Send in the Clowns

Both the Rick Mercer Report and This Hour Has 22 Minutes return tonight–and not a moment too soon.
These elections play straight into the hands of both shows, although more for 22 Minutes (8:30, CBC) than Mercer (8 p.m.). At least according to Rick Mercer himself, who I chatted with at last week’s CBC season launch. While he’ll take aim at Harper, Dion, Layton and whatshername, his real focus is in traveling around, trying stuff–like his stint with the Canadian special Olympians in Beijing. In dives Mercer, into the pool. He snaps on a pair of goggles that make him as blind as the other competitors. Wall, meet Mercer, Mercer, meet wall. Right on the beak. Ouch!
Aside from the bloody nose, Mercer says it was the most incredible experience he’s had as the show zips into a seventh season.
This Hour Has 22 Minutes, on the other hand, is all about the political Olympics. Newest cast member Geri Hall has been doing her job, grabbing headlines recently by getting cuffed at a Stephen Harper rally. Tonight we’ll finally get to see that bit, as well as Hall stalking Stephane Dion on the campaign trail. There’s also a bit featuring actual Green Party leader Elizabeth May as well as deadpan young Nathan gooning the president of CBC.
You’ll want to catch This Hour Has 22 Minutes right off the top tonight, too, for an opening gag you never expected to hear on CBC again.

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