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The Red Green Show

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Red Green

The Red Green Show is a television comedy that has aired on the CBC in Canada and on PBS in the United States from 1991 through the present (as of 2005).

The show, a parody of home improvement and do it yourself shows, is essentially a cross between a sitcom and a sketch comedy series. Each episode unfolds through a series of unconnected comedic sketches, but unlike a sketch comedy, all sketches draw from the same single set of characters.

The title character, Red Green (Steve Smith), is a lazy handyman who trusts the vast majority of his work to duct tape, which he refers to as "the handyman's secret weapon". He and the rest of the Possum Lodge, a fictional men's club in the small town of Possum Lake (the town of Port Asbestos is also often mentioned), Canada, have their own TV show (which is more or less the show itself), in which they give humorous lessons and demonstrations in repairwork and fishing, and advice for men on relating to women. The characters Bob & Doug McKenzie (from SCTV's Great White North sketch) are an obvious comparison, and a likely inspiration.

The show has gained a general structure over time; the basic conceit is that it is a cable TV show, taped in part on a hand-held camera by Red's nerdy nephew Harold.

There is at least one segment of Red demonstrating one of his unlikely and madcap inventions — memorable exemplars include a paddlewheeler made out of pallets and a revolving door, a jetpack made out of two barbecue grilles, and a kiddie ride made from a bar stool attached to the agitator of a washing machine — and the segment customarily concludes with the aphorism, "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."

He also gives some sage advice to older men from behind his workbench, which usually involves married life or coping with changing society ("Let's face it," he quips, "these days, if you're not young, you're old."), concluding, "Remember, I'm pulling for you. We're all in this together."

Other regular segments include the Possum Lodge Word Game, in which a contestant has to get his partner to say a certain word within thirty seconds (á la Password; although it usually takes about a minute before the contestant accidentally guesses correctly); the Experts Portion where Red and another character answer alleged letters from viewers, always giving ridiculous advice; Hap Shaughnessy's preposterous "true" anecdotes about his life--he's been an astronaut and one time advised Walt Disney on how many fingers to put on Mickey Mouse; and a slapstick-based black-and-white home-movie-style sketch (formerly called "Adventures with Bill").

Finally, the show concludes with Red giving the same hockey tip to the audience as a farewell, saying "and remember, keep your stick on the ice," followed by a general meeting of the Lodge membership, where the first item is a ritual stating of their motto: "Quando omni flunkus moritati" (Pseudo-Latin for "if all else fails, play dead"). This is followed by the Man's Prayer: "I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess." The Man's Prayer was originally introduced as the Men Anonymous Pledge in Season 6 where it was answered with raucous laughter and applause, but due to its regular use since Season 9 its response from the audience had been diminished to a few chuckles.

A movie based on this show has been produced, Duct Tape Forever.

The Red Green Show was produced first by CHCH-TV in Hamilton, then CFPL-TV in London, and then Global Television in Toronto, before finding its permanent home at the CBC in the late 1990s.

From 2000, Red Green has been "Ambassador of Scotch® Duct Tape" for 3M. [1] (http://www.3m.com/intl/CA/english/about_us/press_releases/pnews00-01-s.html)

Smith originally created the character of Red Green for his 1979-1985 sketch comedy series Smith & Smith. The character also appeared in Me & Max and The Comedy Mill before becoming the focus of his own series.

In previous years, the show would stage live mini-telethons (sometimes called "Red Green-a-thons") for public television stations in the United States.

Cast members

Character's name Actor's name
Red Green Steve Smith
Harold Green Patrick McKenna
Bill Smith Rick Green
Ed Frid Jerry Schaefer
Buzz Sherwood Peter Wildman
Ranger Gord Peter Keleghan
Bob Stuyvesant Bruce Hunter
Dalton Humphrey Bob Bainborough
Glen Brackston Mark Wilson
Dougie Franklin Ian Thomas
Hap Shaughnessy Gordon Pinsent
Mike Hamar Wayne Robson
Edgar Montrose Graham Greene
Winston Rothschild III    Jeff Lumby
Kevin Black Paul Gross
Arnie Dogan Albert Schultz
Dwight Cardiff George Buza
Adventurer Walter Joel Harris

In addition to the regular cast, there have been a number of guest stars who have appeared on the show, the most notable of which include Don Harron, reprising his Hee Haw character Charlie Farquharson, and Colin Mochrie from the television comedy improv Whose Line Is It Anyway? (playing Frank Kepke, a hobbyist/store owner who makes things entirely out of hot dogs). Various people have also been taken directly from the live studio audience to appear on the show.

There have also been several unseen characters who are mentioned frequently in Red Green's anecdotes about life around Possum Lodge, including Stinky Peterson, Moose Thompson, Old Man Sedgwick, Wally Kibbler (Red's rival in highschool and the mayor of Possum Lake), and Red's wife Bernice.

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