Paul Boothby Simarin Moth was a fictional broadcaster on two CBC radio comedy shows: The Great Eastern and Sunny Days and Nights. He served as host on those two shows, which often featured comedic sketches of his personal life, presented as cinéma vérité in audio. Moth was portrayed by Newfoundland actor Mack Furlong. Moth was created by Furlong, Steve Palmer, Ed Riche and Glen Tilley.
The character resurfaced in March 2010 on urNews.ca, a satirical Canadian news website.
The character of Paul Moth had a very large backstory. Moth was born in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador in 1949, the day his province joined confederation as part of Canada. He was raised in a working-class family on Signal Hill road in the neighbourhood of Quidi Vidi. He received a harsh Fundamentalist Catholic education as a child.
In the late 1960s, Moth enrolled in Memorial University (or MUN) to study Political Science. However, he quick became enamoured with revolutionary marxist ideology, and formed the Viet MUN, which occupied the campus weight room as a protest. Moth also became enamoured with the drug culture of the 1960s, and began a long-standing series of narcotics and alcohol addictions that form a major part of his backstory.
After which time, he auditioned as announcer for a fictionalized version of the Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland (or BCN), and was hired to work during the early 1970s for the radio station's sports magazine show. He became disilliusioned with radio, and became a freelance writer and playwright.
He moved to Hollywood in 1979 after selling a teleplay to the Shirley Jones show. Moth and Shirley Jones would start a relationship and eventually be married briefly. During this time, he develops a firearms collection which would, combined with his various addictions, cause his downfall. From 1981 to 1987, Moth worked in Mexican Film, making films about a chihuahua (the "Mexican Lassie") named Pepito.
His final Pepito trilogy of films would be heavily influenced by his Marxist ideology and prove impossible to finance. This resulted in a break-up with Shirley Jones, a shoot-out with the Los Angeles police, and heart failure. Afterwards from 1990 to 1992, he has no memories, but is captured by authorities.
As a result, he is forcibly deported to Newfoundland. He is given a job by his former employer, the BCN. For a year, he was the sole staff member at the BCN's fictional repeater station on the uninhabited Funk Islands. Upon his return, he becomes the host of the BCN's cultural magazine show, The Great Eastern.
From 1994 to 1999, the CBC broadcast the satirical The Great Eastern as hosted by Moth. In the course of his hosting duties, he would do interviews and file audio reports on Newfoundland culture, entertainnment, and politics. Over various episodes, Moth would publish an autobiography (The Rocky Road to Recovery), visit the fictional African country of Oogoobombaa, revisit the Funk Islands, go on hunting and fishing trips with childhood friends, attempt to host a late-night TV show and fail, bring down a cult based on conservative economics, and other adventures.
The show was cancelled by CBC in 1999 after five seasons. It was brought back for one episode in 2002, where Moth celebrates the 100th anniversary of radio and narrowly survives a zeppelin ride.
In 2004, the character of Paul Moth was put in a new CBC show called Sunny Days and Nights. Fired from the BCN, Moth gets a temporary job with fictional CBC affiliate CBNR in the "cottage country" region of Ontario. He works with a young journalism student named Julie with whom he becomes infatuated. He is forced to do boring stories and interviews about summer cottage culture and news. The series ran for only one summer.