This Hour Has 22 Minutes
is a Canadian television
comedy. Begun in 1993
, the show focuses on Canadian politics, combining news parody
, sketch comedy
editorials. Originally featuring Cathy Jones
, Rick Mercer
, Greg Thomey
and Mary Walsh
, the series featured satirical sketches of the weekly news and Canadian political events.
The show is in its eleventh season. Salter Street Films produced the series until the 2003-2004 season. Alliance Atlantis will now produce it.
The show's format is a mock news program, intercut with comic sketches and humorous interviews of public figures. 22 Minutes is broadcast on the CBC Television network Friday nights at 8:30 pm. It is taped before a studio audience in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
- Cathy Jones, series regular since season 1
- Greg Thomey, series regular since season 1
- Mary Walsh, series regular since season 1, appeared less often in season 11. Mary gradually pursue her flourishing film career, but is dividing her time this year, but will still be appearing on 22 Minutes.
- Shaun Majumder, series regular since season 11 replaced Colin Mochrie
- Mark Critch, will appear on series (as guest) season 11, made appearances as a correspondant in season 10
- Gavin Crawford, guest host since season 11
- