Monday 20 November 2023

Book ~ "The Road Years: A Memoir, Continued ..." (2023) Rick Mercer

From Goodreads ~ At the end of his memoir "Talking to Canadians", Rick Mercer was poised to make the biggest leap yet in his extraordinary career. Having overcome a serious lack of promise as a schoolboy and risen through the showbiz ranks - as an aspiring actor, star of a surprisingly successful one-man show about the Meech Lake Accord, co-founder of "This Hour Has 22 Minutes", creator and star of the dark-comedy sitcom "Made in Canada" - he was about to tackle his biggest opportunity yet.

"The Road Years" picks up the story at that exciting point, with the greenlighting of what would become "Rick Mercer Report". Plans for the show, of course, included political satire and Rick’s patented rants. But Rick and his partner, Gerald Lunz, were also determined to do something that comedy tends to avoid as too they would emphasize the positive. Rick would travel from coast to coast to coast in search of everything that’s best about Canada, especially its people. He found a lot to celebrate, naturally, and was rewarded with a huge audience and a run of 15 seasons.

"The Road Years" tells the inside story of that stupendous success. A time when Rick was heading to another town - or military base, sports centre, national park - to try dogsledding, chainsaw carving, and bear tagging; hang from a harness (a lot); ride the “Train of Death;” plus countless other joyous and/or reckless assignments.

Added to the mix were encounters with the country’s great. Every living prime minister. Rock and roll royalty from Rush to Randy Bachman. Olympians and Paralympians. A skinny-dipping Bob Rae. And Jann Arden, of course, who gets a chapter to herself. Along the way he even found the time to visit several countries in Africa and co-found and champion the charity Spread the Net, which has gone on to protect the lives of millions.

I like reading bios/autobios and I like Rick Mercer so that's why this book caught my eye. I'd read Talking to Canadians and this one picks up where that left off ... with the start of Rick Mercer Report, which ran from 2004 to 2018.

I liked Rick Mercer Report. With that show, Rick accomplished what he set out to do when he created it ... he got to see a lot of Canada, meet and hang with many Canadians (ordinary folks and famous people) and experience exciting things that many of us will never get the opportunity to. Obviously not all the shows could be discussed but many were highlighted and I found myself heading to YouTube to rewatch segments he talked about ... like tobogganing with Geddy Lee, spending the night when Stephen Harper was prime minister, fishing with Bob Rae, indoor skydiving with Alex Lifeson and more.

I liked the writing style. Rick was honest about what he thought of people, especially politicians, and he was usually amusing ... I could "hear" his voice in the writing. There were colour pictures at the end from some of the segments in the show.

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