Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This Hour Has 22 Minutes
This Hour Has 22 Minutes is a Canadian television comedy. Launched in 1993, the show focuses on Canadian politics, combining news parody, sketch comedy and satirical editorials. Originally featuring Cathy Jones, Rick Mercer, Greg Thomey and Mary Walsh, the series featured satirical sketches of the weekly news and Canadian political events. The show's format is a mock news program, intercut with comic sketches and humorous interviews of public figures. Its name is a parody of This Hour Has Seven Days, a CBC newsmagazine from the sixties.
Jones and Walsh had previously worked together on the sketch comedy series CODCO, on which Thomey sometimes appeared as a guest. Mercer had been a notable writer and performer on his own, touring several successful shows of comedic political commentary.
The show will return in Fall, 2005 for its thirteenth season on CBC. Salter Street Films produced the series until the 2003-2004 season. Salter Street was acquired by in 2001 by Alliance Atlantis, and production of the series was transferred directly to Alliance Atlantis in 2004.
- Cathy Jones (1993- ) as anchor Sydney Dubizzenchyk and various correspondents and sketch characters
- Greg Thomey (1993- ) as anchor Frank MacMillan and various correspondents and sketch characters. Thomey appeared less often in season 12.
- Shaun Majumder (replaced Colin Mochrie from 2003- ) as anchor Tucker T. Bartlett and various correspondents and sketch characters.
- Mark Critch (recurring member from 2003- ), as anchor Bas MacLaren and various sketch characters.
- Gavin Crawford (Guest stared from 2003-04; Replaced Mary Walsh from 2004- ), as anchor Gavin Cooper and various sketch characters.
- Rick Mercer (1993-2001) as anchor J.B. Dixon and various correspondents and sketch characters. Mercer left the show to devote more time to Made in Canada; after that show ended he launched Rick Mercer's Monday Report, a series very similar to 22 Minutes.
- Colin Mochrie (replaced Rick Mercer from 2001-2003) as anchor Antony St. George and various correspondents and sketch characters. Mochrie left the show after two seasons to pursue his own projects and other movie roles.
- Mary Walsh (1993-2004) as anchor Molly McGuire and various correspondents and sketch characters. Walsh appeared less often in season 11 and left the series because she is pursuing her flourishing film career and also continuing to host Mary Walsh: Open Book, a CBC series in which she moderates a celebrity panel discussing books and literature.
22 Minutes Reunion
- Mary Walsh reunited with Rick Mercer talking about politicians and went skating as she guest-starred on the January 17th, 2005 episode of Rick Mercer's Monday Report, putting to rest rumours they had a difficult working relationship while on 22 Minutes.
Regular characters and segments
- Talking to Americans - Rick Mercer tours the United States, talking to Americans as if from a Canadian news program, asking them about "Canadian issues." The object is to prove how little Americans know about their northern neighbours. The piece was so popular that the CBC had Mercer create a one-hour TV special based on the segment. It became the highest rated comedy special in Canadian television history. Some truly memorable bits include Rick Mercer getting Americans to say "Congratulations Canada on legalizing VCRs!" and getting a professor at Princeton University to sign a petition against the re-starting of the Annual Toronto Polar Bear Hunt. In an election 2000 segment, he convinced then-Governor of Texas George W. Bush that Canada's Prime Minister was named Jean Poutine and that he was supporting Bush's candidacy.
- No Pun Intended - is a Ludacris-ish Indian rapper played by Shaun Majumder.
- Babe Bennett - A 22 Minutes "correspondent" played by Cathy Jones, Babe is a sassy suffragette, 1940s style, who talks about sexual matters. She ends each segment by saying "I'm just goofin' around, that's all!"
- Marg Delahunty - Mary Walsh crashes press conferences, hosts a "sleepover" for the nation's leading female (and gay) politicians, and threatens to "smite" the likes of politicians as "Marg Princess Warrior" (a loose parody of Xena).
- Mark Jackson - a teenage correspondent that talks to politicians who is played by Gavin Crawford. (The Mark Jackson character is from "The Gavin Crawford Show".
- Bas MacLaren - is a 22 Minutes correspondent which is portrayed by Mark Critch. He talks to politicians about their current events and is also one of the 22 Minutes anchors.
- Mrs. Enid & Eulalia - two elderly women who talk about daily events (portrayed by Cathy Jones and Mary Walsh)
- Raj Binder - a sweaty soft-spoken Indian sports nerd portrayed by Shaun Majumder. (View Raj's Website)
- Uwe Meyer - a fashion correspondent that Gavin Crawford portrays. (Uwe Myer is also from "The Gavin Crawford Show"
- Streeters aka The Rant - a weekly commentary on current events and political issues which quickly became the show's most famous feature by Rick Mercer in black and white presentations. This segment was later used in colour presentations on the Rick Mercer's Monday Report series.
- Billyatropia Smithopolis - the outstanding Canadian sports athlete portrayed by Rick Mercer
- Dakey Dunn - A 22 Minutes "Male Correspondent" played by Mary Walsh, replete with gold chain, hairy chest, cigarette and beer, who might explain the dilemma of the "Friday Night Girls" -- in one monologue, Dakey admits to not completing high school and, in crude English, lays out a machismo view of economic and cultural matters as if himself in command of Newfiedom. This character was earlier used in the CODCO series.
- Jerry Boyle - a Newfoundland separatist whose campaign slogan is "If you can mark an X, you're my kind of people!", portrayed by Greg Thomey (who also played Boyle as a recurring guest on CODCO)
- Joe Crow - an aboriginal environmental "correspondent" who talks about the environment, portrayed by Cathy Jones
- Mansbridge One on One - Colin Mochrie as journalist Peter Mansbridge in a spoof of Mansbridge's CBC Newsworld program Mansbridge One on One, where "Peter" has insightful interviews with himself.
