Few comedians bring together all ages, from students to seniors. As I sat in the Community Auditorium on Thursday night with a 10 year old on my right and an 85 year old on my left, it became clear that Rick Mercer has an engaging and family-friendly brand of comedy.
The show centered around Mercer’s experiences getting to know a variety of Canadian communities while traveling around the country to film The Rick Mercer Report. It would have been easy for Mercer to brag about his experiences, which included causing an avalanche, having a slumber party with Stephen Harper, and bungee jumping with Rick Hansen. Instead, Mercer was modest, his humour sometimes self-deprecating, and he used his experiences throughout the country to highlight Canadians who inspired him. These Canadians ranged from Paralympian sit skier Josh Dueck to David Suzuki, to the New Brunswick high school students who began the International Day of Pink to combat bullying. Perhaps it’s the variety of Canadians Mercer interviews that attracts his diverse audience.
Mercer ended by speaking about inspirational every day citizens. He highlighted high schools that lied on registration forms to participate in a university Spread the Net competition to raise money for malaria nets in Africa; Mercer also focused on Vote Mobs, grassroots movements encouraging youth to vote. These topics provided the perfect ending note. The audience seemed motivated by Mercer’s show and as they exited, I caught snippets of conversation about Vote Mobs and citizens taking action in their communities.
Story by Caroline Cox, photos by Iconic Images.