Monday, May 1, 2017

beaver home and cottage design book

tina srebotnjak: the man to do the formalintroductions is bob hepburn and he's the director of community relations and communicationsat the star. [applause] bob hepburn: thanks, tina. so joe clark'scoming. i heard him today say that the prime minister should come clean about the senatescandal. so maybe next week you can ask him questions about that. anyways, tina said myrole here is to formally introduce colin and richard. let me just say a few words aboutrichard at the beginning and try to keep it short with richard because he's worked for25 years professionally, in the world of performing arts and arts journalism. in that time, hehas written, directed, and acted in more than

225 productions. he served as artistic directorof five major canadian theatres and been associate director of the stratford festival. bh: he's also taught and/or directed at theuniversity of british columbia, simon frasier, winnipeg, george brown college and sheridancollege, and he's been the star's main theatre critic since the year 2000. but he also writescelebrity profiles for us, and has a regular saturday feature in the star called the biginterview. he did colin mochrie last week. he's also hosted a weekly cbc radio programon musical theatre and served as creative head of arts programming at tv ontario andin his spare time, he's written six books. [laughter]

bh: now, colin mochrie. colin was born inscotland. he says he was shy as a child, stating that neighbours would have commented thathe watched way too much television. when he was six, his family moved first to montrealand later to vancouver where he was a self-proclaimed loner who wanted to become a marine year, while in high school, a friend persuaded him to try out for a play where he playedthe role of an undertaker. bh: he was hooked when he got his first laugh.since then, colin has been entertaining canadians and fans around the world with his comedy,especially his improv, his acting, and now, with his new book, not quite classics, hiswriting. he's best known for his roles on whose line is it anyway? , this hour has 22minutes, and as host of are you smarter than

a canadian fifth grader? , i don't think i'dwant to tackle him on that one. colin has won two canadian comedy awards, a gemini award,and a writer's guild of canada award for this hour has 22 minutes. he never seems to stopworking; on stage, in films, and now at a writing desk. just a few weeks ago, he wasin australia, and now he's touring canada on a schedule that richard described in thestar last week as "more crowded than a kardashian family counselling session." bh: colin lives in toronto with his wife andson, and two dogs that he says won't come when called. bh: please welcome, colin mochrie and richardouzounian.

richard ouzounian: so, i learned, a few yearsago, the perils of trying to ad lib humorously with colin mochrie and i don't know if heremembers this, it will come back to him, it was the 50th anniversary of second cityin chicago and a bunch of us journalists, comedians, people, were all on a porter airlinesplane gonna be flying to chicago in a very bad windstorm. and i think it was your wife,deb, who tried to lighten our spirits and said, "well, if the plane goes down, i wonderwhat the newspapers will say, ha, ha ha." and i opened my big yap and said, "oh, yeah.i can see the globe now, 'canadian cultural icon, colin mochrie perishes, eight televisionshows have to finish'." there was a pause, and then he said, "and i can the toronto starnow, 'ouzounian crashes and burns once again'."

ro: so, that doesn't seem right. [laughter]i've learned i will never do it again. colin mochrie: i have to say, i thought yourresume was much more impressive than mine. 05:01 ro: yeah, but more people are interestedin yours. that's the important thing. 05:03 cm: well, sex sells. ro: you took that kardashian comment seriously,didn't you? shall we talk about the book first? and then get into your sordid life? cm: sure. ro: okay, good. in case anybody here doesn'tknow, i will say how brilliant it is, so he won't have to say it. he came up with a magnificentidea, which is take a lot of great works of

literature, and keep the first line and thelast line of them intact and then he went off to colin mochrieland in between. and sometimes,it bears a little resemblance, sometimes it bears no resemblance, but the one thing thatall the chapters have in common is that they're hilarious, and end of commercial, but youshould buy the book, it's great. it's like having, oh no, it's best to realize, thisis will be tacky, it's like having colin at your bedside table. ro: every woman's dream. cm: every man's nightmare. ro: what is your favourite chapter?

cm: oh, there's a couple. i like the sherlockholmes one because i didn't think it was a... i'd be able to write a sherlock holmes story.the only reason... most of the other chapters have nothing really to do with the originalstory but the first line of this had sherlock holmes in it so i basically had to use him.but there is no way i could come up with a mystery that would perplex the most intelligentman in the world, so i decided to use something where i felt a little superior to sherlockholmes and so he decides to become a stand-up comedian. cm: i was amazed at how easily that flowed'cause i haven't read a lot of sherlock holmes. i've seen all the movies but i've read maybea couple of the stories. but it seem to flow

and it sounded right. my agent just said "didyou write that in an english accent?" and i think i did. i could hear the voices. andthe one based on frankenstein, about a man who... okay, it's gonna sound weird, but it'sa man who strikes up a beautiful friendship with a chicken. ro: that's good. you have to read it. cm: you have to read it. i like it becauseit's cut... it's different and i find it quite touching. [chuckle] cm: i thought yes you laugh but when you readit, you will weep.

