Coordinator, The Third National Literacy Conference

Summary Profile

In addition to cross-country speechifying, Black writes a monthly humour column for CARP magazine. His weekly syndicated column is carried by more than 50 newspapers from coast to coast. He is also the author of twelve books – three of which won the coveted Leacock Medal for humour.

Arthur Black was born in Toronto. After stumbling through a succession of unsuccessful careers (dog walker, underwear salesman, and cattle prodder, to name only a few), Black began his broadcasting career. He hosted Basic Black, a weekly national radio show on CBC from 1983 until 2004. The show was a wacky potpourri of off-beat music, comic sketches and interviews with the weirdest human beings Black could dig up each week. Over the years Black chatted with eccentric scientists, serene cave dwellers, transvestite bikers, nude sunbathers and skunk control officers. Oh yes, and one chap in Tombstone, Arizona who insists that he’s actually a pod of telepathic dolphins.

Arthur is also available as an after-dinner speaker: famous for flying anywhere, anytime, to talk to anyone — as long as he doesn’t have to eat sushi. He has sandwiched many of his experiences into a series of books.