Rick Mercer Punk'd G.W. Bush

Ever since Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster became fixtures on the Ed Sullivan Show in the 1960’s Canadians have paved the way for mainstream comedy far beyond their border. Canadian comedians like Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Michael J. Fox and John Candy perfected a stream of comedy that is both intuitive was well as slapstick. And nowhere in Canada does this genius shine brighter than on the island of Newfoundland.

Rick Mercer, a native Newfoundlander, earned his reputation as both funny man and sophisticated comedian on the set of This Hour Has Twenty-Two Minutes, a Halifax-based comedy program that looked at a whole week of activity in Canada and the world. Mercer was responsible for impromptu interviews with politicians and a segment called “The Rant” that made him a fixture in every home in the nation. In one three-minute stroll he would inject humour and insightful thinking not seen since the youthful days of George Carlin.

In 2000 he produced a special called Rick Mercer Talks to Americans where the diminutive Newfoundlander traveled around the U.S. testing Americans about their knowledge of Canada. It was Punk’d well before Ashton Kutcher came along. In one moment precious moment he interviewed then-Governor George W. Bush and had him wish the Canadian Prime Minister Jean Crétien a happy birthday. Only he advised Bush that the PM’s name was “Jean Poutine” and the governor announced it on the air. Three months later Bush was President.

In the Rick Mercer Report the comedian puts his body through physical punishment and gets big-name Canadian celebrities and politicians to do the most outlandish things. He went tandem skydiving with Canada’s top solder, Lieutenant-General Rick Hiller, skinny dipping in a northern Ontario Lake with Member of Parliament, Bob Rae and got smacked around in a practice with the Saskatchewan Roughrider football team.

Rick still performs his rant and it’s as punchy as ever. Like Carlin he slips sober thought through the comedy like a Muhammad Ali left jab so that as you are laughing you manage to catch a few ironic messages here and there. In addition mercer still loves to perform his skits, usually lampooning television commercials in a manner that was perfected by the Royal Canadian Air Farce.

The Rick Mercer Report is viewed on Tuesdays at 8:00pm, 8:30 in Newfoundland and Labrador

About the author

I am the author of four published novels and I find that blogging gives me better contact with people than writing stories, although I still write fiction. I have a tourism blog called "Travel to Nova Scotia" and one about the music business entitled "Music Before the Money."
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