Rick Mercer has new book

The Peterborough Examiner - - Arts & Life - VIC­TO­RIA AHEARN

TORONTO — Po­lit­i­cal satirist Rick Mercer has a new book and “a bunch” of projects in the works, but a run for of­fice doesn’t seem likely.

“I’m less in­ter­ested in pol­i­tics now than I ever have been in my en­tire life,” the St. John’s na­tive, who lives in Toronto, said in an in­ter­view for the newly pub­lished book “Rick Mercer Fi­nal Re­port.”

The Cana­dian co­me­dian was often asked about his po­lit­i­cal as­pi­ra­tions through­out his ca­reer on the weekly CBC satir­i­cal news se­ries “Rick Mercer Re­port,” which ended its 15-sea­son run last April.

Now that the self-de­scribed po­lit­i­cal junkie has the time to de­vote to such con­sid­er­a­tions, it seems his mind is on other things than what’s de­fined him for so many years.

“For the first time in my life, I don’t have an im­me­di­ate plan,” said Mercer, who co-cre­ated and was pre­vi­ously a res­i­dent per­former on CBC’s “This Hour Has 22 Min­utes.”

“Now I can con­sider do­ing things that I couldn’t have con­sid­ered be­fore. Just the other day I said, ‘Maybe I’ll write a play again.’ It’s been 25 years since I said that out loud, so who knows.”

Or maybe that 2014 script he helped work on for a po­ten­tial re­make of Nor­man Jewi­son’s “The Rus­sians Are Com­ing, the Rus­sians Are Com­ing,” which never came to fruition, will resur­face.

The script is among the rev­e­la­tions in “Rick Mercer Fi­nal Re­port,” which in­cludes com­i­cal and touch­ing es­says on his life and ca­reer, as well as a slew of the sig­na­ture rants he de­liv­ered from a graf­fiti-dec­o­rated al­ley on his CBC show.

“I’ve had my hand in many, many, many (scripts) over the years. That one didn’t get pro­duced, un­for­tu­nately,” said Mercer, who writes in the book about his friend­ship with Jewi­son and his ad­mi­ra­tion for the film­maker.

Jewi­son is one of many celebri­ties Mercer bonded with through his show, which launched in 2004 and saw him em­bark on wild ad­ven­tures across Canada. He writes about a ter­ri­fy­ing in­ci­dent in a he­li­copter with mu­si­cian pal Jann Ar­den, and how he got late au­thor Pierre Ber­ton to roll a joint on his show. Then there was the time late Trag­i­cally Hip front­man Gord Downie called him ask­ing how to cor­rectly pro­nounce the town of Isle aux Morts, N.L. Mercer gave Downie his dad’s num­ber in case he wanted to dou­ble-check. Downie did just that and they chat­ted for about an hour — all the while, Mercer’s dad had no idea who he was talk­ing to.

“When I told dad, ‘Dad, that was Gord Downie on the phone .... They were record­ing in Ber­muda. He’s, like, the big­gest rock star in Canada.’ Dad said, ‘Oh my God, he called from Ber­muda? I feel ter­ri­ble now, be­cause that’s long-dis­tance.’”

Pol­i­tics, Tim Hor­tons wages, and day­light sav­ing time are among the other rant sub­jects fea­tured.

“Rick Mercer Fi­nal Re­port,” Dou­ble­day Canada, 256 pages, $32

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