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Rick Mercer

Rick Mercer, September 2007
Born Richard Vincent Mercer
October 17, 1969 (1969-10-17) (age 40)
St. John's, Newfoundland Canada
Official website

Richard Vincent "Rick" Mercer (born October 17, 1969) is a Canadian comedian, television personality, political satirist, and a blogger.

Mercer first came to national attention in 1990, when he premiered his one man show Show Me the Button, I'll Push It, or Charles Lynch Must Die at the Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa. A pointed, satirical political commentary on Canadian life after Meech Lake, Show Me the Button made Mercer a national star as he toured the show across Canada.[citation needed] Mercer came to greater attention for his role in the satirical news show This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and his spinoff special Talking To Americans was the highest-rated comedy special in the history of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation with 2.7 million viewers.


Television shows


This Hour Has 22 Minutes

In 1992, he created and performed his second show, I've Killed Before, I'll Kill Again, which was also a popular touring show. Also in that year, he began to work with former CODCO members Cathy Jones, Mary Walsh, and with fellow Newfoundlander Greg Thomey, to create a new television series for CBC Television which became This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

In the first eight seasons of 22 Minutes, Mercer provided some of the show's signature moments, including an Internet petition (on the 22 Minutes website) to force Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day to change his first name to Doris.

Mercer's cleverly scripted two-minute "rants," in which he would speak directly to the camera about a current political issue, quickly became the show's signature segment. In 1998, he published a book, Streeters, which compiled many of his most famous 22 Minutes rants. It quickly became a national bestseller. In 2007 he published his second book, Rick Mercer Report: The Book.

Talking to Americans

One of Mercer's trademark comedy routines on 22 Minutes was Talking to Americans, in which he would travel to a major American city or institution and conduct on-the-street interviews with average Americans regarding Canadian politics, the weather, etc., often with hilarious results as the subject's ignorance about Canada was illustrated. One famous example saw Mercer asking Americans' opinion on whether Canada should change its "20 Hour Clock" to the 24 hour one used by the United States. He received approval from citizens and from the Governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack. On another occasion he got the support of Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in calling on Canadians to save the "National Igloo."

Mercer made international headlines in 2000 when he pulled a Talking to Americans stunt on then-presidential candidate George W. Bush. He successfully got Bush to answer questions about non-existent Canadian Prime Minister "Jean Poutine". Bush was not amused at the time, and has since then refused to accept any interviews from the CBC[citation needed]. However, he did make a joking reference to this incident during his visit to Canada in 2004. In the same US election campaign, Mercer asked Democratic candidate Al Gore to promise to visit the Canadian capital city of Toronto after his election. Gore did not question Mercer's incorrect identification of the capital of Canada.

In 2001, Mercer co-produced a CBC special based on Talking to Americans, which attracted 2.7 million Canadian viewers—the highest-rated comedy special in the history of CBC. Later, the respected ABC News program Nightline would devote a show to it. This was his last major project related to 22 Minutes—at the end of the 2000–2001 season, he announced his departure from that show. It was rumoured that he had decided to leave because of friction between Mercer and co-star Mary Walsh[citation needed], although other reasons include focusing on his other television show, Made in Canada. Talking to Americans was nominated for a Gemini Award, but following the 9/11 attacks Mercer declined the nomination.

The Rick Mercer Report

In 2003, Made in Canada ended its run as well, and Mercer began to work on a new CBC series, Rick Mercer's Monday Report. Similar in format to 22 Minutes and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the show debuted in January 2004. Also in 2003, Mercer went to Afghanistan to visit the Canadian troops stationed there (See: Operation Athena), resulting in the television special Christmas in Kabul.

Despite reports of a long-standing feud Mercer invited Walsh to appear on Monday Report as a special guest to promote her own series Hatching, Matching and Dispatching.

At the end of its second season, Monday Report was the highest rated arts and entertainment show on the CBC. Mercer has had a who's who from the world of Canadian entertainment and politics appear as guests on his show. Ex-Prime Minister Paul Martin gave him a private tour of 24 Sussex Drive and former New Democratic Party leader Ed Broadbent made snow angels with Mercer on Parliament Hill. Other prominent guests were NDP leader Jack Layton, Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper (now Prime Minister), Green Party leader Elizabeth May, then-Conservative MP Belinda Stronach, and Conservative MP Peter MacKay, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams, Olympic gold medallist Kyle Shewfelt, author Pierre Berton, and recording artists Jann Arden, Bif Naked, Rush bassist Geddy Lee on how to properly toboggan down a hill, and Sarah McLachlan. When Mercer hosted a relief benefit concert for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, musical guests Barenaked Ladies appeared in a segment Mercer shot backstage completely naked.

