Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997
Chateau Laurier1 Rideau street
7:30pm

The Road Years

With Rick Mercer
Hosted by Lucy van Oldenbarneveld

The Road Years

With Rick Mercer
Hosted by Lucy van Oldenbarneveld
7
Thursday
Dec
2023
7:30pm
Chateau Laurier
1 Rideau street
Rick Mercer

Join the celebration, and revive a wealth of happy memories, as Rick Mercer returns to the Festival for a conversation with Lucy van Oldenbarneveld about his latest publication, The Road Years: A Memoir, Continued…

 

At the end of his memoir Talking to Canadians, Rick Mercer was poised to make the biggest leap yet in his extraordinary career. Having overcome a serious lack of promise as a schoolboy and risen through the showbiz ranks—as an aspiring actor, star of a surprisingly successful one-man show about the Meech Lake Accord, co-founder of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, creator and star of the dark-comedy sitcom Made in Canada—he was about to tackle his biggest opportunity yet.

 

The Road Years picks up the story at that exciting point, with the greenlighting of what would become Rick Mercer Report. Plans for the show, of course, included political satire and Rick’s patented rants. But Rick and his partner, Gerald Lunz, were also determined to do something that comedy tends to avoid as too challenging: they would emphasize the positive. Rick would travel from coast to coast to coast in search of everything that’s best about Canada, especially its people. He found a lot to celebrate, naturally, and was rewarded with a huge audience and a run of 15 seasons.

 

The Road Years tells the inside story of that stupendous success. A time when Rick was heading to another town—or military base, sports centre, national park—to try dogsledding, chainsaw carving, and bear tagging; hang from a harness (a lot); ride the “Train of Death;” plus countless other joyous and/or reckless assignments.

 

Added to the mix were encounters with the country’s great. Every living prime minister. Rock and roll royalty from Rush to Randy Bachman. Olympians and Paralympians. A skinny-dipping Bob Rae. And Jann Arden, of course, who gets a chapter to herself. Along the way he even found the time to visit several countries in Africa and co-found and champion the charity Spread the Net, which has gone on to protect the lives of millions.

Books are available from our friends at Perfect Books.

 

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