ro: and you will not eat an egg for weeks. cm: exactly. cm: so those were... i mean all of them ilike for various reasons but those two are the two that kind of stand out to me. ro: oh, i was again hearing your biographyand things that happen. the first thought i had is what if your parents had not givenup on montreal? what do you think would have happen to colin mochrie had he stayed in montreal? cm: you know what, i have no idea. there wasan even closer call. we had moved to vancouver. my father couldn't find any work. he was...he worked in a sheet metal but he had worked

on airlines fixing engines and he just couldnot get any work so he decided that's it, we're heading... we're moving back to he sold everything, we were in a motel and i think we were like two weeks away fromthe flight. and he decided at the last minute, "i'm gonna give it another try." and thentwo weeks later he got a job with air canada and that sort of changed our lives around.and i keep thinking, what would have happened if i'd gone back to scotland? i'm pretty surei wouldn't be here. ro: and billy conolly would only be the secondbest comedian in scotland. cm: yeah, i have no... i think he'd stillbe pretty safe. so i think that would have totally changed my life 'cause i'm not reallysure... i was lucky when i was in vancouver.

that's when the improv boom started to happenand that's when i got involved and that's, led to whose line which led to this. withoutthat... i have no idea 'cause i had no skills. and i'm not being humble, i had no skills. cm: there's nothing i can do. if this hadn'tworked out, i'd be so screwed. ro: you make a good sand... ro: do you make a good sandwich? cm: i'm a very good cook but i don't likepeople, so... cm: i wouldn't do well in a restaurant situation. ro: again your childhood wasn't exactly atextbook, "this is how to make a kid happy,"

being uprooted on several occasions. and ithink that you did tell me at greater length once about how awful those weeks, months inthe motel were waiting for your life to settle out. how did that, when you finally becamea comic, translate? i mean, are you fighting away that insecurity depression? or are youmocking it or pretending it didn't happen? what do you do with it? cm: i think it... that period helped me inmy improv and i could accept things. i was able to go with the flow. i had no power.i couldn't say to my father "no, we're staying," because he was scottish. cm: but i did learn throughout that, throughoutmy life it's been... when something has happened,

it's learn to sort of go with it and finda way to get around it or through it. and i've said, basically my career has been basedon revenge. so many times people said, "well, you're not gonna go anywhere, you're limited."you know, improv this was not an occupation when i was growing up, but i'm really pettyand... cm: my career is based on showing those people,yes, i can do something with what i have. sure it's limited. hopefully it will be alesson to people who think they can't do things. i make up crap for a living. cm: i could be a senator. cm: that's it.

ro: bob alluded to the fact that when youwere in high school you made a triumphant appearance in the life and death of sneakyfitch as the undertaker. but the real important thing that happened which took you years toget back to the stage was that you used that or they gave you that as a chance to startdoing your first real improv gig during the announcements. cm: oh yeah. i would... there were announcementsevery day about... there's school dance coming up on the 21st. please be there, show yoursupport. slave day, which i always thought, "slave day sounds wrong." cm: they would auction off students to peopleto raise money for the school.

ro: why didn't they ever make 12 years inkillarney high school? [chuckle] cm: i don't know, it would have gone reallywell. and so i, with a couple of friends, approached the principal and said, "i'd liketo do the announcements and maybe do it in a way that's a little funnier and perhapspeople will actually listen to them." so that... i get there a half hour before everybody elsewas there and sort of come up with a script idea. and then my friends and i would sortof improvise the announcements and it became really popular and i became famous in my schoolfor... as the guy who would do the funny announcements. it actually did help, dance attendance wentup. cm: so it was the first time i sort of realizedhow humour can actually educate people. not

educate but you listen more when you laugh. ro: can you recall any one of them that youdid? you must have one of them tucked away in your brain. cm: oh god, no. i remember i did a lot ofbatman parodies. so it's like batman and robin, the joker... well, one of the bands we hadat our high school was heart. they were pretty amazing and really cute. and so i believei was batman trying to stop joker from capturing heart and doing horrible things to them. idon't really... it was really funny. you have to trust me on this. cm: it was really funny.

