Source: Welland Tribune, September, 2012
The comic indignities of aging, married life and the battle of the sexes were themes running through a well-received comic routine delivered by Canadian comedy legend Steve Smith Wednesday.
Smith was the guest speaker at the 29th Celebrity Luncheon, hosted by the Grape Growers of Ontario at Club Roma. The luncheon is an annual event serving as a kickoff to the Niagara Wine Festival.
To his St. Catharines audience of about 320, he described first pitching the idea for his Red Green show to CHCH-TV in Hamilton.
“I went to the local TV station and said, ‘I need you to give me enough money that I can do something, but not enough that you care what it is,’ ” he said.
“And that pretty much became the mission statement for The Red Green Show.”
Smith, 66, is the creator and performer in that Canadian series. The quirky sketch comedy/home improvement show, featuring Smith (as Green), his goofy nephew Harold and a cast of other characters, ran from 1991 and 2006 and was also widely aired in the U.S.
In his delivery, Smith was dressed as his Red Green character, sporting a plaid shirt, green hat and duo-coloured suspenders.
Building on comic ideas showcased in various episodes of the series — later named the New Red Green Show — some of his biggest laughs were male perspectives drawn from his long marriage with his wife and one-time co-star, Morag.
Among them, the traditional dread of shopping many male partners have.
“I’ve seen the benches in the malls for the husbands to sit on,” he said at one point. “They look like unclaimed dogs at the pound.”
Smith thanked grape growers in the audience, telling them they’re in a good business.
“On behalf of all my friends, I can say you’re making great products,” he said.