‘Red Green’ to give advice at Stranahan TheaterWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Smith plays the affable and adventurous handyman Red Green, whose crazy creations and passion for duct tape are legend at Possum Lake, a fabled locale in Canada’s cottage country.
The plaid-wearing, bearded character with red and green suspenders shares do-it-yourself tips and philosophies on life.
“[‘The Red Green Show’] was supposed to be a six-month summer job in 1990 — endless summer,” Smith said and laughed.
Instead, Smith was on the air for 15 seasons and made 300 episodes. The show is broadcast on more than 80 PBS stations, including WBGU 27, and is the longest-running Canadian comedy in America. Smith won three Gemini Awards (Canada’s Emmy Award), and the government named him a member of the Order of Canada, its highest civilian honor.
In syndication, Red Green and his wacky regulars still make folks laugh.
“We never talked about what was going on at the time because, actually, we weren’t aware of what was going on at the time,” he joked. “The things the shows talk about are timeless, like men’s attitudes and problems — I’m wrong but not in doubt.”
Smith will bring Red Green’s Wit & Wisdom Tour to Stranahan Theater on April 11 for a 7 p.m. show. Tickets are $45.50.
“I tell you how to make a reclining chair out of a stove, that’s valuable. And lots of marital advice and sometimes just one-liners: The longest journey starts with not looking at the map,” he said during a phone interview from Florida.
As Green, the Toronto native often offers secrets to a happy marriage. It’s a subject Smith knows well.
“This year it’ll be 46 years in November,” Smith said of his union with his wife, Morag. Remember, he said: “If your wife is having fun and you’re not, you’re still having way more fun then when you’re having fun and she’s not.”
Green has a knack for finding sticky situations. His tool of choice: duct tape.
“We’d start with a gross [of rolls] a season, and in a season we might do 20 episodes, so that’s 144 rolls divided by 20, which is, let me get my shoes off here, a little over seven rolls a show, but some shows wouldn’t use any, and some shows would use 30. And we usually had to reorder; the gross wasn’t enough,” Smith said and laughed.
And the funnyman thinks big.
“When they make duct tape, they actually make it in a 4-foot width and they cut it into the 2-inch rolls that you buy in the store,” Smith said. “We got a 4-foot width of it, and I used it to waterproof a boat. The whole 4-foot thing, it took 12 guys to unroll it, but we got it on there.”
The humorist’s career as Green continues to sail. He’s working on another book.
“It’s the next Red Green; it won’t be out until the fall of 2013,” he said. “It’s a beginner’s guide to women, so that should be something.”