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Former CBC Humourist Arthur Black ‘Dying of Cancer’


Black spent 19 years as host of Basic Black, one of CBC Radio’s most popular variety shows

By Liam Britten, CBC News       : Jan 26, 2018 

Arthur Black, seen in a 2002 news piece about his retirement, has announced that he is dying of pancreatic cancer. (CBC)


Arthur Black, humorist and former CBC Radio host best known for the program Basic Black, says he is dying of pancreatic cancer.

In a blog post, Black, 74, writes that he is facing his end after being diagnosed with “the Mike Tyson of Cancers.”

“So what’s it like to get what amounts to a diagnosis of ‘terminal’ from your doctor?” he wrote. “Like getting smacked by a giant Nerf bat, initially. It rocks you back on your heels and yet it doesn’t hurt. Not yet.”

With his trademark wit, Black outlined the shock of the diagnosis and his plans for what he says are his last months.

One of those plans is to read 30 or 40 books “before I hand in my library card for good.”

Arthur Black wrote on his blog that he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has months to live. (


Reached on the phone Friday night, Black said on his current “journey,” the cancer will determine his plans. He says he’s cancelled an engagement and is making room for doctors’ appointments.

He said his family and the Salt Spring Island, B.C., community where he lives have kept his spirits up in a way he didn’t expect.

One thing that will keep him busy for some time is documenting his experiences on his blog.

“As my agent said to me, ‘You’ve been saying for the last few years  you’ve got nothing to write about now. Now you do.'” he said.



  1. I admire Mr. Black. The smiles and laughs. I am very sorry to see this. Thank you, Arthur – for making all of our lives brighter, with your wit and big heart.

  2. So sorry to read this. Have enjoyed your humour for years. Through that you will live on forever. God bless…from Fergus ON


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