Arthur Black

Arts & Entertainment • Author, Humourist, Radio Personality

Attended KCSS: 1961/62

Inducted 2003

The wit & wisdom of Basic Black.

After floundering ineffectually through grades 11 and 12 at Aurora District High School, I then took my lacklustre academic performance off to King City where a brand spanking new school was being opened. Travelling every day by bus from the 8th concession to be a part of history filled only a part of my day. Often I could be found smoking and hanging out at the Dairy Queen and shooting pool in Nobleton. (I am a very questionable role model). As a result I failed to excel at KCCS, as it was then known; however, I do take pride in being part of the initial graduating Grade 13 class from King City.

I split the following year (this is so confusing!) between King City and Fergus D.H.S. where my greatest academic achievement was to be the only student in the history of FDHS to have been paged in Milt’s Pool Hall for the Chemistry final exam. I was actually sleeping in a car in the school parking lot, but it was an inspired guess on the part of the administration.

Next, I flunked out of Ryerson’s Radio and Television Arts course, worked as an advertising salesman for the Globe and Mail, shuffled around Europe for three years, came back to Canada and wound up with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a disc jockey — for The Livestock Report. Thirty years later, I retired from Basic Black, my own weekly national radio show that was, at the time of its demise, the most popular program on CBC Radio. I also managed to write eight books (two of which won The Stephen Leacock Medal for humour) and wrote, hosted and narrated two television series: Weird Homes and Weird Wheels.

Interestingly, it was my English teacher at King, Mr. Ken Nicholls, who pointed my canoe down the literary tributary. He wrote, in red ballpoint, in the margin of an essay I’d written, “You certainly have a fine, natural ability as a writer”. Nobody had ever suggested such a thing before. Many thanks, Ken.

Currently, I reside on beautiful Saltspring Island in British Columbia.

Editor’s note:  Arthur passed away February 21, 2018. To learn more about Art’s storied & eventful journey see:


The  Voice  of  King  City  Secondary  School  Alumni


Arthur Black


The  Voice  of  the

King  City Secondary  School Alumni