Rick Mercer “Raw and Uncut” the interview

I am so excited about this weeks article. I’ve been working on this for some time, and I was so surprised when this incredible comedian and Canadian icon agreed to have a 1 on 1 with me. I recall him saying to me during one of our discussions that I had a face for television. I was just thrilled. Apparently, it means I have a big face! He said, “Look, I have a big face,” and we shared a laugh. He also mentioned he thought I was funny. Well, I just peed myself a little right there and then. But I didn’t let on and graciously thanked him. I’ve been a conceded bitch ever since. So without further ado ladies and gentlemen, this is Mr. Rick Mercer.

B.I.T.C: Looking back on your celebrated career. What was the moment you knew this was going to be your life?
Rick: I honestly don’t think there was a single “A-ha moment” where I decided that I would dedicate my life to show business. I did have the “That should be me up there” moment, a number of times in elementary school, whenever there was any kind of presentation that was theatrical in nature. I remember being into it more than the other kids, thinking that nothing could be as exciting as travelling around in a van and doing theatre in schools! Eventually, I did do that, and I realized it wasn’t all that I had thought it was, but I was hooked on show business from a very young age.

BITC: Yes, addictions are a serious thing. You seem to have come out on top, though, so good job!
B.I.T.C: Who would you credit as your biggest inspiration in your life personally and professionally?
Rick: There was a TV show on CBC Newfoundland, called The Wonderful Grand Band. It was a local show featuring comedy and music. It was the biggest show in Newfoundland. Literally, everyone watched it. Alan Doyle from Great Big Sea, who is my age, jokes that if Elvis came to Newfoundland, he would have had to open for The Wonderful Grand Band. Once that show aired, there was nothing else I wanted to do. If someone said they wanted to be a firefighter or a pilot or doctor or a nurse or a lumberjack, I would think, “Why?” “Why would you want to do anything else other than work in TV?”
B.I.T.C: There are those addiction warning signs again! I’m addicted to chocolate cake and pickles.
Rick: I don’t think that now, by the way, but I did for a very long time.
B.I.T.C: Oh, I’m on your side, Rick. We’re all thankful this was your addiction of choice. Thank God, you are funny.

B.I.T.C: What’s it like being an icon in your genre?

Rick: Cripes, is that what you think I am? Like most people in show business, I am so grateful to be working. I never thought of my place in the sphere of show biz or in my “genre.” I mostly feel very grateful and lucky that I have had a career that has allowed me to consistently work, create, and perform, and throw the odd opinion into the mix.
B.I.T.C: I’m not familiar with this opinionated side of your otherwise gentile personality. Fascinating!
B.I.T.C: Moment of truth; Is it difficult to live a quote-unquote normal life?
Rick: I am insanely normal, I think. Perhaps the least eccentric person I know, and I like eccentric people.

B.I.T.C: I am insanely eccentric. I think I just ooze eccentricity. I’d go into more detail, but you’re not interviewing me, are you?

B.I.T.C: So how does Rick Mercer balance his public life with his private life?

Rick: I’m pretty good with the balance, I think. Again I feel grateful for the career that I have had. Some people have a hard time with a career that means they are recognized on the street. I don’t mind it. I don’t crave it, but I don’t mind it. And nobody ever put a gun to my head and said “You must work on TV for 25 years” I think complaining about the downside of a public life when you went into one is a bit disingenuous. I could have sold real estate.

B.I.T.C: I would have bought a house from you, Rick.

Rick: ….And overall, I have had some pretty good conversations and interactions with people that never would have occurred otherwise.

B.I.T.C: That’s excellent. It would be like me if I weren’t in retail management for so long I wouldn’t need therapy for anxiety, and therefore I would not have met my cute therapist. So it all works out, doesn’t it? I have to know who Rick was as a child?

Rick: I think I was a normal kid. If I had to count my blessings, the number one blessing would be that I grew up in a nice family with nice siblings and super smart, funny, kind parents. Obviously, you don’t choose your family, so if you end up with parents that are smart and kind, then you have won the lotto. I won the lotto.

