Fact Check

A Truly Canadian Apology

Did Canadian comedian Rick Mercer offer a satirical 'truly Canadian apology to the USA' on television?

Published Mar 8, 2003

Claim:   Canadian comedian Rick Mercer offered a satirical "truly Canadian apology to the USA" on television.

Status:   Not quite.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2003]

A truly Canadian Apology to the USA, courtesy of Rick Mercer from This Hour Has 22 Minutes, CBC Television:

Hello. I'm Anthony St. George on location here in Washington.

On behalf of Canadians everywhere I'd like to offer an apology to the United States of America. We haven't been getting along very well recently and for that, I am truly sorry. I'm sorry we called George Bush a moron. He is a moron, but it wasn't nice of us to point it out. If it's any consolation, the fact that he's a moron shouldn't reflect poorly on the people of America. After all, it's not like you actually elected him.

I'm sorry about our softwood lumber. Just because we have more trees than you, doesn't give us the right to sell you lumber that's cheaper and better than your own. It would be like if, well, say you had ten times the television audeince we did and you flood our market with great shows, cheaper than we could produce. I know you'd never do that.

I'm sorry we beat you in Olympic hockey. In our defence I guess our excuse would be that our team was much, much, much, much better than yours. As word of apology, please accept all of our NHL teams which, one by one, are going out of business and moving to your fine country.

I'm sorry about our waffling on Iraq. I mean, when you're going up against a crazed dictator, you want to have your friends by your side. I realize it took more than two years before you guys pitched in against
Hitler, but that was different. Everyone knew he had weapons.

I'm sorry we burnt down your White House during the War of 1812. I see you've rebuilt it! It's very nice.

I'm sorry for Alan Thicke, Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Loverboy, that song from Seriff that ends with a really high-pitched long note. Your beer. I know we had nothing to do with your beer, but we feel your pain.

And finally on behalf of all Canadians, I'm sorry that we're constantly apologizing for things in a passive-aggressive way which is really a thinly veiled criticism. I sincerely hope that you're not upset over this. Because we've seen what you do to countries you get upset with.

For 22 minutes, I'm Anthony St. George, and I'm sorry.

Origins:   Comedian Rick Mercer is well known to most Canadians as one of the original stars of "This Hour Has 22 Minutes," a satirical news program aired by CBC television. Among the program's highlights were Mercer's editorial rants and his

"Talking to Americans" feature, in which he skewered American pretensions by posing questions about Canadian politics and geography to folks from the U.S. to reveal how little Americans really know about their northern neighbors. Mercer also made U.S. news in February 2000 when he intercepted Texas Governor George W. Bush on the presidential campaign trail in Michigan and asked the Governor to comment on his endorsement by Canadian Prime Minister "Jean Poutine." Governor Bush responded that he was honored by the endorsement, apparently not recognizing "poutine" as the name of a French-Canadian concoction of french fries, gravy, and cheese curds. (Canada's Prime Minister is Jean Chretien.)

All that said, we have to point out that although the U.S.-thumping "apology" quoted above (circulating in truncated form) was aired during the 11 February 2003 episode of "This Hour Has 22 Minutes," it wasn't delivered by Rick Mercer, who left the show in 2001. This piece issued from the mouth of Mercer's replacement, comedian Colin Mochrie, in his role as reporter Anthony St. George:

Last updated:   14 October 2008

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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