ro: now it's interesting you got into twotopics here that have all intertwined. you talked about how the dance popularity wentup, and you talked about how heart was really a cute band. but you've also told me thatyou discovered early on, that being a comedian didn't get you any girls in high school. cm: oh god, no. i love women and what i loveabout them is a lot of times they don't really care what you look like. if you have a nicepersonality they'll give you a chance. where men are much more shallow that way. cm: but in high school, although many girlsliked me because i was funny and very sweet, but that made me the friend or, "you're justlike a brother i never had."

cm: unless you're at a school of hillbillies... cm: doesn't lead anywhere. so my dating lifein high school, and actually well into college, was pretty sparse. i mean i was liked butnot in that way. ro: this is something we never... cm: thanks for bringing that up, by the way. ro: we will... i will help you deliver thehappy ending later. cm: oh, good, good. ro: college, you went to vancouver city college.and you were in their theatre program. now i always forget, was it studio 58 or 55, or58?

cm: 58. ro: 58 and anthony holland was still runningit then. and he was kinda an eccentric, crusty british guy. and how did you get along withhim? cm: it was rocky our first... when i firstauditioned for him, he did this thing, and i actually saw him two days ago in vancouverand i meant to ask him this. when he would audition you, he would have a newspaper. soyou would do your audition and he would just read, and then sometimes he'd pretend to fallasleep. and i thought, "well, this isn't really welcoming." and it's hard for you to do yourbest work when you see, hear the rustling and sleeping. but he... and again i shouldask him this, he admitted me to the school

and it was a tough school to get into andi was pretty raw and i don't think i was that good, but sex sells. cm: so we get through our first term and wehave our end of term's one on one and all he said to me was, "you're very good at lowcomedy." cm: i took that as a compliment. cm: because anthony also was very good atlow comedy. he would direct some shows and he would put things in and we'd go, "wow,that's just... betty hill would be ashamed to do that." but i think i actually wore himdown and he actually really started to enjoy me and think i was funny and liked me andbefore i graduated we had this really lovely

bond. we still communicate through emails.he just turned 92 and a half. he's doing five one man shows, tuesdays with morrie. he'sworking more than i am. and he's still sharp as a tack. he's a little slower, of course,physically, but he's a great inspiration. and he said, "i'll give you my book if yousend me yours." so he gave me his book which i just read on the plane, fascinating story,so now i have to buy a book and send it to him. ro: now in the middle of this, well maybenot conventional but more traditional theatre background, you were lucky a kind of a doorjust opened up that would take you somewhere for the rest of your life, the day that thoseguys came. tell me about it.

cm: i was... a friend of... i was still intheatre school and a friend was doing a play reading of a new play, and part of the eveningwas there was a thing that had been invented by this englishman living in calgary calledtheatresports which was improv diner sports setting. there were two teams. there was areferee who would issue challenges. and there were judges that would judge the improv. andthe improvisers were amazing people. there was morris panych, who is a great director.bob baker, also director, and i think he was artistic director of the citadel for a while. ro: still is. cm: still is? and some great actors. jilldaum...

ro: jay brazeau? cm: jay brazeau. yeah. and they did this theatresportswhere they got suggestions from the audience and made up things and i was just... i justfell in love with it, partly because i'm lazy and i thought, "hey, you don't have to learnstuff." but i just thought, "this was the greatest things!" so i immediately, i heardthere were some theatresports workshops and signed up and found that i just... i didn'tactually need a lot of workshops. i immediately got it and felt so comfortable in that worldand that the next week i was doing matches. cm: and we were doing it in a small was the perfect theatre for improv. it was small and intimate kind of a... therewas a three-cornered stage and the audience

was really close and we were doing shows at11 o'clock at night. when we were starting, we would run to th mcdonald's next door andpull people in and say, "yeah, you've got to watch this." and by the end of the year,we were the big thing in vancouver. people would line up around the block at midnightto see these people make up with a show before their very eyes and it was... the great thingit wasn't just actors. there was... there are writers, directors but the one of thegreat improvisers, he was a cable installer. it just seemed to speak to people who hadthis... needed this outlet to do it and it was so much fun. ro: the first time you did it successfully,did you feel like, i don't know, you had done

drugs or you were on a high, or you jumpedout of a plane? what was it like? cm: well, never having done drugs... ro: did you inhale while you improv-ed? cm: no. it did have that what i imagine heroinewould be. it was just this incredible rush. it was a rush from beginning to end just asyou're standing up stage and you realize, "oh the audience has bought tickets to seea show. we don't have it." and that's when the rush starts. cm: and then you go out and there's... it'ssort of a... it's a rush mixed with a calm. there's that excitement but there's also,"i'm home, i'm with these people that i trust

