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After 16 years, Canada's most famous, foul-mouthed foot warmer is signing off late-night television. At least for now.

Ed the Sock - whose gravelly voice, wild eyes and crazed, Don King-like hairdo made him a stock favourite with men 25 and older - is leaving CITY-TV and moving onto what he hopes will be sweeter-smelling pastures. Creator Steven Kerzner hinted yesterday that his cigar-chomping, womanizing puppet could re-emerge in a spinoff TV show, or even land the starring role in a film.

"There are potentially two Ed projects," says Kerzner, 40, who made his debut (as Ed) on community cable in 1992 and moved two years later to CITY-TV in Ed's Night Party! (later renamed Ed & Red's Night Party!). "I can't say what they are, or who they're with yet. But we [he and his co-host/wife Liana Kerzner]are looking to use the medium in a different way - to peel open the hype and spin that's all around us. There's also been talk of an Ed movie for a while, and the script's almost done."

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Yesterday, Kerzner says he is damn proud of the fact that his potty-mouthed puppet (who has interviewed the likes of Christina Aguilera, Hilary Duff, Coldplay and Gene Simmons) now ranks as the longest-running weekly Canadian comedy show, consistently beating "the geriatric asses" of both Jay Leno and David Letterman in the coveted male demographic aged 25 to 54. "I'm pretty sure the only other Canadian comedy to run almost as long is Royal Canadian Air Farce, and it started a year later," adds Kerzner, who says he modelled the character around the father of one friend and the stepfather of another. The show will bow out on CITY-TV on Aug. 31.

Moses Znaimer brought Ed into the CITY-TV fold, where the cranky sock quickly developed a cult following, morphing into - among other things - a MuchMusic VJ.

Kerzner says CITY-TV's owner, Rogers Cable, has decided that it's time Ed the Sock was put in a drawer. "They have their own vision of what they want to do with the station," he says. "And I respect that. The present show is ending, but Ed the Sock [who apparently inspired Conan O'Brien's Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog]isn't going quietly."

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