Rick Mercer: The RD Interview

Television personality and political satirist Rick Mercer talks about the Trudeau government, travelling and the issues Canadians should be concerned about.

Rick MercerPhoto: Jon Sturge/CBC

15 Minutes with Rick Mercer

Reader’s Digest: You’ve been doing your stage show A Nation Worth Ranting About for a while now. How do you keep it fresh?

Rick Mercer: Essentially, it’s a reflection on where I’ve been. That means going from coast to coast, and it also means not just going to major cities but also going off the beaten path. I talk a lot about my different adventures, different parts of the country and where the country is perhaps going.

What do you think more Canadians should be ranting about?

Everyone’s opinion is valid. We talk about how this is a big year in politics, and we know now that more young people voted in this last election than have voted in any previous election. The increase was phenomenal. In the elections before that, there was an uptick with young people that was important, but it was a tiny one.

What concerns you the most about Canada in the next few years?

When I think of major issues, I think of household debt, housing prices, climate change and the oil sands. I would say that in the next couple of years, they’re all going to be reaching their critical points. Baby boomers are going to start needing a hell of a lot more care than they have right now, too.

What inspires you to continue doing The Rick Mercer Report?

I never take the show for granted. I love going to work and I’m aware that the vast majority of people aren’t in a position to say that. Years after my father retired, he told me he didn’t like his job, and he managed to keep that fact from his children. If I had to write down on paper what my dream job is, it essentially would be what I’m doing today.

Are there any new avenues you’d like to explore on the show?

Luckily it’s my show and so I can go down whatever avenue I want to go down. That said: if it’s not broken, you don’t try to fix it. There’s certainly an interest for me to do long-form interviews thoughsit down and chat with people for a long period of time. Maybe at some point in my career, I’d do that on radio.

How do you feel about the Trudeau government so far?

I think it’s been a honeymoon like we’ve not seen before. I also think they’re incredibly lucky. Their opposition is in disarray. The NDP has a lame duck leader right now. The Conservatives got their heads beaten in, and it takes a while to get off the mat for the ringing in your ears to stop. No one knows how the Liberals would be doing if they had an effective opposition. When you have no opposition, life is easy.

The Rick Mercer Report returns for its 14th season on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), beginning Oct. 4.