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October 10, 2015

Mercer talks to Americans

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 17th 2006 6:33PM

flagRick Mercer of the satirical Canadian program This Hour Has 22 Minutes interviews Americans to find out how much they know about Canada in these very funny videos found on YouTube. The special is called Talking to Americans, and features clips of Mercer asking about drilling for plutonium in Mount Rushmore, and whether or not America should bomb Saskatchewan (which I spelled correctly on the first try, thank you very much). Anyway, it's the kind of "approach people on the street and set them up to look silly" bit we've seen a million times before, but it's still pretty damn funny. Noteworthy: This Hour Has 22 Minutes also featured Colin Mochrie of Who's Line Is It Anyway?

The first video is after the jump, and you can watch the rest of them here.

[via Boing Boing and Digg]

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Brent McKee

I haven't seen the special so I'm not aware if it contains the incident where Mercer tells then candidate George W. Bush that he had been endorsed by Canadian Prime Minister Poutine, an endorsement that Bush happily accepted. Not was Bush unaware that the then Canadian Prime Minister was a close friend of Bill Clinton's but also that the man's name was Jean Chretien. Poutine is a favourite food in Quebec, consisting of french fries topped with gravy and cheese curds (and delisious when done properly).

August 18 2006 at 3:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I figure it's along the same lines as Jay Leno's street walker bits. You watch that and you figure he HAD to cherry pick the people to find them that dumb. Turns out they don't cherry pick - that's what's out there.

August 17 2006 at 8:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Liz Newcomb

I first saw this hour-long special when I still lived in the States (it was taped and sent by a Canadian friend) and I thought it was hilarious. Now that I've been living in Canada for four years, I understand the references a lot more (peoples' names, for instance) and I understand how others might not find it as funny. Yes, of course they edited out the people who realized he was joking; and yes, most of the time when people are being interviewed on camera, they are concentrating on what they are saying and not the details of what was said to them; but there are a number of clips from the entire show that make you wonder about the faculties of the interviewees!

August 17 2006 at 7:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They're funny to Canadians because we're always the butt of American jokes. When those specials aired years ago they were huge hits here. I had teachers in high school who would show them to make us laugh.

The fact is, most Americans know nothing about Canadians while we're immersed in American culture. Aaron Sorkin famously wrote about the Ontario/Vermont border in an episode of West Wing(that border does not exist) and in an episode of Frasier the title character had to ask if Canada had Thanksgiving at all. The writers of both those shows were extremely intelligent folks.

It's not a stretch that Americans would know so little about Canada. What's scary, and I don't know if it's featured in those clips above is when Mercer interviewed the Presidential candidates a few years ago and they were just as oblivious as everyone else in his specials. It doesn't help that Professors at Ivy League universities fall for the pranks either.

August 17 2006 at 7:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Roger Rees

I don't know if there is something in my water this afternoon, but I did not find that at all humorous. When watching these clips, I alway wonder how many other people were interviewed that called this idiot out on how stupid the things he is saying are. I'd like to know if he had to interview, say, 150 people. 142 called him out on his bullshit, but there were these 8 individuals and/or families that were dumber than him.

August 17 2006 at 6:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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