and i know it's all gonna work out." there'sthis optimism that i have in no other part of my life where i know it's gonna work out.and there is that rush of i just made that up and this entire audience with their differencesand their... whatever makes them laugh, laugh at this thing i said, it's just really did become... whenever there was a week where i didn't play, it was so depressingand i couldn't watch because that depressed me more, especially if they were good. you'reso, "oh." because i wanted to jump up there and do it. i just wanted to perform all thetime. ro: again, they always say the actor's nightmareis the actor waking up or having a dream that he's in a play and doesn't know the lines,doesn't know what he's supposed to say. would

your nightmare be that you are in a play andyou had a memorized script? would that be... cm: no. i'm actually very good... i'm a verygood memorizer. scripts come very easily to me which is great because i don't put a lotof work into them so i can just read them the day of, do them. but i was reminded iwas in winnipeg last night and i saw a couple of old friends, rob mccath and miriam smith,and miriam and i had done a show called i'll be back before midnight at the vancouver playhouse.and we're in this farm in the middle of nowhere, there's a sinister handyman, there's possiblyan incestuous relationship with the sister but it's... we're in the middle of nowhere.and there was this scene where the door of the big pot-bellied stove is supposed to blowopen and it's kind of little scary and it's

fine. well for some i guess they put a littletoo much explosive in and it blew the thing off the top and there was a fire. cm: i mean not a big fire but there was afire in this stove and i'm looking at it going, "i'm an improviser. i should come up withsomething." cm: and i'm looking at it, and miriam's kindof looking at me going, "hmm." and there was nothing. and then the stage manager came onwith a fire extinguisher, put out the fire and left, and i had all that time and i stillcould not think of anything. i was going, "how do i explain a woman with a fire extinguishercoming on to this deserted farm and then just leaving, we'd never see her again?"

ro: but if it was an improv sketch she wouldhave been there... cm: oh it would have been perfect but i keptthinking, "there's no way i can make sense of this so it never happened." ro: now, it's great that you're talking, tellingthe story. do you think then improv versus traditional theatre maybe a right brain, leftbrain kind of thing? you know, different parts of you? cm: yeah, it is a different muscle. when iwas doing art with pete donaldson, evan buliung and i hadn't done theatre in a long time andmorris was directing and they were incredibly supportive and protective of me because ihadn't done it for a while, but it is that...

like there was also that worry that, "oh,he's gonna start making up stuff," and i never would in a play because i really respect theplaywright. it's your job to use those words to get their ideas and their view across.but it was a totally... it never even came into my mind, "oh, i'm gonna try a new linehere, see if that works." it was just, "this is the work. this is what i'm gonna do. ihave to make this clear." cm: and there was one line that i was surewas a joke. and i couldn't get the laugh. and i was... i tried a little improv in myhead, like, "oh, i'll try it like i'm really upset because of something, maybe that'llgive the inflection it needs," and nothing. and two days before the end of the show, i'dtotally given up. and it got the laugh. and

i didn't know why. and that was irritating,[laughter] it was like, "why did it get the laugh now?" and i'm pretty sure i didn't doanything different, but for some reason the audiences one laughed. and that, for the restof the show, just niggled at me. but it was still a good performance. ro: okay, good. now, you're in your 20's,you're improvising next door to mcdonald's, city stage, right? the basement and everything.and it's fun, but did you ever say, "is this going anywhere?", or... cm: no. i mean, we started getting paid becauseit started becoming very successful, and then we started doing improvised shows. we didan improvised hamlet, which went really well.

it's hamlet and his friends have a theatresportsmatch against claudius and his friends. but there's still parts of the play, so, you know,polonius gets killed in the middle, and his father's ghost comes in the middle of a matchand gives him advice. and it became a big success. and then we did another one calledsuspect, a game of murder, which was a murder mystery and was hugely successful, and probablyone of the best shows i've ever been involved with. had a great mixture of script and improv.and we started making money, so we started getting paid, but i thought, "that's it." cm: and then expo happened, and we were doinga lot of improv shows, which was fun, but then i started, i felt like i was just doingthe same thing over and over again, and i

was looking for a challenge. and the womani was with at the time said, "why don't we go to toronto?" because we have some friendsthere, maybe do more theatre. so i moved out there, ryan stiles was on the show with me,and who i had improvised with the theatresports was at second city. and he called one dayand said, "there's an opening in the touring company, you should come and audition forit." so i did, and the woman who auditioned me was deb mcgrath, who i ended up was a gruelling audition. cm: covered so many bases, i thought, "what'sthis about? washing dishes?" cm: and i then got involved with second city,and then whose line came through that. the whose line producers were doing a cross-countryaudition tour, and they saw our cast, and

auditioned us. ro: but with true mochrie luck. cm: yeah, because we worked as a cast, wewere doing what you're supposed to do in improv. you support each other and you make each otherlook good, and you work on making the scene look good. so we were doing great scenes,but nobody stood out. so none of us got cast. and then the next year, deb and her writingpartner, linda cash, had written a show that was being produced by imagine we moved down to la, and the whose line people came through again, and i was auditioningwith people i didn't know, so it was, "hey, screw you. look at me."

