150+ Canadians Day 59: Rick Mercer
…But seriously folks, Rick is 100% seriously on the list! Don’t believe us? Check back at noon. We promise he’ll still be here.
Rick Mercer contributes to peace by challenging & inspiring Canadians through political satire, and social justice activism. #Canada150
Richard Vincent “Rick” Mercer OC (b. 1969), son of the Maritimes, political satirist, author and comedian is best known for his work on the CBC Television comedy shows, This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Rick Mercer Report; and for his humanitarian work.
He has united Canadians through his charming visits to communities across Canada, in which he uses his self-deprecating humour to fail at the things Canadians do every day to make a living and create community. Mercer has also popularized his two-minute “rants,” in which he speaks directly to the camera about a current political issue, from a graffiti covered alley in Toronto. Equally popular have been Mercer’s one-on-one interviews with Canadian personalities, particularly serving politicians. His insightful use of satire has both endeared and angered some of his interviewees. He is the author of several books based on his rants and interviews from his shows.
Rick Mercer’s charitable endeavours are notable and include:
- Co-chair, along with Belinda Stronach, in the Spread the Net campaign, partnered through UNICEF, which provides bed nets to prevent the spread of malaria in Africa
- National spokesperson for the 2005 Walk For Life, a series of 132 fund- raising walks across Canada that raise money for people living with HIV and AIDS
- Participation in the It Gets Better campaign (and his insistence that “it should get better now”), a series of videos that aim to help gay and lesbian youth overcome bullying
- Honorary patron of Hope Air which provides free non-emergency medical flights for people in financial need
Among the honours that Mercer has been awarded:
- Companion award of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards
- Officer of the Order of Canada
- 50th Greatest Canadian (contest held by the CBC in 2004)
- More than 25 Gemini Awards for his television work
- ACTRA Toronto’s 2012 Award of Excellence
- Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award
- Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council’s Artist of the Year Award
- National Arts Centre Award
- Bob Edwards Award in Calgary
- Numerous honourary degrees
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