Last year, the Rick Mercer Report lost its appeal for me. I felt that Mercer had become stale and not very funny, mostly because there seemed to be no-one challenging him. He'd sunk into a rut. On 22 Minutes, he had the constant competition from his fellow comedians, male and female. In constrast, RMR, his own show, featured a so-so interview segment by a person who in no way was Mercer's equal, and it had a distinct lack of women. I felt that the Mercer Report required the edginess of a good female comic in order to push him and keep him on his toes, especially as even the people behind the show were almost all male.
I have no idea what happened between last year and this, except that the interview segment is gone -- thank God! -- and someone seems to have kicked Mercer out of his comfortable rut, for it's like the first year again: fresh, smart, and at times sharp as a dagger. He has the familiar and popular "The Rant"; he uses his excellent comedic sensibilities to point up weaknesses in our politicians but not in a mean, vindictive way; and he introduces us to aspects of Canadian life most of us would never get to see, using himself as the fall guy. In fact what he's doing in those latter segments is what Maclean's used to do in their Q&A section. But under their new leadership, we're back to learning more about Americans than about our fellow Canadians who aren't regularly in the news yet still contribute to our society. But I digress.
Back to RMR. It muse be somebody behind the scenes challenging him, pushing him to be his best, because he's now alone on air. I'm in stitches from beginning to end. And it's about damn time.