cm: and an important lesson for the kids outthere, look out for yourself at all costs. ro: yeah so... 'cause that worked. no? cm: yeah. and then i got it. and went to england,my first show, i sucked. but luckily ryan stiles, they were doing some shows in newyork the next year, and ryan said, "give colin another chance." and they had kinda likedme, they were just disappointed that my first show was so horrible. so they paired me upwith ryan, who i'd worked with for years before whose line, and it worked. ro: now on that show, when you're horrible,does it mean you can't think of anything to say, or everything you say doesn't work, oreverything you say just lands like an egg,

or... what is it? cm: i was just very tentative. i'd met thethree other people a couple hours before we taped the show, and they were lovely, theywere all lovely, and they knew each other, and they had worked together, and i was theoutsider. and i just played mind games on myself, going, "oh, will britain understandme? yes, we speak the same language, but will they get this weird canadian, and... " i thinki got one laugh, when i pretended i was a salmon, and... ro: that was canadian. cm: yes, it was very canadian but nothingto build a career on.

cm: so the producer, before the show, danpatterson said, "if it goes well, you can do the show on sunday." then after the show,he came up and said, "so you're leaving monday, are you?" cm: which i felt was a bad sign. but oncehe paired me up with ryan, from there, they just kept adding more shows for me. althoughevery year, i would get the contract, and they would contract me for two shows. andi would always end up doing the entire thing, but they just wanted to hedge their bets. ro: again, it was rehearsed and performedand taped in a very short period of time, right?

cm: yeah, it was... we'd go to britain, andi think their order was 12 shows. so that would be three weekends. ro: wow. so in effect, the big chunk of yourcareer that people remember you for, made you a star was done like a couple of longweekends. cm: yeah, it didn't take any time at all,and it sort of came back to bite me in the posterior, because people thought i was justworking all the time when in fact i was doing three weekends and then, every once in a while,i'd get cast in some things but because it was all spread out over weeks, people thought,"oh, he's just constantly working and saying yes to everything." it's like, "no. i'm sayingyes to things four months apart. i have to

work." especially during the time when i wasdoing 22 minutes and whose line, i was going back and forth between halifax and la andthe la stuff was really easy. as i said, three weekends. the halifax stuff was considerablyharder. ro: yeah. cm: there was a lot of writing and a lot ofworking and... ro: but is that more competitive too, though? cm: oh, yeah because there was that wednesdayreading where everybody has their material and they read all their material and thenthe producers go away and they pick what's your... the first week i was there, i wrotei think, 10 sketches and i think one got picked.

and greg thomey came up to me afterwards andsaid, "don't do that. write maybe three, because once they're gone, they rarely come back andtake them again." ro: okay. cm: and so, i learned to actually write onthe plane when i was going to the studio and those were the ones that would always getpicked for some reason. i would just type something in the two-hour flight to halifaxand then read it and always. and so, i realized everything i say is a really bad life lesson. cm: don't put a lot of thought into your work. cm: and don't work well with others.

cm: yeah. ro: well, it's funny. mary walsh was herea little while ago and in one of the off-stage conversations we were having, i said, "howcome the newfoundland comedy tradition is so built on the rant, with everyone going..." and she said, "well, it's so no one else can fucking get a line in and interrupt youand ruin your show and that's why, i'm not gonna... rick mercer, shut up. cathy, shutup. i'm talking now." cm: mary was amazing. she would come in andi'd have my little weird sketch and she would have these rants and she would have like,a paragraph, and then she'll say, "i'll do the rest when we tape." and they go, "yeah,okay." and then come up with this amazing

material. she just amazed me every week. shewas amazing to watch. i wish i had like a tenth of her writing skill. ro: i mean, again, she does something differentlike when you improvise, you either improvise within a sketch or you improvise verbally,word games, but have you ever improvised at length a character or improvised around thecharacter? cm: in toronto, and i urge you to see theseguys if you ever do, because they're great, the national theatre of the world. cm: one of the many things they do is theyimprovise a play based on the playwright. with them, i've done tennessee williams, chekhov,mamet, noel coward. and it starts off, they

talk to the audience. they ask what's happeningin your world, what's happening in the world today. then from that, we'd get a title andjust do a one-act play as if it was written by tennessee williams, and we keep the samecharacter. and what i love about that process is unlike with the short... when you're playingshort games, people always jump in and do stuff. the pace is slower. people leave scenes,which you never see in the short form, and it has just this wonderful integrity to thecharacter and the style. and yes, it's not gonna be a tennessee williams that you wouldsee in a tennessee williams, but it has enough of the flavour and it's still wacky but it'sstill true to the form and i loved doing that. i've had so much fun working with them.

