In fact, it’s almost hard to fathom given his primary comedic fuel is politics (not exactly the sexiest of topics) but Rick Mercer might just be the closest thing we have in Canada to a truly home grown celebrity: someone who is known and beloved by millions of Canadians from coast to coast to coast, but who has never sought-out fame elsewhere and who – asides from a spate of coverage in the U.S. press following the run away success of his Talking To Americans special in 2001 - is relatively unknown outside of the country.
And although he uses politics as his primary source for humour, it is also something (as comes through in his rants) that he cares deeply about. With a level of earnestness that almost comes as a surprise, Rick wants Canadians to be more actively engaged with the politics of our land. But as one might expect his life also contains no shortage of outlandish but seemingly fitting anecdotes - including the fact that while he was the student council president of his high school outside of St. John's Newfoundland, he never ended up graduating with his diploma.
In our interview Rick sheds light on his formative years growing up in Newfoundland, how his keen and early interest in politics developed, his thoughts on the role of satire in a democracy, and why he considers the current crackdown on science by the Conservative government so pernicious.
Listen to the interview here, or subscribe to the podcast in iTunes!