Red Green is the name of a fictional character on the Red Green Show and played by real-life guy, Steve Smith, who is also the writer and creator of the show. If you’ve not heard of the Red Green show you definitely want to check it out. It takes place for the most part in the fictional Possum Lodge – a men’s club complete with lodge meetings and word games. The lodge members also have their own tv show where they offer advice to men, or demonstrations on how to make repairs on certain items – nearly always using the “handyman’s secret weapon,” duct tape.
Smith tells us, “Possum Lodge was created as a tribute to a group of men whose defense is to just stay quiet and just lies still and hopes no one notices. This is not the man who stands up and says “I did no such thing,” this is the guy who cowers in the corner hoping they won’t notice they’re alive,” he concludes. This is thus the reason for the lodge’s motto, “Quando omni flunkus moritati”, also created by Smith and a form of mock Latin meaning “When all else fails, play dead.”
The Red Green show is noted on Wikipedia as a television comedy that is “essentially a cross between a sitcom and a sketch comedy series, and is a parody of home improvement, do-it-yourself, fishing, and other outdoors shows.” But likely, you’ve never seen anything like it. It is strictly a one-of-a-kind, which might explain its explosive popularity. It was originally supposed to be “just a one summer project” that turned into a 15-year on-air trail-blazer. The downside is, no one else has entered the trail. The upside is that Smith is now taking Red Green on the road via his fourth (and possibly final) tour – offering 36 U.S. dates and many more dates in Canada starting in September 2019.
Smith is very excited about the “This Could Be It” tour and says the hard part, the writing, rehearsing, is over – and that the fun part, getting in front of people who admire the show, is now underway. And though unlikely that Smith will take the show on the road again, he says if he does he’ll call it the “This is definitely it,” tour.
If you are curious as to how the Red Green show came about, Smith says he and his wife had a television show in the ’70s that was similar to a Sonny & Cher styled program. Smith’s wife, Morag, would sing and he would develop funny characters as part of his portion. One of the characters he developed in 1978 was Red Green. The popularity of the character was so expansive that Smith was approached and offered a series that would strictly feature Red Green, but he passed on it due to having an already-busy schedule. At the end of the 80’s he decided he would do the “Red Green Show” for one Summer only and that’d be the end of it. But it caught on and lasted 15 years, airing from 1991 to 2006.
With the rapid growth of the Internet and Youtube, the show has gained even more popularity – with many Youtube viewers not even realizing the show had been a television series. And Smith says – as this is his fourth tour – he has noticed more and more young people in the crowd.
As fans, you know all there is to like about Red Green, but we had to ask Smith what he likes best about Red Green. “There are two main characteristics of him that I really like, he’s a kind person, I like that – he’s not an angry guy, he’s not up on stage yelling and screaming about something. And he’s blue-collar but he’s classy. You’re not hearing the “f-word” every few moments. I like all that. And the other thing I like is that he’s a pretty self-sufficient guy. He doesn’t complain much and if he needs to do something he’ll find a way to get it done with the resources available. I kind of admire that kind of self-sufficiency.”
DUCT TAPE ANYONE?
The “resources available” almost always include duct tape. There is even one episode of the show where the Red Green character is in a deteriorated mood because he has “been without duct tape for nearly 3 hours.” Duct tape is always a part of the show – (remember, it’s the “handyman’s secret weapon”) and offers many crazy uses that only add to the show’s comedy.
When asked, Smith explains Red Green’s love for duct tape this way: “I have this theory that whatever men do, they’re thinking “how long is this going to take?” Whether they go to a show or even if they’re at a family function they’re thinking “how long do I have to suffer this,” and that includes fixing something on a Saturday morning. They know it’d take seven hours to fix that thing properly but with a roll of duct tape, it’s going to take 10 minutes. And then they’ll have to figure out how to get out of it again next Saturday,” he says laughingly. Aha – so now we know the REAL way that men think! We jokingly told Smith that Red Green should author a book offering relationship advice – a sort of “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” but from Red’s perspective.
As for Smith, he doesn’t claim to be an overly serious guy but he is still serious about making people laugh. He still makes his wife laugh and she is still working with him throughout this journey. Smith and his lovely bride started out as high school sweethearts and performed in a band together on the weekends. From there, they both went to college and both became school teachers – but the desire to perform would not let them go. So in 1971 they both retired their teaching careers and went into show-biz full time. To their credit, they had a definite business plan and it worked. To this day, Smith says he always plays his aces and he offers that same advice to others. “I tell young people, “play your aces – figure out what your aces are. And if you’ve only got one ace, play that one – don’t play two hoping you’ll play your [main] one later. And my ace is the ability to create things that make people laugh so I focus my attention there.”
Smith truly enjoys doing what he does and sums it all up saying, “These tours – everyone I’ve done, though the audiences seem to enjoy themselves, I enjoy myself more. So if you do come to see me, you’re not coming to see a guy who’s just doing it for the money or someone who’s just going through the motions…I am there because I really want to be.”
Link to Sneak Preview here
If you’d like to get to know the Red Green show – find out more at www.redgreen.com You can watch every episode for free on their website. Also, for more information about where you can catch the Red Green Show on tour, click here – But you better hurry! Tickets are going fast!