ro: that's cool. i don't know if i'm misrememberingor not, but i seem to recall a corner gas episode that you appeared on... cm: yes. ro: where the joke was how many shows colinmochrie was on at the time? cm: yes. it was, i think the concept was hankwas going to join an improv group and there was a lot of fun and they were having a lotof... making a lot of fun about improv and it was in the diner and they were talkingabout, "that bald guy is in everything." cm: then i walk by, go, "hey, brett," andhe goes, "hey," and i keep walking. and at the end, i did a little... brett was doinga public announcement about libraries and

reading books and i just came in and hornedin and he just went, "you are in everything, aren't you?" cm: but again, i wasn't. three weekends i'dworked that year. cm: but it was fun to do. mark farrell, whoran 22 minutes, also ran corner gas so he... i mean, it's so canadian. he said, "is italright if we make fun of you?" cm: i went, "yeah, because you'd be the first." ro: now, again, the typical thing we get withcolin mochrie is, "i'm gonna dump on myself, probably so you won't do it or i'll do itbefore you and i'm gonna tell you how insecure i am." what would make you feel that you werereally validated and accepted as a performer

or a star or a canadian or anything? cm: my god, i don't know! you know what? ifelt validated by the success of whose line. when they were doing the american version,there were talks of maybe of me not being part of that because i'm bald and i was older,and you don't want to see that on american television. cm: and dan patterson, the producer, said,"you know what? it works with the ugly guys." cm: so... and he was right, there's no suchthing as a good-looking improviser. and then when we went to the cw, which is a youth-orientednetwork, there was a headline in the newspaper, "cw pins hopes on older, ugly people."

ro: and this is... i've asked you to thinkof your most successful thing and this is what's coming out. cm: oh yeah, no this is... but here's thething, again, they were talking about replacing ryan and i because we're older. every tapingwe did for the cw, the audience was under 25, and they laughed at us even though wewere old. for me, it was like, "yes, we're not doing hard-hitting satire. we're justdoing goofy comedy that any age can laugh at." and when you're doing it, you tend toslough it off because it's goofy. but i've had so many people come up and say, "i wasgoing through a horrible time, a divorce, a family member was dying."

cm: deb and i were at a leafs game and thisyoung boy came up and he had his leafs sweater and he said, "could you sign this?" and isaid, "yeah, do you really want me to sign the sweater though? i'll sign anything but..." he started to cry. he said, "my father and i used to watch your show all the time. hegot cancer. when he was sick, we would watch it and we would forget for that half hour."and deb and i are just like crying, cut to the jumbotron. cm: but we talked to this young man, and hewas just one of many people who come up. for me, i always thank them for reminding me that,yes, we're doing a service in a way. for half an hour you can forget whatever's happeningin your life, whatever's happening in the

world. so, for me, that validated what i wasdoing. i thought, "yeah, it is goofy. yeah, i'm making up crap but i'm doing somethingfor a little while for someone." not everyone can say that. so i'm i am proud of what who'sline has done, it's started that improv out there. it started groups in schools so kidshave been improvising. families have come up and said, "we play the games with the kids.we have the improv nights." so i'm real... for me, that makes me feel great, that reallystokes my ego. ro: the other thing is probably the big successof your life is your marriage. cm: a lot of work. ro: i know deb works very hard.

cm: deb has worked incredibly hard, incrediblyhard. ro: when you guys met, who kinda marked whofirst? cm: oh, her. ro: really? cm: marked, okay. and because... ro: she said i want that ugly, bald guy? cm: when we... when i auditioned for her,she said, "it's between you and the cute guy." i got it. there were... part of the problemwas she was married. yeah, it tends to be a sticking point. again, i was not... andthis will surprise many of you, i was not

that at ease with women. i was... i lovedwomen and i was very good as a friend. but it was never... i never thought, "oh, here'swho i'm going after," or "this woman's... " i missed every signal. and a couple of monthsafter we had been working together, we went up to a friend's cottage and she kept tryingto get me to go places with her. like she said, "oh there's these amazing flowers youshould come and see," and i go, "i'm just reading this book." cm: she said, "oh, down here i just saw theseamazing animals. we should go... " i go, "oh, well, we're just playing some trivial pursuit."god bless her for hanging in there. and then she said, "let's take a canoe ride." i went,"nobody else is up, alright." so we went out

and it was really hot. i kept going, "am igetting burnt?" 'cause i... she goes, "no, no, no. listen, i'm kind of attracted to youand fa fa fa." and i kept... i just kept going, "i think i'm getting sun burnt." cm: so we kind of discussed her feeling. thenwe went back and sure enough, i was burnt. i was totally, totally burnt. cm: it was an awful time in many ways becauseof just the whole situation of breaking up a marriage. but it ended up lovely and herex-husband and... he comes over for dinner, he lives in edmonton. he's a great improviser,a great actor. for me, it was... although it had a horrible start, it was really meantto be. 'cause she... oddly enough, she said,

"i thought you'd be easier to change." cm: but i've actually changed quite a bitbecause of her. she's an incredibly optimistic person, almost sickeningly so. through her,i've learnt to see what i have and enjoy what i have. she's done incredible things for me,and i'm just... everyday, when i see her, just, i'm constantly, i have my breath takenaway from her. i'll just look at her and go, "oh, how did this happen?" and i'm not goingto cry. i said i wouldn't. cm: but yeah, she's an amazing... she's animportant, an incredibly important part of my life. and without her, again, i wouldn'tbe out here. she pushes me and makes sure that i work at the top of my game.

ro: that's great. i think that's a good thingto go to audience questions on. ro: don't be afraid. cm: i am very sweet, just... ro: does nobody want to improvise with him? 42:45 cm: no. ro: i have more i can ask him, but i thoughtyou guys always like to have a chance out there. no? what would... yes. come to themicrophone, please. ro: so you can be humiliated publicly. cm: hello.

s?: hi, how are you? cm: i'm fine, how are you? s?: good. cm: what's your name? s?: samara. really excited to meet you. cm: oh, of course you are. s?: what would you say to an up-and-comingperformer who's trying to give it their all and just pushing through and trying to getto hopefully one day somewhat of what you have?

cm: give up. cm: my thing is make sure, make sure thatthis is the thing that you want to do. and make sure you're doing it because you loveit and not because you want celebrity or to be a star. because sometimes that love ofit is all you have. and yourself. and do it wherever you can. when i was starting improvising,we would have... be working on a really small theatre where the cast would outnumber theaudience. but through that, you learn where your strengths are. you learn how, "oh, alright,i have to entertain this audience of three." and you work really hard and you find waysto do it and some of those shows were actually some of the most fulfilling shows i've everhad. it's... is it actor or improvising?

s?: acting. cm: yeah. yeah. s?: but still. cm: no acting, 'cause acting is tough becauseyou have to depend on others to hire you. what you can do, what's great now as opposedto when i was growing up in the last century, is you have like youtube and the internetso you can actually get your stuff out there. if you write monologues for yourself and sortof get it out. but go to classes. do it wherever you can. go to the actra union. look at theboard and see where there's scene classes. just do it. and you... my thing always was,there are many improvisers as good or better

than me. thousands. but the thing that i had,was i'm really stubborn. and my thing was, i'm gonna hang in until everyone else quitsor dies. cm: and then partly because, as i said before,i had nothing else to fall back on, so i had to. but yeah, the first thing is, make sure,if there's anything else you can do, anything else that you love doing, check into that. cm: really. because acting can be at times,soul destroying and rejection all the time. and you have to be strong to get through that.and you have to have this belief in yourself. it is really easy for that belief to erodeaway after weeks and years of rejection. this must really be depressing you.

s?: oddly not because you ended up where youare. cm: and you know what, when i became famous,i was 40. so that was... i'm 42 now. cm: and it's just going at it. and if youlove it, do it for the love. a lot of times, luck plays a big part of it. and all you cando is be ready for when that break happens, and go for it with all your might. s?: thank you. cm: thank you, thank you. ro: others? yep. all the women come to seeyou. cm: well, sex sells.

