Season 2, Episode 1 – Oscar Wilde

Hey, team. In the words of Alyssa Edwards, I’m backbackbackbackback again and Season Two of Church & Carlton is finally happening.

We’re kicking things off with a little known facet of Oscar Wilde’s famous visit to Toronto in the spring of 1882. Wilde was quite taken with the city, but his favourite part of the visit might surprise you.

He also developed a bit of a crush on this guy, who all of my research suggests was tragically heterosexual:

100% Victorian Beefcake

Ross McKenzie as he looked in 1894, 12 years after he set hearts aflutter with his heroics on the lacrosse field.

Special thanks to The ArQuives on Isabella Street for letting me poke around in their Oscar Wilde collection.

If you’d like to donate to Church & Carlton, you can become a Patreon subscriber or make a one-time donation here.

It Gritty

Hey, party people. So, funny story: a couple weeks ago, I was watching old episodes of Passions on YouTube and bumped my laptop. Not like, super hard, but hard enough to make it crap its pants. The hard drive is still shipshape, but Sheridan and Luis suddenly had crazy green and purple lines all over their faces and a big black box covered a solid fifth of the screen. Not only did the replacement part cost $800 that I do not have, but the part is now stuck indefinitely at the border, presumably due to some NAFTA bullshit.  The result is that A) I cannot record my podcast until further notice, B) I am profoundly broke, and C) I had to watch the entire “Sheridan falls in a river” arc on my phone LIKE A PEASANT. 

I’m not going to give you the whole “plz halp me i am disabled uwu” speech, but I am going to try to write little blurbs on my lunch break for the next little while and link to my page because it’s hard out here for a girl, especially one who enjoys things like “using electricity” and “living indoors.”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or you’re like, European), chances are that over the last week, you’ve become extremely familiar with Gritty.

it me

It him.

Gritty, the recently unveiled mascot for the Philadelphia Flyers, appears to be the demented lovechild of Youppi! and Sweetums from The Muppets. He wriggles, he jiggles, he does the Macarena, he falls down – you know, normal stuff. We stan a #Relatable legend. He is beautiful and terrible, an exquisite abomination. Naturally, the Internet fell immediately, irrevocably in love.

Gritty is our best friend. Gritty is the Alpha and the Omega. We would die for Gritty. We would kill for Gritty. Gritty is our God now.

gritty dance.gif

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”

In all seriousness, Gritty, in all his lunatic glory, is probably the best thing that’s happened to the Philadelphia Flyers in ages. I mean, really. When was the last time you thought about the Philadelphia Flyers B.G.? (B.G stands for Before Gritty. This is how we measure time now. I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules.)

The correct answer, unless you are a Flyers fan, is “Uh, I don’t know? I guess whenever we played them last season?” Which, you know, fair. They are the Philadelphia Flyers. But now Gritty is here and the Flyers are suddenly the rulers of Hockey Twitter, uniting players and fans from across the sports world in pure meme bliss. Gritty is such a perfect distillation of neo-Dadaist Millennial internet humour that the Flyers have gone from being the Binky Barnes of the NHL to the really cool rabbit chick with the denim vest. Everybody wants to be, if not outright followed by Gritty, at least Gritty-adjacent. He is social media currency in its purest form.

Most importantly. he’s goofy. In the self-important, super-serious world of NHL marketing, Gritty is a necessary breath of fresh air. Hockey, at its best, is big dumb fun, and no team has ever epitomized big dumb fun quite like the Philadelphia Flyers. Gritty is 100% industrial-grade Big Dumb Fun. It’s the Age of Gritty, y’all. Better get on board because this train is bound for glory.



If you’d like to see more quality Gritty content in future, you can donate to my blog here.

Church & Carlton – S1, E14 – Evgenia Medvedeva: Girl Wonder

If anyone in figure skating can be called a genius, it’s Evgenia Medvedeva. But “genius” is a loaded word, and the way we apply it says a lot about whose art we value.

It’s our season finale next week, believe it or not. If you enjoyed this season, please consider donating to my Patreon – a few bucks an episode goes a long way towards making Church & Carlton possible.

This episode was inspired by Emily Atkin’s excellent article “The Sexism of Genius” in The New Republic. 

Full transcript under the cut.

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Church & Carlton – S1, E13 – Pyramid Power

The great Red Kelly: cat lover, hockey superstar…new-age spiritualist? Well, not quite. As with everything here at Church & Carlton, the truth is stranger than fiction.

My Patreon is here if you want to throw a couple of bucks my way. Today’s episode references a previous episode on Ned Hanlan – I think they make nice companion pieces to one another.

Full transcript under the cut. See you in two weeks!


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Church & Carlton – S1, E12 – Whither Taro Tsujimoto?

Punch Imlach didn’t typically use his trolling powers for good, but when he did, it was a thing of beauty,

If you like what you heard, my Patreon is here. Perks included high quality downloads of Josh Labelle’s soundtrack and your very own Fighting Baseball name.

A full, plaint text transcript of today’s episode can be found under the cut. As always, you can reach with me with any concerns about accessibility at


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Church & Carlton – S1, E9 – A Brief History of Toronto’s Failed Olympic Bids

Toronto has bid on the Olympics five times, and each time, it blew up in our faces in the most Toronto way possible.

Tune in next Friday for another Olympic-themed episode, this one on the low-key sexual revolution of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. (Just trust me on this.) In the meantime, visit my Patreon and be sure to keep checking back here for my first attempts at vlogging. If nothing else, you can marvel at my total lack of makeup skills


E.C. Marcon