(2001 TV Special)

User Reviews

Review this title
15 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
One of the best comedy specials out there.
Lady-of-Rohan2 September 2004
Rick Mercer from "This Hour has 22 Minutes" hosts a one hour special interviewing Americans asking them about fake Canadian issues. For example: the Canadian hour only lasts 22 minutes (an obvious reference to Rick's show), why Canada has a Navy even though it doesn't border the sea, building the chunnel to China, Saskatchewan rebellion from Russia, and deporting senior citizens on iceburgs.

The results make any Canadian watching this speachless. Americans believe this trash so easily! The wooly rhino hunt in Toronto?! That's like saying the Stegasaurus hunt in West Virginia. Rick Mercer even has a Govenor (forget which state) congratulate Canada on preserving it's national igloo! *facepalm* Not even George W. Bush is safe. Watch in glee (or in horror) as he thanks Prime Minister Jean Poutine for backing up his nomination.

Overall: The show is hilarious, if not disturbing. Everyone should watch this.
13 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Take it easy!
rjcommanda16 January 2005
Probably the most watched comedy special on Canadian television, this show has brought on so many harsh reviews from Americans. This isn't a documentary. It's not someone's political campaign. It's a satire. Why are Americans so touchy about this show? W hen South Park sang "Blame Canada" did you see us sulking? When Bart Simpson said that it's easy to join the Canadian Olympic basketball team, did you hear us complaining? We just sat back and laughed. Lots of American movies and television have material that is offensive to other countries. Why isn't it funny when other people make fun of you? Have a sense of humour! This is just a TV show.
16 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Not to be missed!
CanuckGirl29 October 2002
A brilliant and hilarious look at America's complete ignorance of all things Canadian. Rick Mercer, formerly of 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes', is a brilliant comic political commentator and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's poster boy.

Examples include: the infamous (then Governor) George W. Bush interview where Bush is pleased to hear that Prime Minister Jean Poutine supports him in his campaign for presidency. (For those of you out of the loop, 'poutine' is a French Canadian dish consisting of fries, cheese curds and gravy.)

A must for any Canadian to watch. Some Americans who take their patriotism a little too seriously (NRA members need not watch) may take offense but, if you're an American knows anything about Canadian-American relations, you would find it a hoot.

Michael Moore's fans would love this show. Coincidentally, the producers of Moore's 'Bowling for Columbine' also produced 'Talking to Americans'.
9 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Silliness that caught on
josh-30227 April 2004
A little harmless fun. Some segment are hilarious. I want to see all the outtakes, though. The only real danger here is assuming that this program has a point. Consider how it started:

Rick Mercer: Talking to Americans -- the segment --came about like Cornflakes. It was an accident that happened in the lab. We were down in Washington, D.C. We were shooting and I had kind of run out of things to do. We'd gone to the White House and goofed around at the Canadian Embassy. We just had some time to kill.

There were other news people there asking questions about important matters of the day. So I just started doing the same thing. I started talking to them about the Benmergui Clinton Summit. Should it be called the Benmergui Clinton Summit, or the Clinton Benmergui Summit?

I didn't know if the piece would have legs or not, but it sure did. The response has been phenomenal.

(from radio.cbc.ca)
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Priceless
sugarpie__hunnybunch6 January 2004
This show is a wonderfully imaginative, and classic example of the ignorance America exhibits over Canada. And in response to Raelon: I'm a fifteen year old Canadian girl, from Vancouver and yes, I am aware who the first three leaders of Canada were, what a cougar is, what the bluenose was, and I, as are many other young Canadians, am educated on American politics and history. I feel it's only fair for them to return the favor. And also, you say talking to Canadians wouldn't be funny? Take Jay-Walking on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno as an example, where he stops random people on the street to talk about American current events. Most often, they haven't a clue, and it's hilarious. All in all, this is good solid entertainment, and there nothing funnier than that little smirk Rick Mercer has on his face while singing the...modified Canadian National Anthem. I highly recommend it!
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Well-done satire, snarky and straight-faced
Jen.28 June 2001
I'm from the U.S., but it drives me nuts how people from this country know about Canadians. This special, compiled from Rick Mercer's ongoing series on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, made me want to be on the other side of the joke. It's so easy! Writing the setups must be a blast ... "Congratulations, Canada, on adopting the 24-hour clock" ... and on 500 miles of paved roads, and on Prime Minister Tim Horton's double-double ... and on ... and on. Thanks to the staff of 22 minutes for some great laughs!
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Brilliant, oft-misunderstood comedic masterpiece
ametaphysicalshark11 September 2008
Ignorance is one of the scariest things in the world, and certainly one of the most dangerous, but ignorance of Canada is just plain funny. Folks- the joke's on us. Don't you get it? Although it is used by many as 'proof' that Americans are stupid, "Talking to Americans" is one of the most enduringly popular and most re-run comedy specials ever to air on Canadian television, and it is far, far cleverer than that.

