Rick Mercer films for an upcoming episode at Agribition!

For Rick Mercer, the Canadian Western Agribition was the perfect opportunity to show Canadians a glimpse of Saskatchewan life.

Mercer, host of the popular Canadian television show The Mercer Report, arrived in Regina on Monday night and began taping for a future episode of the show on Tuesday.

“When we look at an episode, the first thing is we want a place where there’s interesting people doing interesting things, and I can have fun,” said Mercer, 42, who added this was his first visit to Agribition at Evraz Place, but not his first exposure to agriculture-related events.

One aspect of the show Mercer said he finds personally satisfying is showing “one part of the country to another part of the country” what people do and how they make a living.

This is what attracted Mercer to Agribition. He admits one of his favourite episodes didn’t involve interviewing a “prime minister or a rock star” but instead involved spending time with lobster fishermen on Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick.

Agribition is similar, he said. “It’s the same old story. Everyone goes to the supermarket and buys their hamburgers but they never think about the beef industry and they never think about the people that work in the beef industry,” said Mercer, adding it’s exciting to see how the cows are pampered and hair sprayed and blown dry.

Grooming and milking a cow were two things Mercer, born in Middle Cove, Nfld., wanted to do while at the event, but he also wanted try performing as an auctioneer.

“I always find those guys astounding because it’s like going to a foreign country where everyone is talking a thousand words a minute.”

He joked that eventually you can understand a few words, but was worried that while he was sitting in the audience he might scratch his head and “buy a bison by accident.”

Mercer wasn’t sure when he was leaving Regina or when the episode was going to air. “It could air as early as in two weeks or it could air after the holidays,” he said.

Now in its ninth season, Mercer describes the show as “the best job in the country” but admits when the show was created, he wasn’t sure if it was going to work. What he enjoys about the show is that it allows him to do all the things he’s “either good at or likes to do” ? such as covering politics and doing a commentary and sketches every week. But the part of the show he enjoys the most is travelling across the country and meeting with everyday Canadians like farmers and fisherman.

“I just think I’m incredibly privileged to view all of Canada like my hometown.”

Source: Vancouver Sun

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