If you haven't anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me”

-Alice Roosevelt

Rick Mercer

2004 National Arts Centre Award

Rick Mercer's inescapable charm, searing wit and audacious intelligence have very quickly propelled him to the heights of the Canadian entertainment and political scene. His skill in satire without malice has endeared him to his 'victims' as much as the audience at large.

Born in St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1969, Rick gained his earliest stage experiences in a troupe formed from his high-school theatre class known as “Cory and Wade's Playhouse”, before he burst onto the national scene, in 1990, with his outstanding one-man show Show Me the Button, I'll Push It. This hilarious commentary on Canadian political life after Meech Lake dazzled audiences at Ottawa's National Arts Centre and then toured the country for an appreciative public from coast to coast. His two subsequent shows premiered at the NAC in 1992 and 1995 with the tours building Rick's audiences and reputation.

His outstanding contribution to comedy with a political punch has been recognized with over 20 Gemini Awards for both writing and performing on the top-rated series This Hour Has 22 Minutes. In 2002, Rick took home two more Geminis for his hit satirical view of the Canadian television production industry, Made In Canada. In the fall of 2003, his new creation, Monday Report, was an instant hit and will be returning in the fall of 2004 for a second season.

Rick's engaging capacity to lampoon with a note of tolerant sympathy has endeared him to millions of Canadians, if not our southern neighbours, who were profiled so shrewdly in Rick Mercer's Talking to Americans, making it the highest rated comedy special in the history of Canadian television.

Time and Maclean's magazine have published his work. In 1998, his first book, Streeters, based on his signature straight-to-the-camera monologues was published and quickly rose to the top of the best-seller list. Since then, he has also entertained our troops in Afghanistan and won the Sir Peter Ustinov Award at the Banff Television Festival.

Rick Mercer has conclusively and wittily proven that the comedic sensibility runs deep in the Canadian spirit and that laughing at ourselves, our leaders, and our neighbours allows us to understand each other and care for each other in a deeper way.