Rick Mercer's latest collection of rants and writings
Canada's No. 1 satirist is back with his new book, "A Nation Worth Ranting About: Rick Mercer Report From Across Canada."
If comedy star Rick Mercer is sitting beside you on this flight, don’t worry, he doesn’t bite—even though his knack for trenchant humour and his rapid-fire weekly rants have helped make CBC’s Rick Mercer Report the country’s most popular comedy show.
Those rants from the show have been expanded and collected in his new book, A Nation Worth Ranting About: Rick Mercer Report From Across Canada (Doubleday Canada).
Mercer often travels across Canada for his job, as well as to the United States. His 2001 CBC special Talking to Americans is the highest-rated television special in Canadian history.
So who better to tell us, say, where to find the best fish and chips in Canada (hint: he was born in St. John’s, Nfld.), or where to find the country’s top burger in a joint named after a U.S. city (hint: Mercer lives in Toronto).
He even spills the beans on what he might do if he found himself sitting beside you on a WestJet flight (hint: keep reading).
What are some of your funniest moments from your TV show?
Learning to be a lobster fisherman [off Grand Manan Island, N.B.] makes me chuckle, because my cameraman got sick about six times on that trip. And then his camera assistant got sick. It was a rough day on the water, but we can all look back on it now and laugh. On that day, though, we weren’t laughing.
What has been your most terrifying adventure on the show?
In Calgary at Roughstock, they put me on a bucking horse, and one of the guys tells me: “If you fall, fall to the left, because if you fall to the right, you will dislocate your shoulder.”
When he says that, I’m thinking: “You know, I really don’t want to fall off the horse.” Because falling off the horse is when people break their legs, or their arms, or their neck or whatever...I was terrified.
But I did not fall off the horse. He just bucked a little bit, maybe even just a couple of inches. But it was enough that my heart was in my throat.
What do you do when you want to relax?
I love cottage life. I don’t own a cottage but, every year, I rent one. I could probably sit on a dock for nine months of the year. Now, I do like staying home as well, because I travel a lot for my job. Sometimes, when you have time off, you don’t want to travel too much.
What’s the best fish and chips joint in Canada?
I love the fish and chips at Leo’s Restaurant & Take-Out in St. John’s, [27 Freshwater Rd.]. The fish is fresh, and they really know how to do French fries. It’s actually a national tragedy that a lot of restaurants in Canada don’t know how to properly do French fries. I believe they should all go to Leo’s and learn how to do it. And when I say fish, like all Newfoundlanders, I mean cod.
If you want a burger, where do you go?
Best burger would be at The Detroit Eatery in Toronto [389 Danforth Ave.]. The Detroit Burger is a bit too much for me, even though it is their signature burger. But I recommend that you get just the regular, because it is a wicked burger.
Where would you travel, if you could go anywhere?
I’d go to a show in New York, where there are a lot of great shows. There’s nothing I like more than that moment when the lights go down in the theatre. It could be the greatest moment of your life—or not. You just never know.
Favourite type of person to sit beside on a flight?
It depends on my mood. I can be chatty. I have got on planes on one end of the country and chatted all the way to the other end of the country. That said, don’t think I’m that chatty all the time. I’ve also flown across the country and not said a single word. I know how to put on my headphones and pretend that I’m working.