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Rick Mercer

Rick Mercer began his career in comedy performing and writing with a series of one-man stage shows, beginning with Show Me the Button, which he first performed at the National Arts Centre in 1990 and went on to tour the country. Subsequent stage performances were in I've Killed Before, I'll Kill Again (1992) and Canada: A Good Place to Hide (1995).

Mercer launched his television career in 1993 as one of the creators, performers, and writers on the hit topical weekly show This Hour Has 22 Minutes. In 1998 he joined Gerald Lunz and Michael Donovan to create the satirical dramatic series Made In Canada, where he again starred and contributed as a writer. In 2001 his CBC Television special Talking To Americans became the highest rated Canadian comedy special of all time with 2.7 million viewers. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, and the Los Angeles Times all ran articles about the impact of Talking to Americans and Mercer went on to discuss it on ABC's Nightline and NBC's The Today Show.

He is the recipient of well over 25 Gemini Awards and Canadian Screen Awards for television writing and performance and in 2015 again won the CSA for 'Best Performance in a Variety or Sketch Comedy Program or Series.' Among other awards have been the Sir Peter Ustinov Award at the Banff Television Festival, numerous Canadian Comedy Awards, and he was named one of the Artists of the Year by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. He is the sole civilian recipient of the Canadian Armed Forces Commander Land Forces, Command Commendation in recognition of his support of Canadian peacekeepers, and in 2004 he received the National Arts Centre Award at the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards. In April 2014, he received the DareArts Leadership Awards from a charitable organization that uses educational experiences to empower children and youth facing life challenges.

In 2012 Rick was given ACTRA Toronto's Award of Excellence and the King Clancy Award from the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons. He also received a Diamond Jubilee Medal in celebration of the Queen's sixty years on the throne.

In October 2013 he received the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Center Award for Public Service. In February 2014, he was given the Comedy Icon Lifetime Achievement Award at Ottawa's Cracking Up the Capital Comedy Festival. Also in 2014 Rick received The Rick Hansen Award of Excellence given by The March of Dimes for his work benefiting the cause of people with physical disabilities.

Mercer went to Afghanistan in the fall of 2003 to entertain the troops and tape Rick Mercer's Christmas in Kabul a special for CBC Television. He has returned twice to Afghanistan to visit the Canadian Forces.

As a solo performer he has hosted the East Coast Music Awards, The Gemini Awards, Juno Awards, the history series It Seems Like Yesterday, the annual Canada Day show from Parliament Hill, and in 2008 he hosted the CBC Television special The Next Great Prime Minister for the second time.

Mercer has written for Time, Maclean's, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post. His first book, Streeters, hit the top of the Globe and Mail's best-seller list, and his second book, Rick Mercer Report: The Book, published in the fall of 2007, also went to the top of the national best-seller list. Rick latest book is A Nation Worth Ranting About that was published in September, 2012 and became another best-seller. In the fall of 2013 an updated paperback edition was released.

He has appeared in the movies The Vacant Lot, Understanding Bliss, Secret Nation, and Bon Cop, Bad Cop and is in the upcoming The Young and Prodigious Spivet with Helena Bonham Carter and Judy Davis.

In 2006, Rick and Belinda Stronach founded the charity Spread the Net, which raises funds to stop the spread of malaria by providing mosquito nets for African children. Each season the finale of The Rick Mercer Report is the Spread the Net Student Challenge which has raised now over one million dollars. Other charities he has been active in include Hope Air, PFLAG, and Toronto's Casey House, a hospital for people living with HIV/AIDS.

He is on the board of The Historica-Dominion Institute, an organization dedicated to promoting the study of Canadian history, identity and citizenship.

Rick holds Honorary Doctorates from Memorial University, Laurentian University, University of British Columbia, McMaster University, Bishop's University, Brock University and in 2012 received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Guelph. In 2014, he received Honorary Doctorates from the Royal Military Academy in Kingston, ON., the University of Western Ontario and York University.

Rick Mercer is a native of St. John's, Nfld.

Upcoming Events for Rick Mercer

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