A few weeks ago I had the privilege of interviewing Red Green from the quirky Red Green show on PBS for an article for the News-Sentinel newspaper. He appeared this week in a one-man show at the Embassy Theatre. On the phone and in person he was funny and it was a pleasure talking with him. My whole family are fans and my kids were impressed. That says a lot!
RED GREEN’S PERSONAL WIT & WISDOM TOUR
“It’s always been easy for me to make people laugh,” said PBS actor Red Green aka Steve Smith. “I like connecting with people. Laughter is the greatest way to break through someone’s defenses.”
Red Green is the Canadian star of The Red Green Show, a wildly popular comedy show that started airing on PBS stations in the US in 1993. “What was supposed to be a one-summer season show has done pretty well,” said Smith via a recent phone interview. “I meet teens who like the show WHO were not born when we started.”
Red Green’s WIT & WISDOM TOUR will appear at the Embassy Theatre on Wednesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. See ticket information below.
This is Red Green’s second solo appearance in Fort Wayne. “I did 47 touring dates in the United States in Spring 2010 and 41 shows in Canada in 2011,” he said. “The fans have been great in both countries and the shows have been well supported.”
After appearances in a string of inconsequential TV shows in Canada in the 1980s, Red Green hit on the concept of a deep-woods do-it-yourselfer with a homegrown philosophy on nearly every subject. He quickly rounded up a posse of quirky friends, all of whom rely on the belief that duct tape fixes everything, and formed a community built around the men-only Possum Lodge. The Red Green Show began airing in Canada in 1990.
The constant stream of hilarious off-balance one-liners (“When the going gets tough, switch to power tools!”; “Remember you may have to grow old, but you don’t have to mature”) connected with fans. At its zenith The Red Green Show aired on 100 PBS stations. The show’s final season in Canada was 2006 and in the US 2007. Reruns air on approximately 80 US stations.
When not touring, Smith keeps up the comedy by authoring books in keeping with his light-hearted show: The Red Green Book: Wit and Wisdom of Possum Lodge; How To Do Everything: (From the Man Who Should Know) and Red Green’s Duct Tape Is Not Enough. The 300-page We’re All in This Together takes a more somber approach as a biographical account of Smith’s life.
His current book project — a beginner’s guide to women — is due out in 2013.
Will there be another Red Green movie like Duct Tape Forever which was shown at the Embassy in 2001? “No,” replied Red Green. “Just watch Duct Tape Forever backwards. It has a different ending.”
Despite more than 20 years of success on TV, Smith is philosophical of his enduring popularity. “I’m enjoying being a one-man show and the show has almost a half million friends on Facebook, but I don’t want to project my life too far ahead,” he said. “I owe it to the fans not to be doing this just for the money or a contract. I don’t want to turn into a bitter old guy, just an old guy. As long as there are people who share my sense of humor, I’ll keep my stick on the ice.”