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He'll be back next year.
October 13, 2012 10:11 PM   Subscribe

Heliodore Cyr a Canadian potato farmer (and god knows how he had time) appeared on "I've Got a Secret" three times. His wife should have been the guest. Whatever you do, read the comments.
posted by HuronBob (27 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, all that cigarette stuff was weird.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:23 PM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, all that 27 kids stuff was weird.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:30 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Electric refrigerator! Oui? Oui!
posted by dual_action at 11:03 PM on October 13, 2012


Normally, we are admonished not to read the comments (for our own good, and to preserve our faith in humanity)
posted by etherist at 11:41 PM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


what great comments!
posted by growabrain at 11:48 PM on October 13, 2012


Good friend of mine is Acadian from New Brunswick. First thing in the morning I'm hitting him with a two word text - Heliodore Cyr?

That whole video was great fun!
posted by mannequito at 12:16 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Read the... read the comments? On... Youtube?

I'm not really... I mean, I don't...
posted by koeselitz at 12:31 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I liked the expression on the final female panelist's face when the host said how many children Mr. Cyr and his wife had had.

Those were the most adorable YouTube comments I've ever read--not that that's a high bar.

My favourite: "My goodness, do all the people commenting on the video know each other?"
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:41 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Normally, we are admonished not to read the comments (for our own good, and to preserve our faith in humanity)

Yeah, I had to switch them back on because I have a plugin that keeps all YT comments hidden by default.
posted by atrazine at 1:25 AM on October 14, 2012


Comments were great."Suggested Videos," for some reason, offered Debralee Scott exposing her breasts on Password Plus in 1979, which was also great in a very different way.

You can skip those comments.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:04 AM on October 14, 2012


In a few hundred years everyone will be a descendant of this man at this rate.
posted by Malice at 2:16 AM on October 14, 2012


Yeah, I'd say the man has populated a good chunk of his province. :)
posted by Malor at 2:38 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


His poor wife though. A baby a year for almost thirty years?
posted by MartinWisse at 2:51 AM on October 14, 2012


Whoa, yeah. Body either pregnant or recovering from delivery for nigh on 30 years, meanwhile handwashing all of the laundry of a family of now 29 people - and cooking all meals on a wood fire... Never mind the sperm donor, I'd have liked to have seen this superwoman.

I'm sure Mr. Cyr was a lovely man, his relatives in the YT comments seem to hold him in high esteem and he must have worked very hard as a potato farmer to support his large family, but yikes.
posted by likeso at 3:32 AM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think we've finally found a proper name for Mr. Potato Head.

(That's Head of family of course.)
posted by Twang at 4:30 AM on October 14, 2012


meanwhile handwashing all of the laundry of a family of now 29 people - and cooking all meals on a wood fire.

Or at least presiding over the children who are doing all that work. Or presiding over the late-teens who are presiding over the younger teens who are doing all that work.
posted by DU at 5:05 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fair point; same for the father's farming work - true auld skool. Still, 27 full-term pregnancies? Yikes.
posted by likeso at 5:13 AM on October 14, 2012


Groucho: "I like my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while."
posted by hal9k at 6:40 AM on October 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


According to this bit in a 1954 Time magazine, at the time the 25th child was born only 18 of the offspring were living. Would've made for an interesting turn had the game show host asked about the 7 dead kids.
posted by item at 6:50 AM on October 14, 2012


Oh that was adorable. Not that unusual though, I have easily ten or so friends from rural Quebec, NB, PEI and Newfoundlad that were raised in families of twenty or so with no electricity (yeah, that's right, none from Nova Scotia - is it just not "done" there?). Catholicism is a powerful faith.

I was sad to see that seven of the children died in childhood and apparently another five (not counted as part of the 27) were stillborn. She lived till her eighties so all that birthing did her no harm (although I hate to think what her bladder muscles were like).
posted by saucysault at 7:01 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Found this written by his great grandaughter:

Marie-Élise Cyr (St-François de Madawaska, NB, Canada), gave birth 33 times between1937 and 1960. These were single births from which 27 children lived to see the day and sebsequently baptised. These children were conceived from the union of Marie-Élise Chamberland & Héliodore Cyr. Today (Oct 22nd 2010) there are 15 living siblings.

Kelly Ann Albert LeVasseur (grand daughter of Marie-Élise & Héliodore Cyr)

posted by Hazelsmrf at 7:15 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


That was great! Would they have electricity for those appliances though? (or running water)?
posted by maryrussell at 7:51 AM on October 14, 2012


In the forties most towns in NB had electricity but almost none of the rural areas did. There was a push for electrification in the fifties but their farm was in a really rural area in the far northwest of the province so I would not be surprised if they had no electricity at the time of this show. The running water even today would be well water, so yeah, good point, those "free appliances" would have cost them thousands to install.
posted by saucysault at 8:28 AM on October 14, 2012


... gave birth 33 times between 1937 and 1960. These were single births ...

Wait - is this right? Assuming all of 1937 and 1960 gives 24 years.

33 births in 24 years is one every 0.727 years, or one every 8 months and 3 weeks, on average.
posted by Wordshore at 8:32 AM on October 14, 2012


Happy for the folks who get to see a bit of their family history. But also in the yikes column at women who had so many kids.

I recently watched a bunch of celebrity appearances on the original "What's My Line?" on YT. The comments on those then led me to (re-)reading about the whole Dorothy Kilgallen conspiracy theory. There's such a wonderful repository of these old TV moments on YT.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:36 AM on October 14, 2012


Some of them were stillbirths, so it doesn't mean they ran to full term.

She might have just gotten slightly confused; after the first fifteen children, I imagine the individual pregnancies start to run together a mite. If she was off by a couple, it wouldn't be that surprising.
posted by Malor at 8:38 AM on October 14, 2012


You may have noticed that Henry Morgan did not applaud. Once, on this show he berated some poor woman who was on for having birthed a large number of children; he lectured her on population control and so on. I expect he was ordered to shut up after that.
posted by CCBC at 3:08 PM on October 14, 2012


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