Rick Mercer Report
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|Rick Mercer Report|
Rick Mercer Report main title
|Also known as||Rick Mercer's Monday Report (2004-2006)|
|Created by||Rick Mercer
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||11|
|No. of episodes||200|
|Running time||22–23 minutes|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
|Original run||January 12, 2004 – Present|
Rick Mercer Report (or the Mercer Report, or RMR; formerly known as Rick Mercer's Monday Report or simply Monday Report) is a Canadian television comedy series which airs on CBC Television. Launched in 2004 and hosted by comedian Rick Mercer, the weekly half-hour show combines news parody, sketch comedy, visits to interesting places across Canada, and satirical editorials, often involving Canadian politics. The show's format is similar in some respects to satirical news shows like Mercer's prior series, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and to Jon Stewart's The Daily Show – however, the Mercer Report's on-location segments are usually played relatively straight in comparison to those on the other shows, since participants are usually aware of Mercer's identity and purpose, showing similarity to Stephen Colbert's The Colbert Report.
The first two seasons aired on Monday nights – hence the original name, which was likely also a pun on the then-current name of CBC's main Sunday news broadcast, Sunday Report (now the Sunday edition of The National). The Mercer Report now airs Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m. on CBC. Repeats air regularly on both CBC and The Comedy Network Canada.
The program is recorded in front of a live audience at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto, Ontario, except for the on-location and rant segments. These segments are shown to the studio audience during taping, with their reactions recorded for broadcast.
- Monologue — At the beginning of each show, Mercer delivers a brief monologue. In the earliest episodes this was similar to a late-night talk show monologue, with Mercer joking about Canadian politics. In more recent seasons, the opening monologue has been rarely more than an outline of the on-location segments to come, punctuated with a related joke or two.
- On-location — On each programme Mercer travels to one or more different parts of Canada, often to communities that are currently in the news or celebrating some event, and collects opinions, reactions, and quotes from people on the street. Often Mercer will participate in some demonstration related to the location (e.g. driving a TTC bus while visiting the agency's bus compound), with comic results. Two on-location segments (sometimes different locations in the same area, sometimes two distant locations; occasionally one may be a direct continuation of the other) appear in a typical episode.
- Ad spoofs — Mercer does a parody ad, often spoofing a real one. Usually appears at least once per episode, right before a commercial break.
- The Front Page — Mercer makes comical comments on certain photos of famous people in the world. Normally seen at the start of segment 2.
- Rant — Mercer does a 'streeter'-style tongue-in-cheek monologue about current issues, using the same format that he popularized on 22 Minutes with a long take and camera tilting. These are almost always taped while Mercer walks up and down a graffiti-strewn Toronto alleyway. Usually used to begin segment 3.
- Newsdesk — Additional topical jokes, similar to the newsdesk segments on 22 Minutes, are sometimes seen in the latter part of the programme to pad time.
- Conclusion — During the brief final segment, Mercer invites the audience to visit his website with his blog, video clips and photo challenge. He then mentioned a local event happening in a (usually) small town somewhere in Canada. In early seasons, this is also where Mercer would give updates on the monthly contest.
Recurring or discontinued
- Daryn Jones — Correspondent Daryn Jones goes out and checks out cool things. This segment was discontinued in Season 3, with Jones leaving the show for MTV Canada.
- Celebrity Tip — A Canadian celebrity gives how-to advice to the audience, such as Geddy Lee showing viewers how to properly ride a toboggan, Shirley Douglas demonstrating how to boost a car's battery, Pierre Berton demonstrating how to roll a joint or Conrad Black demonstrating how to wax a maple leaf. The humour in this segment often comes from the juxtaposition between the celebrity and their ability to demonstrate something the viewing public might not have expected them to know how to do. Currently airs sporadically.
- Monitor Piece — Occasionally Mercer will perform a "lecture"-type monologue in-studio, usually standing next to a TV screen and waving a metal pointer, attempting to explain a complicated issue or point out the absurdity of a particular policy. Typically the piece will end with an instrumental version of "O Canada" playing in the background. This is a continuation of a sketch style Mercer also used from time to time on 22 Minutes, most famously for the Stockwell Day / Doris Day petition sketch.
- Contest — Early seasons featured a monthly contest in which viewers were encouraged to send in pictures. Mercer would show these pictures at the conclusion of the show throughout the month, and declare the winner on the final show of the month. Some examples include "Canada's Biggest Pothole" or "Canada's Best Shed." The prize was usually a free trip to Toronto to attend a taping of the show.
Reruns of the program have aired on the Comedy Network since October 2006.
- As indicated on titles of videos on the show's YouTube channel (accessed 2010-10-02)
- Mercer, Rick (2008), Rick Mercer Report: The Paperback Book, Anchor Canada, ISBN 9780385665193
- Mercer, Rick (2007), Rick Mercer Report: The Book, Doubleday Canada, ISBN 978-0-385-66518-6
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