Rick Mercer on Poilievre vs. Trudeau, his new comedy showcase and much more

Rick Mercer is back again on primetime Canadian television to showcase top rated-notch, property-grown, comedic expertise. Although Mercer’s Twitter bio—“Anger is my Cardio”—is a reminder of his infamous political rants on CBC’s The Rick Mercer Report and This Hour has 22 Minutes, Mercer returns to television this time in a considerably less heated position: as host of CBC’s new stand-up comedy unique, Comedy Night with Rick MercerThe Tuesday-evening series capabilities sets from a stellar line-up of stand-up Canadian comics. Juno award winners Sophie Buddle, Ivan Decker, and Dave Merheje, are a handful of of the names who get the stage. 

We recently caught up with Mercer to locate out what he’s ranting about now, his consider on the inescapable Trudeau-Poilievre election struggle, his memoir, Talking to Canadians, the new display and more:

Like several industries, the stand-up comedy scene was impacted by the pandemic. How critical was it for you to develop a system for these breakout comics? 

Rick Mercer: When I was a younger man or woman in comedy, I was hardly ever in stand-up. But there was a CBC Television collection referred to as Comics! that gave comedians a probability to showcase their skills in primetime and it led to a big comedy boom. It experienced a enormous impression on so quite a few professions, and so I imagine it is time that that occurs yet again. 

There’s under no circumstances been a greater time. This is just a golden age of stand up comedy If you appreciate comedy, there’s just so a lot expertise out there suitable now. 

I take into account stand up an artwork form. I contemplate all of these men and women to be seriously tough working, imaginative artists.There is nothing at all purer. [But] it’s a entirely insane profession. Who in their proper intellect would stroll out on stage with a microphone and a glass of h2o and make your mind up to entertain possibly 30 people in a club or 2,000 people in the theatre? They really don’t have a guitar or backup singers, they just have by themselves. It’s inherently exciting.

What are you most thrilled about for people to see in the new series?

RM: The plan of introducing comedians to a wide, primetime, Canadian audience was genuinely interesting. Now, I want to say, several of these comedians would be very nicely identified to fans of comedy—I’m not suggesting that I’m introducing unknowns. You have individuals like Sophie Buddle, who is in the premiere episode and is killing it and taking part in all the massive comedy clubs. She’s performing all the significant theaters in North The us, undertaking Jimmy Kimmel Live!, killing it at Just For Laughs and has a Crave unique. Comic Dave Merheje, similar thing—he is killing it just about everywhere he goes. 

Ivan Decker, I imagine, is the finest stand up comedian operating now. I mean, he’s practically my preferred comedian. Then we have comedians like Derek Edwards and Sean Colin, who travel non-quit in this country and sell out massive rooms. They require no introduction. But it is wonderful to see them executing what they do finest in this structure.

In every episode, you sit down for one particular-on-1 on-phase conversations with the comedians. What was the intention driving this structure?

RM: I like to deal with them like stars. Men and women are utilized to observing stars having interviewed that way. So it’s a little bit of fun, it’s a little bit of a nod to that. It is also having to know them on another level.

Sophie Buddle was a ideal example. You see Sophie on stage and she has these an amazing tale: she started off executing comedy at 14 or 15 decades of age, her mother would bring her to the open up mics and sit there and stand guard above her. So lots of of these comics have fascinating stories. Abby Roberge does material about increasing up in a cult. He was in a cult until eventually he was 16 decades of age from the time he was a little one, and then he left and decided to go to New York and become a stand up comedian. Here’s a male you want to sit upcoming to on the plane. 

They all have stories and so the tiny job interview section is a prospect to scrape the surface area a minimal little bit.

Many people today know you for your rants on This Hour Has 22 Minutes and on the Rick Mercer Report. What you may well rant about in the context of these days? 

RM: Oh, there’d be all sorts of items I’d be ranting about. I’d be giving kudos to Pierre Poilievre, for these kinds of a decisive victory. I imagine the truth that he gained didn’t shock anyone. The way in which he gained the decisive victory displays an extremely competent political operative, who’s going to undoubtedly have a huge impact on the subsequent pair of yrs in Canada. Discuss about a particular person who can deal with reputations. 

With Poilievre’s new appointment as head of the Conservative Get together of Canada, there will inevitably be an election battle involving Poilievre and Trudeau this Tumble. What is your choose on that?  

RM: It does feel inevitable: Trudeau is saying that he’s not likely any place, but of course he has to say that. Trudeau is no fool. He also is aware people today in his place eliminate all the time. So although he could relish the battle, he has to know the odds are stacked against him. But Poilievre has to introduce himself to the Canadian general public. 

For persons like myself, who lived and breathed Parliament Hill for a very lengthy time, nicely, Poilievre was a constant existence. For the reason that, you know, he was elected in junior higher. But the ordinary individual on the avenue, they’ve got better issues to do. So they’re going to be kicking the tires on Pierre Poilievre over the subsequent few of months and we’ll see how that works out.

They’re not kicking the tires on Trudeau, they are fatigued with him. They are ill of looking at that motor vehicle in the driveway.

Because the closing airing of The Rick Mercer Report in 2018, have there been any other significant Canadian functions that you’d needed to remark on? 

RM: Of study course, and I do. I just contact up my pals, or I rant at my tv as an alternative of ranting on tv. That reported, I feel like my timing worked out extremely nicely. I don’t overlook becoming in the belief enterprise. It’s a extremely odd time to be in the opinion enterprise, and it’s an remarkable time as well, but I’m glad to be taking a break from it.

In your opening set of Episode A person of Comedy Night time with Rick Mercer, you reference the pandemic. So, how did Rick Mercer spend his time in isolation?

RM: Most people today in show organization couldn’t perform from home—they were out-of-operate-from-household. But the point about becoming out of work is you can do it from anyplace. So I went to Newfoundland and I went to my cabin and wrote a e book. I was eternally grateful for the undertaking since I’ve never ever obtained anything at all in my lifestyle without a deadline. And it’s acquired to be a true deadline. It can’t be a self-imposed deadline, there is acquired to be some man or lady on the cellular phone contacting me likely, “Where is it?” And so that was the case, and I wrote a e book. Actually every day I went into my drop at 9:30 a.m., came out for lunch, went again in and would keep right until quitting time. It stored me sane.

As the new sequence proceeds above the coming months, what can viewers search forward to seeing? 

RM: Very well, I do not want to say much more of the same… except it’s much more terrific comics. I believe they’ll be pleasantly amazed week soon after 7 days. It’s a extremely amusing present and that is all that issues. I signify, there’s so several conversations about comedy these times, what you can and can not do. The most crucial issue is, are you amusing?

Anyone on this demonstrate fits the invoice. 

Comedy Night time with Rick Mercer airs Tuesday’s on CBC.

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