Since Mercer launched his own show, he became a regular target of his old show 22 Minutes. Criticism of Mercer focused mostly on his ongoing support of the Canadian Forces and his personal wealth.

In 2005, the CBC moved Monday Report to Tuesday nights, which caused the show's name to be changed to The Rick Mercer Report. On his blog, Mercer wrote of the time slot shift that "we ended the season as the highest rated comedy show on the network. Clearly some drastic changes were needed."

A book by Mercer, Rick Mercer Report: The Book, based on his television program, was published on September 25, 2007, by Doubleday Canada. This was Mercer's first book since his bestselling Streeters of 1998, and contained a collection of the best of Mercer's "rants" from the first four seasons of Rick Mercer Report, together with choice moments from interviews for the program and other writings by Mercer. On CBC Radio's Sounds Like Canada on September 21, Shelagh Rogers said of the book that “it’s the most fun I’ve had in bed in a long time." The book entered the Globe and Mail books chart on October 6 at number three. A continuing commercial success, it was number one in the Globe bestseller list in the week before Christmas 2007, and has been reprinted eight times.

A new season of Rick Mercer Report began on October 2, 2007. The season premiere featured an appearance by Conrad Black, offering his 'celebrity tip' on waxing maple leaves. Guests on subsequent editions of the show have included Newfoundland premier Danny Williams and former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.

An expanded and updated paperpack version of Rick Mercer Report: The Book, called Rick Mercer Report: The Paperback Book, was published by Anchor Canada on September 16, 2008 and immediately entered the top ten of the Globe and Mail bestseller list. It continues to sell well and has been reprinted several times. A new, sixth series of the show began on September 29, 2008.

Other film and television work

Mercer has also hosted It Seems Like Yesterday, which examines pop-culture from the 1950s to the 1980s. He has also appeared in a few films, including Secret Nation, Understanding Bliss and Bon Cop, Bad Cop.


Mercer has received more than 20 Gemini Awards for his television work. He has also been a winner of the prestigious Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award, presented to him at the 2003 Banff Television Festival. In 1993, Newfoundland premier Clyde Wells honoured Mercer with the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council's Artist of the Year award. In 2004, Mercer was presented with the Governor General's Performing Arts Award. Mercer donated his $15,000 cash prize to the LSPU hall, the theatre in Newfoundland where Mercer performed his early work.

Mercer holds honorary degrees from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's, and most recently Brock University on June 9, 2009 along side Belinda Stronach. He received an honorary high school diploma for his outstanding efforts and determination from Landmark East School in Wolfville, Nova Scotia in 1999. The two graduates that accompanied him were Jarvis Lepper and Alanna Zaharko.[1]

Mercer was awarded the 30th Annual Bob Edwards Award in Calgary.[2]

In 2007, he was named honorary colonel of the 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, based in Shearwater, Nova Scotia; the squadron flies the Sea King helicopters.[3][4]

Spokesperson and endorsements

Rick Mercer is also co-chair, along with Belinda Stronach, in the Spread the Net campaign, partnered through UNICEF, which kicked off at Brock University on September 10, 2008. Spread the Net provides bed nets for $10 each to prevent the spread of malaria among children in Africa.

In December 2004 Mercer appeared on the commercials advertising the One-Tonne Challenge for the Government of Canada. Mercer also appeared as a model in a national ad for men's clothing store, Harry Rosen, wearing a Canali suit. All of Mercer's fees for the campaign went to Casey House, a hospice in Toronto for people living with AIDS. Casey House was founded by June Callwood, who appeared as a celebrity guest on Monday Report.

In September 2005, Mercer became the national spokesperson for the 2005 Walk For Life, a series of 132 fund-raising walks across Canada that raise money for people living with HIV and AIDS. The Walk for Life is a project of the Canadian AIDS Society.

Mercer has also narrated an animated science video on climate change for Science North in Sudbury.

Mercer has been named the honorary colonel of 12 Wing Shearwater's 423 Squadron, a three-year posting designed to raise the morale of, and draw attention to, the unit based outside Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Personal life

Mercer was born in St. John's, Newfoundland. He dropped out of high school before completing his diploma requirements and was given an honorary one.[5] He was also a part of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets when he was in his teen years.