B.I.T.C: That is so true. Looks like you won it twice!
What’s the one thing on your bucket list you’ve still to accomplish?
Rick: I want to circumnavigate the island of Newfoundland on a boat. I want to spend more time in Newfoundland. And I want to grow really old and not hurt too much. Fingers crossed.
B.I.T.C: Oh my God, right?!? What’s with all the aches and pains. As soon as I hit my mid-forties, it was like sciatica armageddon. So with that said, what accomplishment in your life personal and professional are you most proud of?
Rick: This may be the Newfoundlander in me, but consistent employment is top of that list. I’m very proud that my partner and I were able to produce projects that employed a shit-tonne of creative people – writers and actors and editors etc. Having a show that people liked is on that list. I’m proud that we had a reputation as people who paid well. In show business, many producers aim for the opposite.
If I meet someone who says they grew up watching me on TV and they give me some credit for their interest in politics or travelling the country, then I kind of burst inside.
B.I.T.C: I love that! People like you, in all seriousness, are a rare breed no matter what industry we’re talking about. Sadly it seems to be all about what they can get from you and not the other way around. Just you taking the time to do this chit chat speaks to who you are as a person. I’m grateful, and I’m super excited. I think I may have peed a little.

B.I.T.C continued…. we are getting so tight right now! So spill whats your sinful pleasure. Chocolate cake? Pickles? Reruns of the Rick Mercer Report?
Rick: Oh god, so many – fish and chips, potato chips, potatoes in general.

B.I.T.C: Nice.
What’s next for our Canadian treasure?

Rick: Do you men Tessa or Scott? No idea what they have planned next, but I personally-The paperback of my book – The Final Report comes out in October – and it has new essays. I am hitting the road, with a Just For Laughs tour of Canada called “Comedy Night In Canada” I will travel from St Johns NL to British Columbia. It will be fun and scary as hell. I will be with three great stand up comedians. Ivan Decker, Debra DiGiovanni and Ali Hassan. It is nerve-wracking to be on stage with such talented stand-ups, but I’m up for the new challenge.
I’m enjoying my life right now, not having a tv show, but lately I have been toying with the idea of a new show. So someday soon, I might just make a few calls and run a few ideas up the flag pole and see if a network might be interested. That is, while networks still exist.

B.I.T.C: Wow, so you’re really slowing down now that you’ve thrown in the towel. “Wink.” I’d love to see you in person. I’m sure it’s exhilarating, provocative, delicious, and hilarious! I was really just describing myself there. Seriously though, what an absolute pleasure getting to meet you. I’m still honestly thinking… Oh my God, did I just have an interview with Rick Mercer? The answer is yaaaaas Brucesters! Yes, I did.
Ps: You’re fabulous!

Bruce Christopher

Editor & Publicist

Bruce Law

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Dress You Up

Brucesters!

Halloween, it’s one of my favourite times of year. Having spent 13 years in Toronto, I have enjoyed the extraordinary celebrations the boys in the village put on every year. The one night a year when the gays shed their crowns for other masks. Hundreds of people from every walk of life congregate to Church and Wesley, the heart of the Gay Village, to celebrate all that is ghoulish and evil in the supernatural world. I’ve gone for several years. The streets erupt in celebration, as the Witches of Salem, Vampires, Ghosts, and Goblins flood the strip. The tradition began as far back as the 1960’s and allowed gay and straight men alike to dress up in what’s now described as drag. I’ve never gone in drag, maybe this year. I’d love to get my spook on, and gather my pals together for a night of frolic and run amuck. If you’re looking for the perfect costume and you live in the Toronto area, check out these great Halloween celebrators.

Happy Halloween

Bruce Christopher

Publicist & Content Editor Bruce Law

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Beard of October


Brucesters!

It’s incredible to think that there are only three months left to 2019. It’s mind-blowing. The Beards of the month, this year, have been amazing. You can vote for your fav beard by hitting the heart on the article and pic that is posted monthly. Instagram @bruceinthecity

Without delay! Here is your Beard of October!

This is David.

“Interesting/Fun” Facts:

  • loves biking everywhere
  • I’m big into meditation and am kind of on a journey of enlightenment. So I truly believe in being open, loving, compassionate to others and oneself.
  • being active generally
  • love cooking and meal prepping
  • learning and trying new things, whether it is a dish, exercise, activity, etc
  • sometimes meditate in a sensory deprivation tank
  • love animals
  • listening to music
  • not a party animal or bar scene kind of guy. Actually prefer doing something active like walking, hiking, playing virtual reality games, etc

Amazing! Thanks David. You can follow David on Instagram @hiiback

Very excited to announce that this month on Bruce in the City my one-on-one interview with Canadian comedy icon Rick Mercer! The transcript drops on 27th. Don’t miss it!

