Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Sometimes described as the Canadian equivalent of the American series Down You Go (albeit with a more scholarly bent), the CBC's Fighting Words was a celebrity quiz show-cum-weekly debate. On each episode, three unrelated current-events quotations were offered to a panel of four celebs, who had to identify the sources of the quotations. Once these had been established, the panelists launched into a discussion (often quite heated) of the subjects broached by the quotes at hand. Debuting in 1952, the series had a shaky start, but was kept alive by viewer support. In 1959, the panel format was abandoned in favor of a weekly conversation between host Nathan Cohen and a prominent guest star, usually a journalist or politician. Canceled in 1962, the series was revived in 1970, again with Nathan Cohen, and in 1982, with Peter Gzowski. Fighting Words was created by Harvey Hart (who later enjoyed a lengthy TV directorial career in the U.S.) and Mavor Moore.