Before Borat there was Rick Mercer. Originating as a segment on "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" (back when it was actually good), "Talking to Americans" was a completely spontaneous occurrence initially, as Rick Mercer realized that Americans, ignorant of their neighbor to the north, would fall for just about anything. The resulting sketches and this masterpiece of a comedy special are built on much more than just mocking Americans' ignorance of Canada (although there are some seriously dumb things people say here- who would really believe that Canada had a 20 hour clock or would call the five dollar coin a 'woody'?), but is an incredibly clever and perceptive lampooning of human nature's desire to come out with a bold and confident statement on matters they are ignorant of.

In addition, the special is one of the most distinctive examples of purely Canadian culture in existence. Pummeling elk with timbits? Seals in Saskatchewan? Bombing West Edmonton mall? Getting on top of Peter Mansbridge? Only Canadians can get the most enjoyment out of the majority of these short interviews. They're brilliant in that Mercer is talking about things he knows full well nobody down south will understand, so it's almost like bouncing humor off an incredibly receptive blank canvas- they'll believe anything he tells them, allowing him to make insanely hilarious puns on Canadian pop culture phenomenon, which to the interviewees probably seem like perfectly honest and reasonable questions.

The low points of the special come when Mercer goes for trying to make celebrities sound dumb. It's still hysterical to see Dub-ya be thrilled to have Jean Poutine's endorsement for President, still hilarious to see Al Gore not reacting to Mercer's naming of Toronto as Canada's capital, still fun to see Mike Huckabee congratulate us on the preservation of our national igloo, but these parts of the special fail to capture the brilliantly straight-faced pop culture and history-based hilarity that Mercer captures in the rest of the special.

9.5/10
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
How can anyone hate this?
tml_pohlak_1314 November 2007
I loved this special! It was HILARIOUS! SB Rice said that the joke is on Canada because we are so insignificant that Americans can not be bothered with us. I disagree. And besides, world politics is one of those things everyone should know something about.

This is hilarious. Rick Mercer keeps a straight face the whole time and fools most people into believing Canada is really preserving the National Igloo; that Saskatchewan is being invaded by Russians; that the mall in West Edmonton must be bombed; that the faces on Mount Rushmore will be bored into. A hilarious show! Great entertainment when you need a good laugh! :)
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
I highly recommend this eh!
CaleCat95926 April 2004
I loved it and am going to send a copy to my aunt in Dallas. Luckily she's educated her American friends somewhat over the years, but they'll even enjoy it and find themselves getting "suckered in". Note to Raelon - I also can name the first 3 Prime Ministers, know exactly the beauty of the Bluenose and the gracefulness of our native large cat! I also can tell you the names of every single American state and its capital! I vividly remember taking entire semesters in American history, the War of 1812, The American Civil war as well as its geography (including the Mississippi river system IN GREAT DETAIL), its economy and role in the World Wars along with all the other allies. I think we're taking a humourous, good-natured jab at our friends to the south (as well as a few shots to ourselves!) with this and its all in good fun, but also insightful.

They're might have been a couple of people that went along with it, or were intimidated into agreeing by the camera (rare for Americans - most will speak their mind) but for the most part, you can tell they haven't a clue what we're doin' up here! I wanted to hug the kid who knew we had provinces and not states! I highly recommend viewing this whilst wearing your Leafs jersey, sitting in your cozy igloo, eating your back bacon sandwich with a Labatt's, finishing with rolling up the rim on a Tim Horton's and a box of 20 TimBits with your friends eh!!
8 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
LOL-Aussies do it too
469Soo19 October 2005
It's not just Canada...how can you justify not knowing the continent of Australia? (Google media putfile and search for a video On-The-Streets-Of-America-3)Please - don't get me wrong - I understand that not all Americans are this ignorant. What I find so disturbing is that there are grown adults (with the right to VOTE!!!) who advocate DECLARING WAR on a country when they have no clue where on the face of the planet said country is located. How do these people discern whether an invasion is justified? Hmmmmm..... to answer my own question - they DON'T - just look at the horrific mess in Iraq! This is my first posting, and wow! What's this 10 line minimum requirement all about? Sheesh - I've always appreciated comments that are brief and to the point
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Good, simple comedy.
Sneaky_Pete_XXVII14 August 2003
"Talking to Americans" is a wonderful piece of comedy. And regardless of what Raleon may say, it is. Comedy shouldn't be picked apart like it was by you. Sure, there are some things that could of been improved; but when you have Americans making fun of us because we didn't enter the war, and at the same time they don't even know us! That basically gives us the right to make fun of them. So, it doesn't make sense? Who cares? No one ever questions cartoons!