Bruce Christopher

Editor & Publicist

Bruce Law

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Mingle and Mix and Be


You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been writing a few stories from outside the GTA. That’s the greater Toronto area for those not from around these parts. I’ve been visiting my folks taking a little break from the big city life. That’s what summers are for right? While visiting my folks, I thought I’d take the opportunity to check out some trendy spots in Peterborough. I was actually concerned I wouldn’t find any. Does a city east of the city delve into the trendy? Well it was my curiosity that got the better of me so out I went. Before I do anything, this boy needs coffee. In Toronto, there’s a corporate coffee shop on almost every business corner. To be fair, there’s a ton of mom and pop coffee shops to enjoy, as well. I’ve written about a few over the last 9 years. I love a good coffee. I went downtown Peterborough to check out the culture of the city. There are a dozen corporate coffee shops in the borough too, but I was looking for something a little less burnt cheap beans and a little more rustic cosmopolitan. I started my downtown stroll on the lower east side. The cities one and only cineplex stands there. A big business eating up the local theatre, now housing Pride events and live theatre. At least the city adapted to the, I’m guessing hostile take over of movie night? Surprisingly, I actually quickly discovered several cute and trendy coffee houses downtown. I had to chose one, and so I searched along the main strip, if there is one, in the downtown core. “A place where people can mingle and mix and be.” Tom Hanks (You’ve Got Mail). To my surprise, I stumbled across one. So cute! So rustic sheik. The Cork and Bean.

Isn’t that a great name for what has now become all the rage, the coffee/whiskey bar? The front is appropriately adorned with large sliding windows to let the smell of roasted coffee beans waft out into the street. I entered the front door and to my left are shelves with merchandise in perfect product placement. To my right, was the coffee bar and a row of bar stool style seats and tables. Women and men dressed in the fashions of two years ago, but still looking sharp and the cutest fellows behind the counter. Oh what do they call people who have studied how to make coffee? Um, A Barista! I almost blurted that out from my cozy spot on the comfy couch located just up the next landing to the right. I get so involved when I’m writing. I was impressed by the persuasive beverage menu. Lattes, Espresso, Whiskeys, Wines, and beers!

Oh my! I’ve used that joke before, but it still holds up! Well to anyone over 30. This may be a shallow thing, but don’t you like to go where the pretty people are? I do. I think there’s nothing worse than dining, shopping or even breathing around people with no sense of style or bathing. I don’t want to smell what you had for dinner last night. Is that wrong? Toronto has jaded me, I guess; made me kind of a coffee expert. And I’m pleased to report that there were no stinkys to be smelt anywhere in the shop. Love it. Apparently, there’s another one of these in Oshawa, but who really wants to go there? Come check out Cork and Bean. So hot! So now! So tall, dark, and handsome. My favourite part? It’s super LGBTQ friendly. Maybe I’ll see you there sometime. Don’t be shy, say hello and don’t forget to tip your hottie! 

B.I.T.C

Publicist & Content Editor Bruce Law

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Bruce News!

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High & Lonesome

When I saw the name of this singing duo, “High & Lonesome” I thought, that pretty much sums up my summer, so why not go check them out and see what sad songs they have to offer while I down a few melancholy brews. As fate would have it, I had heard the lead vocalist, Kate Kelly, many years ago, when she was just getting into the music world. I heard her do a few Dixie Chicks songs, among others I can’t remember, and then that was it. I carried on in my little bubble, and she carried on singing and learning the guitar. Fast forward 10 years and there hangs a poster, in a local pub, literally with her legs on it. Kate, and an accomplished guitarist Bobby Watson decided to jam with each other, and High & Lonely was conceived. As most local bands go, they play, you get drunk, you dance. You forget them, but I couldn’t forget this dynamic duo. I decided to sit down with Kate Kelly, the lead vocalist of the group, and find out what the devils been going on. Bobby and Kate have been crushing the haunting sounds of The Eurythmics, Amy Winehouse, Dolly Parton and Sheryl Crow for five years now. From what I saw there were no signs of slowing down. Bobby Watson played in Memphis, for over 10 years back, in the 80’s. He released an album titled “From the Eastside” which was produced by Greg Wells, a well-known producer from L.A. Kate and Bobby started playing together five years ago. Bobby’s licks and chops are on point, and he pulls them together nicely. Kate’s vocals are raw and unrefined. A perfect blend of sultry and heartache as she pours our her soul. Kate is an accomplished poet that has taken her works to many poetry slams, including on a national level. Bobby and Kate slam on YouTube. You should check it out! When they’re not performing out, they’re songwriting. They played a few of those the night I went to check them out, and they were awesome. The show was intimate. The audience response said it all. This duo is defying age, gimmicks, and music genre as they work on their debut CD. It’s encouraging to know there are still singer-songwriters out there that give a damn about the art of writing. I’m just glad I got to see them before they get repackaged by corporate greed. When the music is still real, and no one has fake tits and botox. Amazing show! I’ll keep you all up to speed on a release date for their album. It’s looking like there are going to be 10 to 12 songs on it. I got to hear four of them live. They were badass. Look em up! You can find High & Lonesome on YouTube.​​​​

Rock on!​​​​

Bruce in the City

Publicist & Content Editor Bruce Law

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Buttermilk and Beaches

Brucesters!


