Who is/was the most influential Canadian in American culture?

I was listening on CBC radio yesterday discussing influential Canadians that have or had gained prominence in American culture. There was a litany of newsmen, actors, comedians, moviemakers and musicians discussed.

But when I first determined the theme of the show I was expecting to hear the name of Canadian James Naismith who not only invented the sport of basketball, but also invented the football helmet. Both sports are huge in American culture like nowhere else except perhaps to a lesser degree, Canada . Football would not be the American football we all know and love without the helmet.

Can you come up with any other Canadians who have affected American culture to such a degree?

90 years ago it was Mary Pickford.

William Shatner. :smiley:

Him & Lorne Greene.

All our best starship Captains are Canadian.

Must be something in the water.

Or the beavers.

Neil Young?

Justin Bieber?

Lorne Michaels. American pop culture would look quite different without Saturday Night Live and all the people whom it launched to stardom (though they might or might not have eventually found similar success without it).

You could also argue that football was invented in Canada, too.

Also, from the CFL Grey Cup site -

My vote is for Tommy Douglas. :slight_smile:

So, just how did Tommy Douglas affect American culture ?

Yeah, I realized that after I posted - I think he has and is affecting US American politics, but maybe not culture so much.

Okay, I’ll change my answer to Lorne Michaels, too.

What’s this “Canada” of which you speak? :confused:

We have a stereotypical American in this thread

My vote goes to Peter Jennings.

James Gosling.

Seconded for Peter Jennings

Naismith, followed by Young, followed by some hockey player.

He was certainly known to leaders in the ongoing health care debate in the States. Ted Kennedy even visited Regina many years ago to look at Saskatchewan medicare, but whatever influence Douglas could have had ended up being rejected by American politics.

On another note, just a few days ago I saw a well-known American on TV mention Tommy Douglas in passing, as if he was commonly known. For the life of me, I can’t remember who it was now. (No, it wasn’t Kiefer Sutherland.)

Wayne Gretzky, although you could argue Gordie Howe, since he proceeded Gretzky.

Without a doubt Abe Vigoda. The man who managed to look 90 for the most consecutive years prior to turning 90 (which he did last year) – our age’s answer to the Cumaean Sybil, possessed of immortality but not youth. I’ve had him in my dead pool since the late 80s.

For those to whom this is completely opaque, I’ll just point out that Tommy Douglas is Kiefer’s grandfather.