October 11, 1979 was when The New Littlest Hobo debuted on CTV. It was the third iteration of the adventures of a nomadic do-gooder German Shepherd, following the U.S film The Littlest Hobo (1959) and the black-and-white syndicated TV series The Littlest Hobo (1963-65).
The new Hobo was shot on videotape and ran for six seasons. But it’s been immortalized through endless reruns—not to mention the tearjerking theme song performed by Toronto’s jinglest guru Terry Bush. He was also behind “I Adore My Commodore 64” and spots for Canada Dry.
(John Crossen, who wrote the theme lyrics, earned some prominent obituaries that highlighted Hobo when he died in 2018.)
Guest stars often fit one of three categories: emerging local talent like Megan Follows, Michael Ironside and Mike Myers; Cancon perennials like Billy Van, Al Waxman, Harvey Atkin and Rex Hagon; and Hollywood legends like Abe Vigoda, Keenan Wynn, Vic Morrow, Henry Gibson and Ray Walston.
The true auteur of the series was probably Charles “Chuck” Eisenmann (1918-2010), a Second World War baseball pioneer turned dog handler who owned and trained all of the dogs on both TV incarnations of Hobo. He appeared as a dog trainer in the 1979 season: