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Reporting on Rick Mercer Final Report. All reports should be this funny.

“Ranting has always been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I come from an island of ranters. I love the process of taking a subject that is large and complex, and distilling it into a single, coherent, ninety-second rant.”

Rick Mercer is a Canadian icon. Fifteen seasons of the Rick Mercer Report is no small feat. He’s made us laugh, and educated us about all things Canadiana. But, most of all, he’s made us think and challenge the status quo. His political satire commentary down Graffiti Alley, is insightful and crafted with such ingenuity and preciseness. He’s had everyone from Justin Trudeau to Pierre Berton on his show. If you’ve seen The Mercer Report, you know that politics and humour go hand in hand.

But, sadly all good things must come to an end. The Mercer Report aired its final show April 2018. What will Tuesday nights be without Rick Mercer? Only time will tell if that void can be filled. But, in the meantime, I’ve got my hands on his new book Rick Mercer Final Report to keep that funny bone alive. In it are never-before-published rants from the final five seasons, plus some of the favourite rants from the show’s early years. Everything from Justin, Jagmeet and Jann, to Netflix and the Loan Sharks is covered. If it’s an issue that affects us, you can bet that Rick Mercer has it covered.

Shut down the supersharks
“They’ll give you a thousand bucks. But they’ll charge you fifteen bucks for every hundred bucks. Now math is not my high suit, but even I can figure this one out. Fifteen bucks on a hundred bucks, that’s 15 percent. That sounds pretty good. Except it’s not. Because it’s 15 percent every two weeks. Thanks to the miracle of compound interest, that’s an annual interest of 390 percent.”

I absolutely loved this book. My prediction is that it will probably be a very popular holiday gift. Imagine the joy of seeing Rick Mercer under their tree.

Minimum is not enough

“The Ontario Chamber of Commerce are so flipped out about this, they have been on a tour of the province for about a year. They roll into a town and invite local business leaders down to the ballroom of a hotel – it’s always during the workday. They charge between sixty and 130 bucks a seat. And they all sit around and talk about what a bad idea it would be if the waiter – that guy holding thirty-five pounds of seared chicken and butternut squash on a tray – gets a tiny raise. It’s an irony-free zone.”

The irony about all this is just recently, Doug Ford decided to put an end to the minimum wage debate and locked it down at $14/hr. No ifs or buts. If only The Mercer Report had been around for just one more season, when the PCs came into power. Boy, oh boy, would he have a steady stream of material for those rants.

I had the good fortune of seeing Rick Mercer at an event at Penguin Random House Canada. He narrated the story about Pierre Berton and how he agreed to come on air to demonstrate rolling a joint. When he asked about where he would get the weed, Rick Mercer told him that his props team would put it all together. Oh no no, was Pierre’s response. I’m not going to show people how to roll oregano.

I wasn’t able to get that story on video, but here’s a bit of a sampling of Rick Mercer the Canadian funny man.

Another story that he told us, and is in Rick Mercer Final Report, is the story of when Gord Downie called up his father. Rick Mercer's dad didn't really know how big a star Gord Downie was, and Gord never really pointed it out to him. "A guy from Kingston" is how Gord referred to himself. It's such a touching story as to the gentle kind man, who never put himself on a high pedestal. 

If you do get a chance to see Rick as he tours around the country, I highly recommend you don’t miss that opportunity. He’s a real hoot. We can’t wait to see what Rick Mercer is up to after The Mercer Report, but whatever it is, you know we will be watching (or listening), like we have ever week for fifteen seasons. And, we wish him every success in his next venture.

“How would I find something to rant about every week? Eventually, I learned not to underestimate the absurdity of life in this confederation we call Canada.”

Blog Post by Shilpa Raikar, who believes in the power of storytelling to connect readers, and strives for diversity and inclusivity. 

Rick Mercer Final Report is published by Doubleday Canada. Copy provided by Penguin Random House Canada.

Review by @SukasaReads (a division of @SukasaStyle)