RICK MERCER REPORT DEBUTS ON CBC
In his 1992 one-man stage show, I’ve Killed Before, I’ll Kill Again, comedian Rick Mercer played a Newfoundland hangman who summarily executed Canadian icons such as Burton Cummings and Farley Mowat. But by the time he became host of Rick Mercer’s Monday Report, his pose was demonstrably more benevolent toward famous mainlanders: The show’s debut episode featured none other than Shirley Douglas instructing Canadians on the etiquette of winter jumpstarts. The recurring celebrity advice segment would become one of the most popular of the show (later renamed Rick Mercer Report), with such instant classics as a bow-tied Pierre Berton scolding a youngster on the proper way to roll a marijuana cigarette. Over 15 seasons, Mercer offered up gentle satire, ranted dependably to a herkyjerky cameraman, and–travelling to more than 500 places, from coast to coast to coast–celebrated Canada’ s common folk and its stars( skinny-dip ping Bob Rae, bungee-jumping Rick Hansen, exuberant Jann Arden) in equal measure. And by the time he bid adieu – in an episode featuring an earnest rant advocating for his fellow citizens to follow in his footsteps and explore their great country for themselves – Mercer had become that thing he’d once beheld: a genuine Canadian icon.
Margaret Atwood makes a guest appearance on Rick Mercer’s Monday Report in January, 2005, to demonstrate to Mercer how to stop a puck.