Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2017

Mark Critch

Comedian, author, and star of CBC Television’s hit series This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Mark Critch opens up to Arts East about his past, his path, and his home-province pride.
What are your family's roots? My father's family lived in Gaskiers, St Mary's Bay. My great-grandfather was a fisherman, as was his son Patrick. My mother's people were Bells and they had a farm. Her grandmother was an O'Connell from Waterford, Ireland.

When and why did you get into comedy and broadcasting? I first rented a theatre when I was 15 to do a sketch comedy show. I always wanted to write and perform my own material. From there I went on to become an actor, but the comedy took on a life of its own. I eventually landed a gig writing for 22 Minutes. From there, I ended up on air.

Are they the same reasons that you do it today? Absolutely. I'm fortunate to make a living doing what I love, but if I wasn't working as much, I'd still be doing it. I love writing something and then perfor…

Mary Walsh

Mary Walsh, Newfoundland’s reigning queen of comedy, is having a few anxious moments as Canada: It’s Complicated - her new musical celebrating the country’s 150th anniversary - takes off to tour the country.
The show is designed to showcase Canada’s history and diversity, providing a platform for emerging performers. Walsh is one of its writers.
“We’ve got talented young people from all over everywhere coming together in this musical,” she says from her home in St. John’s. “I know it is going to be wonderful, but I’m more used to going down the street to Missus and asking her if she wants to be in a show.”
A job as a radio host while she was still a teenager catapulted Walsh into a life on stage, in film, and on television.
“The comedy came easy,” she recalls. “As a kid, being funny was one of the few things that was rewarded.
“If you don’t have a sense of humour in Newfoundland you are not going to survive.”
Many will remember Walsh in her role on CODCO, the legendary Newfoundland sketch …

Allan Hawco

Folks still recognize Allan Hawco as Jake Doyle, the impulsive, wise-cracking, GTO-driving half of a St. John’s father and son private-eye series Republic of Doyle on CBC television.
“Not many of us get national recognition in this business in Canada,” shares the 40-year-old via telephone from his home in Newfoundland’s provincial capital. “If you are lucky enough to have achieved that, well, I have a great level of appreciation for it. Your currency as a performer is in the people who want to watch you, and Doyle fans were very loyal.”
The hit series ended in 2014 after six seasons when its writers “reached our creative conclusion” and has since vaulted into the Netflix realm.
That hasn’t slowed the native Newfoundlander down, however; Hawco has just finished production of Caught, a four-episode CBC television series set to air in 2018. Based on a novel by Newfoundland writer Lisa Moore, it is an action-packed drama about a drug smuggler who breaks out of jail and goes in pursuit of hi…

Rick Mercer

Rick Mercer is one of the most familiar faces in Canada. Born and bred in St. John’s, Newfoundland, he currently hosts of one the country’s most popular weekly television programs, The Rick Mercer Report, now going into its 15th season. Recently, Celtic Life International spoke with the multi award-winning comedian, broadcaster, author and philanthropist about his past, and his unwavering passion for both his profession and his home province.
What are your family's roots? We are mostly English and some Irish. On both sides of my family we have been clinging to the island of Newfoundland for hundreds of years. Where we actually came from is a bit of a mystery.
When and why did you get into comedy and broadcasting? I guess you could say I started in the comedy business in high school. I was part of a comedy troupe - we performed in bars and did late night cabaret style shows. Sometimes we would play with a rock band. After high school I dedicated myself to it full time. Gradually I real…