Anyways, Mercer does a great job at performing as a reporter that is making stuff up. And to do it with a straight face!!! WOW! That's awesome! And the ideas alone are incredible! (ex: Congrats, President Tim Horton on your first Double-double!!) Does Canadian comedy get any better than this? I don't think so! 10/10!
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Brilliant.
andyscott7726 July 2002
Only could someone with the comic timing and wonderful delivery such as Rick Mercer come up with a piece of work so enlightening. This is funny enough to bring tears to your eyes, yet as sad a piece as I've ever seen, exposing our neighbours to the south for the ignorance that they all seem to posess.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Does anyone else see the fault in this logic?
Raleon2 June 2003
Yes, Rick Mercer is one of the world's best satirists right now. Yes, although we're all good friends, the USA does things that totally irritate their Canadian cousins (and vice versa I dare say). And YES, people should know more about Canada. This does well in portraying some of American's ignorance of Canada, which is more scary than it is funny. Sure.

But, he seems to miss three faults in which his logic holds.

1) Some people would say anything that seems relevant just to get on television and, despite anything they may think they know of Canada, go with what Rick Mercer tells them because afterall, he's supposedly a Canadian journalist and wouldn't lie on TV. So when he tells them Canada is building the "Peter Mansbridge", they may remember a newsanchor by that name, but it must have been misunderstood because "this Canadian actually tells me it's a real bridge". 2) People don't want to look the fool on television, so will go with what he says without argument if they cannot walk away. For example, George Bush JR. and PM "Putine". (Although he may have misheard Mercer too.) 3) The producers may cut out the people who actually call Rick Mercer's bluff on TV. After all, it's not funny when Americans are actually smart.

And there is also one more very vital flaw. Something even more frightning than American's ignorance on Canadian culture. And that is Canada's ignorance on Canadian culture! Ask someone from Ontario what the Bluenose is. Ask someone from southern BC who the first three leaders of this country were. Ask someone from the Maritimes if they know what a "cougar" is. Will they say "a mountain lion"? And can you name at least ten Canadian actors who still do most of their work *in Canada*? Yes, Rick Mercer should do a special on the Americanization of Canada and call it "Talking To Fellow Canadians". Then it won't seem so funny.
8 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
One-note joke
digidoo9 June 2006
First off, I AM Canadian. And just recently, we've "finally" MANAGED to GET NOTICED BY THE TERRORISTS. So we are making some inroads at that whole "let's enrage people by feeling smugly superior to them thing" that you Americans are so good at doing. No offence (sorry offense) for generalizing. That being said, that's exactly what this whole "Gemini award-winning" comedy special smacks of. Childish jealousy at not being on anyone's radar.

"Let's Laugh at How Stupid The Americans Are" (aka "Talking To Americans") is a one-note joke stretched out into an hour.

Rick Mercer telling Gee-Dubya he was sending greetings from "Jean Poutine" is a bit too much like shooting fish in a barrel and would've made a great 5 or 7 minutes of shtick on "The Daily Show". (Leno has been doing these talking with "stupid people" streeters for years under the title "Jay Walking") I'm still waiting for the "Talking To Asians", "Talking To Africans" and the not to be missed, "Talking To Tin-Plated Dictators With Delusions of Grandeur" series.

Michael Moore got beneath the surface. Unfortunately Mercer's "Gemini award-winning" CBC special was all surface.

At least we don't have to be jealous anymore. We've finally become a target ourselves! They hate us... they really, really hate us!
3 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Who Cares?
sherryrice18 September 2007
Well, it might seem amusing to Canadians to talk to Americans who know little to nothing about Canada however, the joke is really on the Canadians. Why? Because Canada is really so insignificant we can't be bothered to know anything about the country. Canadians, on the other hand, are so envious of the US, they spend a great deal of time criticizing, ridiculing and insulting us. It is a national past time in Canada. I know. I lived in Canada for 6 months, Toronto specifically, and every time someone found out I was from America, they felt obligated to take a verbal swipe at my country or my countrymen. Most Americans can't be bothered to return the favor. As I said, Canada is one of the most insignificant large countries on the planet. They contribute little to the rest of the world. They have no political clout on the world stage. They aren't number one in anything except jealousy of their neighbor. So, Canadians will have to understand that we just don't care if you laugh at our lack of knowledge about Canada. The laugh is really on you.
2 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed