The Great Mercer

Peter Williamson and Ira Levy of Breakthrough Films and Television wanted comedian Rick Mercer to host their new TV series, It Seems Like Yesterday. At the time, Mercer had gained a reputation from his stage plays and a CBC TV series, This Hour Has 22 Minutes (1993-2001). Williamson said, “Although Rick’s in his 20s, he has such a droll sense of humor and is such a vital kind of Canadian that he’s the perfect host for the show.”

“I like getting paid to learn things, so the history show sounded pretty good,” Mercer told Christopher Harris of the Canadian Press. “Then they mentioned that they also did Dudley the Dragon, and I said, ‘Well, I’d really like to do Dudley the Dragon.'”

And so he did. Mercer played The Great Mezmra, the flamboyant fortune-teller.

“I think I got to play the only character on Dudley never to see the error of his ways. So it was very appealing.”

Yes, indeed. And Mercer’s performance was appealing enough that in October 1998, he won a Gemini for Best Performance in a Pre-School Program or Series.

Source: Christopher Harris, (Canadian Press)–Kingston Whig – Standard. Kingston, Ontario, November 4, 1997, “Popular Funny Man Broadens Horizons,” pg. 22.

Mezmra photo © Breakthrough Entertainment Inc.