Sunday 28 November 2021

Book ~ "Talking to Canadians: A Memoir" (2021) Rick Mercer

From Goodreads ~ Canada’s beloved comic genius tells his own story for the first time.

What is Rick Mercer going to do now? That was the question on everyone’s lips when the beloved comedian retired his hugely successful TV show after 15 seasons - and at the peak of its popularity. The answer came not long after, when he roared back in a new role as stand-up-comedian, playing to sold-out houses wherever he appeared.

And then Covid-19 struck. And his legions of fans began asking again: What is Rick Mercer going to do now? Well, for one thing, he’s been writing a comic masterpiece. For the first time, this most private of public figures has turned the spotlight on himself, in a memoir that’s as revealing as it is hilarious. In riveting anecdotal style, Rick charts his rise from highly unpromising schoolboy (in his reports “the word ‘disappointment’ appeared a fair bit”) to the heights of TV fame. Along the way came an amazing break when, not long out of his teens, his one-man show "Show Me the Button, I’ll Push It. Or, Charles Lynch Must Die", became an overnight sensation - thanks in part to a bizarre ambush by its target, Charles Lynch himself. That’s one story you won’t soon forget, and this book is full of them.

There’s a tale of how little Rick helped himself to a tree from the neighbours’ garden that’s set to become a new Christmas classic. There’s Rick the aspiring actor, braving “the scariest thing I have ever done in my life” by performing with the Newfoundland Shakespeare Company; unforgettable scenes with politicians of every variety, from Jean Chretien to George W. Bush to Stockwell Day; and a wealth of behind-the-scenes revelations about the origins and making of "This Hour Has 22 Minutes", "Made in Canada", and "Talking to Americans". All leading of course to the greenlighting of that mega-hit, "Rick Mercer Report".

It’s a life so packed with incident (did we mention Bosnia and Kabul?) and laughter we can only hope that a future answer to “What is Rick Mercer going to do now?” is: “Write volume two.”

I like reading bios/autobios and I like Rick Mercer and that's why I read this book.

Rick Mercer was born 50+ years ago in St. John's, Newfoundland and these are his stories of his family, friends, career and spouse.  

School wasn't his thing but once he discovered entertaining, he knew it was what he wanted to do.  After being part of some groups, he hit it big with a one-man show with the name of a journalist in the title ... and it caught the attention of the journalist who staged mock confrontations, which publicized it even more.  From there he went on to create and be a part of This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Made in Canada.  He tells of heading to the U.S. for Talking to Americans segments and was amazed at how much the Americans really don't know much about Canada.  It was interesting to read about his experiences with the members of our Armed Forces.  The book ends just before The Rick Mercer Report.

I liked the writing style.  It was honest and amusing at times ... I could "hear" Rick's voice in the writing.

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