Wrestling commentator gained global fame
Ed Whalen’s voice was a fixture for wrestling fans across the globe and his name became a permanent part of the Calgary Saddledome.
Whalen, who was born in Saskatoon and died in 2001 at the age of 74, was studying medicine at the U of S when he dropped out in 1948 to pursue a job at CFQC Radio. Seven years later, he was hired as sports and news director for CHCT television network in Calgary. It was there he was asked by Stu Hart to serve as announcer for his pro wrestling promotion. Whalen spent much of the next three decades as the voice of Stampede Wrestling.
Calling matches for virtually every wrestling star to pass through Calgary — from fixtures like the Hart family, Archie (The Stomper) Gouldie, Bad News Allen and Dynamite Kid, to touring icons like Andre the Giant and Harley Race — Whalen became famous for such catchphrases as calling an in-ring collision “a malfunction at the junction,” dubbing a titanic battle a “ring-a-ding-dong-dandy,” or signing off each TV broadcast by saying “in the meantime and inbetween time, that’s it — another edition of Stampede Wrestling.”
While Whelan gained fame across the globe, thanks to the worldwide popularity of Stampede Wrestling, he was known locally for so much more. He was renowned for his charity work, including regularly serving as host of the Children’s Miracle Network fundraiser. For nearly two decades, Whalen also pulled double duty as the local television voice of the Calgary Flames. The broadcasting booth at the Calgary Saddledome was named the Ed Whalen Broadcast Booth after his death.
Said pro wrestling icon Bret Hart at Whelan’s memorial: “Ed Whalen was such a good man with a big heart.”