While Rick Mercer wraps up his show after 15 years, another CBC Comedy Institution reaches a huge milestone. “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” is celebrating its 25th season.
Speaking with ET Canada’s Sangita Patel, the cast of “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” make it very clear that while the characters continue to evolve and change, it’s still totally Canadian and will always make us laugh.
“It’s a brilliant format to start off with,” says Cathy Jones, who has been with the show since its premiere in 1993. “It keeps moving, it’s a fresh show and I think that it’s a format that just keeps growing.”
On the opposite side, having just joined the cast this year, stand-up comedian Trent McClellan knows why he’s happy to join Canada’s comedic national treasure.
“I always love that idea of just going after things that are happening in the media, that’s the real sense of truth, that’s the real sense of communication,” he says. “We get to say things that other people can’t, so that’s the real beauty of it I think.”
With the changing roster comes the changing media landscape, which “22 Minutes” anchor and roving reporter Mark Critch addresses.
“I mean, when we started, when I started or when Cathy started the show, you might have Chretien choking a guy and you might think, ‘Oh my God he’s choking a protester, can’t get any crazier than this!'” he says. “Then Rob Ford happens, and Justin Trudeau can’t keep his shirt on and Donald Trump’s gonna blow us all up. It gets crazier and crazier, so it’s hard sometimes to actually catch up because the world that we live in now is much crazier than the world when we started.”
“We used to have to tone up the news and now we have to tone it down just to get to funny,” says Jones.
Susan Kent, who has been a part of the “22 Minutes” cast since 2012, adds, “We didn’t have to write anymore because they just write it for us. You just pluck it verbatim from the news.”
With Donald Trump’s actions causing major uproar, Shaun Majumder notes that with all of the heavy news being reported right now, they hope to point the issues out in their show, but through a lens that provides levity to their viewers.
“That’s our job and also if it affects political change, I think that’s also a part of our job,” he says. “It’s not just about making people laugh and feel light, we also have to be a commentary on what’s going on in the world right now.”