Usually rabid applause is saved for the end of a performance, a reward reserved for a lively and entertaining show.
All Rick Mercer had to do was walk onto the Sagebrush Theatre stage Saturday night and the cheers of approval nearly blew the roof off.
And the accolades kept coming throughout the comedian's 90-minute show as Mercer mixed his trademark rants with clips from his hit CBC TV show, Rick Mercer Reports.
Mercer started his routine with a simple confession: "My name is Rick, and I am a rantaholic," getting a big laugh from the theatre's packed house.
And Mercer lived up to his self-diagnosis, ranting on a host of topics from how boring politicians have become to how interesting the average Canadian is.
He praised the vote-mob movement that sprung up following one of his broadcast rants encouraging young Canadians to vote and slammed federal politician's for their fearful reaction to them
But Mercer spent little time delving into the political arena, although he did take the odd jab at Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his sheep-like cabinet.
The bulk of his time was spent highlighting the lives of average, hard-working Canadians, people he believes make up the heart and soul of this country.
To punctuate his points, Mercer showed clips - highlight reels if you will - from Rick Mercer Reports of him interacting with Canadians. Fans of the program probably recognized many of these, be it tobogganing down the main street of Rossland, B.C., or flying with an 80-year-old biplane pilot.
Mercer spent a good portion of the show talking about the time he met the Man in Motion, Rick Hansen. Hansen is a personal hero of Mercer's, and meeting your personal hero can be dangerous.
"It's dicey stuff, especially if it's an artist or an athlete or someone who is famous for doing a single thing. You might have a preconceived notion," he said, adding if your hero turns out to be jerk, it can be crushing.
Fortunately, Hansen turned out to be a prince, said Mercer. And the story, complete with hit men from the Rick Hansen Foundation, and accompany clip of the two bungee jumping, had people in stitches.
The only complaint I would have is there were too many clips from Rick Mercer Reports. Many of these were old material, and it would have been nice to hear more of the man ranting.
But the rants were gold and the clips still funny. He is Rick Mercer after all, so why rant about something so minor?
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