- Max Pointy - A spoof of the CBC's Rex Murphy's political commentary for The National, performed by Colin Mochrie. Max would start off with a legitimate political issue but end up on an unrelated, and generally inane point, by the end of his rant, much like the real Rex Murphy.
- Ottawa Gargoyle - Greg Thomey also portrays this character who is a gargoyle who sits on top of the Parliament buildings and satirizes politicians, occasionally throwing hot oil on them.
- That Show Sucked! with Ma and Eddie Reardon who make fun of TV shows, with Ma saying that whatever show that Eddie watches "Suck" (portrayed by Mary Walsh & Greg Thomey)
- The Campbell Files with Sandy Campbell (portrayed by Cathy Jones) who talks about the entertainment industry
- The Quinlan Quints - four quintuplets (the fifth one went missing and has never been found) who live in Buchans, Newfoundland and Labrador ; portrayed by Cathy Jones, Rick Mercer, Greg Thomey and Mary Walsh (Colin Mochrie plays Mercer's quint role for seasons 9 and 10).
CBC Personality impersonations
- Rex Murphy - played by Mark Critch (also see the Max Pointy character who is also a parody-impersonation of Rex)
- Stuart MacLean - played by Gavin Crawford
- Ian Hanomansing - played by Shaun Majumder
Other memorable segments
- 1997-98 - Rick Mercer going out to eat at a Harvey's fast food restaurant with Jean Chrétien
- 1999-2000- such luminaries as Walter Cronkite put Greg Thomey in a "celebrity headlock"
- 2000 - Rick Mercer and many prominent members of the Canadian House of Commons lip sync to Trooper's "Raise A little Hell" on Parliament Hill to promote voting in the 2000 Canadian federal election. View Clip
- 2001 - Rick Mercer spoofed on Rahim Jaffer and performed a rap based on Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady", with the lyrics "Will the real Rahim Jaffer please stand up?"
- 2001-02 - Colin Mochrie's Christmas at Parliament-- Twas' the Night before Christmas is re-interpreted by MPs, often airing out their partisan complaints about Paul Martin's 2002 budget
- 2003 - Chrétien announces that Marg Princess Warrior (Mary Walsh) had decided to run for the Liberal leadership
- 2002-03 - Misses Enid (Cathy Jones) and Eulalia (Mary Walsh) visits and talks to Paul Martin
- 2002-03 - Colin Mochrie's "Apology to America"
- 2003 - 22 Minutes's Viagra parody
- 2003-04 - Conservative party leadership candidate Belinda Stronach lipsmacks Mark Critch, Marg Princess Warrior (Mary Walsh) does the same to Stephen Harper, the eventual winner of the Tory leadership.
- 2004-05 - Mark Critch visited MP Carolyn Parrish, who stomped on a George W. Bush doll and performed voodoo on its head. The ensuing flap still hasn't ended, even with Parrish's dismissal from caucus. View clip
- 2004-05 - The real Stuart MacLean confronts Gavin Crawford about Gavin's impression of him. view clip
- 2004-05 - Mark Jackson (Crawford) goes behind the scenes on the Canadian Idol auditions with Ben Mulroney. view video clip
1999-2000 - During the American election campaign of 2000, Rick Mercer approached Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush on a campaign stop in Michigan, asking for comment on the news that Bush had received the endorsement of Canadian prime minister "Jean Poutine". (The then-prime minister's name was Jean Chrétien, and he had certainly not endorsed Bush.)
Bush accepted the endorsement with a short and grateful speech to the 22 Minutes cameras, which aired as part of the show's regular Talking to Americans feature. In his first official visit to Canada four years later, he joked that his "one regret" about the visit was that he'd "hop[ed] to meet Jean Poutine." View the clip
When former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day ran for Prime Minister of Canada, he proposed a mechanism to call for a referendum. A petition on any particular subject which gathered at least 350,000 signatures of voting age citizens ("3% of the electors"), would automatically trigger a national referendum.
Mercer's "rant" asked viewers to log on to the 22 Minutes website, and sign an online petition asking the party leader to change his name to Doris Day (after the singer/actress). Producers claim to have obtained in excess of 1,200,000 online votes. This was cheerfully admitted to be a stunt unhampered by the rigours of an Elections Canada-controlled petition. Although the skit had no effect on Alliance policy, it did obtain international publicity for the show and contributed to the general air of farce surrounding Day's election campaign. Day did, however, have a very appropriate response to the petition: "Que sera, sera."
Oilers vs Canadiens
2003-04 - Shaun Majumder (as "Raj Binder," bottom left corner) was sent to report on the 2003 outdoors Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens old timers game, preceding the night's actual NHL regular season game. Raj actually sneaked into all the team photos, causing uproar from the event's unwitting organizers in the days after, when the photos were released to the press. view clip
- 22 Minutes' 100th Episode Spectacular - (1997)
- 22 Minutes New Years '98 Special - (1998)
- 22 Minutes Direct Hits - (1999)
- 22 Minutes Holiday Special - (2000)
- Rick Mercer's Talking To Americans - (2001)
- 22 Minutes New Years '02 Special - (2002)
- 22 Minutes: The Best of Cathy Jones and Mark Critch - (2005)
Origin of Name
This Hour Has 22 Minutes takes its title from the controversial CBC newsmagazine This Hour Has Seven Days, which ran from 1964 to 1966, and from the fact that a typical half-hour television program actually only lasts twenty-two minutes (the remaining eight minutes being, of course, commercials).
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