His long-time partner is television producer Gerald Lunz. Although the romantic relationship came first, Lunz is also Mercer's long-time partner in business, who discovered him, fostered his career, and is currently the executive producer of The Rick Mercer Report. He regards his personal life as private, and says little about it in public.[6][7][8]


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Rick Mercer Report article)

From Wikiquote

Rick Mercer Report (or the Mercer Report; formerly known as Rick Mercer's Monday Report or simply Monday Report) is a Canadian television comedy series which airs on CBC Television. Launched in 2004 and hosted by comedian Rick Mercer, the weekly half-hour show combines news parody, sketch comedy, visits to interesting places across Canada, and satirical editorials, often involving Canadian politics.


Season 4

October 24, 2006 [4.4]

Announcer: Hey, Americans, come to Canada. Now with no GST rebate for tourists. That's right, the visitor rebate program has been canceled! So now you can fully enjoy our Canadian taxes.
Male American tourist: Wherever we go, we like to live like the locals.
Female American tourist: Experiencing your exotic tax system makes us feel like Canuckians!

Announcer: Central Canada lost thirty thousand full-time jobs last month, and recession fears are growing. So why not come to where the jobs are? North Korea! We're looking for qualified applicants in the fields of geology, seismology, radioactive leak cleanup, public relations, and mathematics - the kind that measures arcs [Shows graphic of a missile arcing through the atmosphere from North Korea to Washington DC]. Just bring your resume and a two-year supply of food! North Korea - where business is booming.

November 7, 2006 [4.6]

[Skit entitled: Behaviour Modification School for Candidates]
Instructor: Let's say you're a Liberal.
Student (Mercer): [Claps hands eagerly] I'm a Liberal! I'm a Liberal!
Instructor: Do you think Quebec should be recognized as a nation inside of Canada?
Student: [Firmly] Yes. I believe that Quebec should be rec-[A board hits him over the head] Owww! What the hell?!
Instructor: No, wrong.
Student: He hit me with a board!
Instructor: Do you believe Quebec should be recognized as a nation inside of Canada?
Student: [Warily] Uh, no. [Stronger] I do not believe that Quebec is- [Another board hits his head] Owww! Ahhh!
Instructor: Do you believe Quebec should be recognized as a nation inside of Canada?
Student: [Confused and frightened] I just think that all the provinces should be happy and be in a happy place where they're in a happy land of happiness?
Instructor: Correct!

November 21, 2006 [4.7]

[In a skit about Quebec bar owners protesting a smoking ban, Mercer (playing the bar owner) stands in a room so smoky it is impossible to see anything.]
Bar owner: I care about the health of my patrons, and that's why I created two separate rooms: one for chain smokers and one for the casual smoker. The casual room has far less smoke, that's the one I'm in now. You force people into an alley, they risk pneumonia, the world's number one infectious disease, as this chart shows [points to something which is completely obscured by smoke]. Pretty eye-opening, huh?
Announcer: Help the Quebec bar owners win their fight against pneumonia-loving lawmakers.

Season 5

February 5, 2008 [5.14]

Mercer: A shocker this week as Alberta premier Ed Stelmach dropped out of a provincial climate change conference. Now why would the biggest oil-producing province drop out of a conference aimed at reducing oil production? It makes no sense. The other premiers are talking about a carbon tax, but Stelmach prefers storage technology - which takes carbon out of the air and stores it underground. One problem with this technology: it's pretend. But there's a solution for that - instead of taxing carbon emitters Stelmach wants to give them $500,000,000 to invent the technology. Because there's nothing big oil couldn't do if they just had some cash.

March 11, 2008 [5.17]

Announcer: On the heels of a new bill denying tax credits to movies the Harper Government deems "offensive", comes a film so gripping it will keep you on the edge of your seat. So moving it will make you laugh and cry, and so middle-of-the-road that it got funding. It's Bill C-10 the motion picture: an inoffensive story about a little boy and his dog.

March 18, 2008 [5.18]

Mercer: Justice John Gomery, the head of the inquiry into the sponsorship scandal, has come forward to say his recommendations are not being followed. [Beat] Okay, look, this is embarrassing, John, you're inquiry was something Paul Martin called to destroy the reputation of Jean Chrétien, but then he accidentally blew himself up with it. No-one was ever actually going to follow your recommendations. The Liberals are destroyed - mission accomplished.

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Richard Vincent "Rick" Mercer (born October 17, 1969) is a Canadian comedian who has been on shows like This Hour Has 22 Minutes and his own show "The Rick Mercer Report".


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