Bio – The Long Story

These guys loved my bit about railroad food!

Rick’s comedy career began in 1984, his last year of high school, when he landed a job sweeping backstage and working the sound and lights at Ottawa comedy club, Skit Row.

By the end of that decade, he had stage managed three different productions at Canada’s National Arts Center, the Miss Grey Cup pageant, taken a show to London, England and worked on a CBC national TV pilot. It was time to come out of the wings and see what it was like onstage. He went to Yuk Yuks amateur nights, and in less than a year, he was out on the road appearing at comedy clubs and one-nighters across Canada.

The national comedy circuit embraced Rick’s clean, whimsical style and soon the stages he played grew bigger and more prestigious. The 1990s included tens of thousands of kilometers worth of touring throughout Canada, England and the USA. Highlights include repeat performances on CBC Radio’s “Madly off in All Directions”, two appearances on the Comedy Network’s “Club 54”, Toronto’s People’s Comedy Festival and the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. He also acted in a number of national television ads and movies.

In 1999, Rick returned to Ottawa and was re-introduced to the city when he was cast in a popular parody of the Molson Canadian rant, “I Am an Ottawa Senators Fan”. The rant was played at the Corel Center each night during the 2000 playoff series, as well as shown on sports channels across North America. Later that year, Rick organized “The Ottawa Comedy Collision” – a benefit show that sold out Barrymores and raised thousands of dollars for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Center Foundation.

In the winter of 2001, the producers of “Open Mike with Mike Bullard” put out a call for submissions in a national search for a new writer. Out of hundreds of applications, Rick was chosen for the job and his material appeared each night for the next four seasons.

Other highlights of the early 2000s is having a stand out performance at the Yuk Yuks 25th Anniversary Show at the National Arts Center, a taping of CTV’s “Comedy Now!” and repeat performances on CBC Radio’s “The Debaters”.

Through much of 2007/08 he was remote correspondant for 93.9 BOB FM’s “The Morning After with JR and Sandy “.

Rick played at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival in 2008 and 2009 which was broadcast on CBC TV.

In the winter of 2009, it seemed like the whole city of Ottawa was singing Rick’s “OC Transpo Strike Song”.

This was followed by another gala TV taping at the Halifax festival in 2012.

In the summer of 2010, he joined the writing team for CBC’s “The Rick Mercer Report” and remained with the show until the end of it’s run in 2018. Some personal highlights from his time there were: writing a sketch that was filmed aboard the International Space Station, writing another bit that had Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declare “an official 24 hour period of peace and forgiveness for anyone who has ever done you wrong, made you mad or broke your heart”, and winning three Canadian Screen Awards for “Best Writing in a Variety or Sketch Comedy Program or Series”.

He has continued to work with Rick Mercer on many other projects including the Canadian Country Music Awards, Canada 150 Celebrations from Parliament Hill, six national CBC New Years Eve specials, the 2018 and 2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and Just For Laughs’ Comedy Night with Rick Mercer – both the television series and national theatre tour.

Rick still plays clubs and private shows where ever/whenever anyone asks.