What a week!. I’ve got so much to tell you guys about what I’ve been going through over the last several months, but first one must have a rousing breakfast — got to keep your strength up when dealing with stressful adulting bullshit. Who here enjoys adulting? I’d love to hear from you. Tell me why you love adulting. You can write me at bruceinthecity@hotmail.com. If I pick your reason, I’ll feature your Instagram account on my official Instagram account. Get yourself some new followers!
So breakfast; I spent the weekend with some friends, out in Tweed, (thanks for the incredible time) and on my way back from that adventure, I stopped off in Cobourg. I was traveling by Via Rail. Just a side note, I love Canada! The diversity and for the most part, the acceptance we show to each other is healthier than our neighbors to the south. I sat down in my seat and pulled out my book to read; Sex Sorcery and Magic. I looked to the left of me, and quietly sitting is a Tahitian monk. He’s dressed in full traditional clothing and looking nonjudgmentally at my choice of reading. He was also reading. Certainly not how a gay guy brought down a bathhouse, but we quietly respected each other’s selection of read. I only noticed the difference when another passenger offered to buy him a tea, looking right past me like I wasn’t even there. We shared a shrug and a smile, and we went on reading. I’d never been to Cobourg, on my own, and thought I’d explore their downtown. I’m not sure, but my initial reaction was that the town’s hub is having some problems. It’s such a cute area, though many stores have closed. Don’t get me wrong; there is still lots to see, but there’s a lot of darken store windows as well. Luckily, I managed to come across a cute little spot called The Buttermilk Cafe. A good, hearty, breakfast was what I was itching for. This looked like the place. Jennifer was my server. She reminded me of a young Meg Ryan. An absolute joy. I had a seat on the patio and ordered up the big breakfast, and was it ever! Two choices of pig. I also chose scrabble eggs, toast, and chocolate pancakes; just to satisfy the kid inside me. It was excellent, and Jennifer was the icing on the cake. Well I didn’t have any cake, but the refill coffee was fabulous!

Bruce in the City

Publicist & Content Editor Bruce Law

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Brotherhood of Barbers

Brucesters!
Let’s get this fall season off the right way and that’s with a fresh cut from one of the hippest barber shops I’ve been to in a long time. Living in Toronto for 13 years tends to alter one’s reality when it comes to believing talent can exist outside the GTA but I’ve found a mens grooming salon that takes it up a notch when it comes to decor, talent, and sexy ass barbers. I’ve now had my hair cut and beard trimmed several times and every time I walk away and admire myself in any mirror available I’m blown away at the precision in which my head is handled! You can find this hidden gem along Hunter Street in Peterborough, Ontario.  What’s back? The straight blade. The warm towels. The incredibly friendly and patient customer care. Trust me, I know! The first time I visited the shop I was a super bitch and those guys took it in stride. When I went back with my tail between my legs they were completely accommodating and true gentlemen. Even after I barfed in their washroom explosively they still made me feel completely welcome and comfortable. (I had some food poisoning from a restaurant close by that will remain nameless.)  The shop has been around for decades and has a very loyal following of fans. I’m certainly one. They have a beverage area that caters to those with a taste for the barrelled and even soda for the kids. Lots of kids get their hair done there. All of the guys have a way of making this child experience stress free and high fives are not uncommon. They have a substancial collection of beard and hair care products as well as very cool merchandise. This group of guys truly feel like a brotherhood and they excel at making you feel like part of their club. When you’re in the Peterborough area and need a hair adjustment hit up the boys at Henry’s, they’ll hook you up.
B.I.T.C

https://www.henrysbarbershopptbo.com/

Edited by Mary Ellen Monk & Welcoming my new Editor & Publicist Bruce Law.

Thank you again Mary Ellen for all your hard work, love and support over the past few years. You were a wonderful editor.

Sincerely

Bruce Christopher

Bruce Law
Publicist & Content Editor
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