cm: i'm fine, how are you? nice to see youagain. s?: i have a question for you. for somebodywho's studying directing movies, you've acted in many shows. what advice would you havefor a director as an actor? cm: oh. s?: what would you expect from a directoras an actor? cm: i like personally for a director to sortof stay out of my way until i'm way off. and then for them to say, "you know what, no,you're wrong." 'cause i like to try to find my own way. i've had directors, "actually,this is what i want you to do." and actually act the scene out for me. and it's like, "well,then why didn't you do it? why did you hire

me?" you could probably answer this best. ro: no, no, no. cm: 'cause you've directed. ro: you've had some ornery directors. cm: i've had some... i was in a movie withjohn travolta and it was... nora ephron directed. and... yeah. cm: and of course as usual in my movie career,my part was cut. but i think there was a small part of it. but she was lovely and she treatedeveryone, whether it was john travolta or me, like we were equals. and would come upand say, "this is really nice. why don't you

try... " i love the 'why don't you try' becauseeven if that particular thing doesn't work, it could lead to something else. it couldspark something else that the actor can grab onto and make their own. and she had a calmness,which i've worked with many directors who don't have that and i find it hard to workin a combative... s?: like hostile sort of... cm: yeah, it's exhausting and i tense up.i love sets where everyone is relaxed. and usually the tone is set by the director andthe star where it's, "we're having fun here. we're making a movie, we're gonna work, butit's not rocket science. no one should die at the end of it." so creating an atmospherewhere the artists feel comfortable enough

to go anywhere and feel creative enough togive you what you want, i think that's one of the more important things. and a good crafttable. s?: craft services, yeah. one more questionif that's okay? cm: yep. s?: as a canadian entering the film industry,what would say? would you say stick it out or go the united states? cm: you know what, the canadian in me saysstick it out because we need people making movies here in canada and forcing canadiansto see them. cm: and i don't mean it that bad. i feel thereis this... and it's a hold back from when...

when i was growing up, the thing was, "no,don't watch that, it's canadian." and i think now, that is totally off base. we have productsthat are equal to anything in the world. every year, there's a canadian movie in the oscarrace, in the foreign movie, which still... anyway. cm: 'cause we're so different from them inmany ways. well, we are. believe me, i can't say yes stay in canada 'cause i went to thestates and did a show, but i do try to come back and try to get things happening herebecause the natural resources of this country are largely untapped and criminally ignored.actors, directors, writers get the short script. they don't get... there isn't the money thatamerica has. there isn't the government support,

but there also isn't support of the mediaand the audience a lot of times are apathetic. yes, there's a rabid group of canadian nationalistswho watch everything but we need to broaden that. and it doesn't mean making our productmore american-like. it doesn't even have to be this movie is canadian. if you make a moviewith canadians, a canadian has written it, a canadian has directed, it's a canadian don't have to beat over the head, "we're canadian, look there's a beaver." cm: we should be free to write our story.newfoundland, quebec, bc, all of these provinces are incredibly different. they're all incrediblycanadian and they all come up with a product that speaks to us. that speaks to i'd say, yes, try to do it here. try to

do it here. try to change the landscape here,then go to the states. cm: thank you. ro: we can probably do one more, one morequestion. you coming up? cm: sure, here we go. all women. s?: hi. cm: hi. s?: i'm just curious, you've talked a lotabout what got you here and i'm just curious if you have plans for the future and i knowthat whose line has come back this year and i'm just curious what your plans are.

cm: well first, god bless you, thinking ihave plans. s?: no pressure. cm: my entire career has been, what? justgoing from one thing to another. i have had this 45-year plan that seems to be going verywell. i would love to do... well, i love doing what i'm doing. i love... brad sherwood andi have been touring for the last 11 years. i love that show because we don't have anyinterference. we're succeeding and failing on our own merit. when we're good, we're good.when we suck it's because we suck. we don't have someone saying, "hey, you should havea wacky black neighbour." which is, in television and movies, everybody has a say and what youwant to do may not end up being in the final

product. that said, and i think i may havementioned this to you, i have always wanted to do an action movie. cm: because, when you watch your typical actionmovie and you see the hero, whether it's a schwarzenegger or van damme or channing tatumor whoever the new one is, you pretty much know it's gonna work out. if i was the actionstar... cm: there'd be a little more tension. they'dsay, "is he gonna make it to the second reel or is he just gonna... " so i don't thinkanyone will ever do that, but i think it would be a brave choice. and you'd go see it, wouldn'tyou? s?: yeah.

ro: so, mr. mochrie, is there anything i haven'tasked you you want to expound on? cm: no. for those of you who bought the book,thank you. this was a hellish experience. it really was. i'm used to working with peopleand this was working by myself hoping that what i was doing was funny. i had great helpfrom adrian, my editor, and carly watters who was my literary agent and jeff andrewswho made me do this 'cause he's a dick. cm: no, i just said that 'cause he's here. ro: and you meant it in the nicest way? cm: i meant it in the swedish way. but, youknow what, it was one of my proudest achievements, having finished this book, having... i'm reallyhappy with the way it turned out and i hope

you enjoy it. and if not, in the summer, youcan use it to kill flies. cm: win-win. ro: colin, thank you very much. thank you.colin mochrie, everybody.


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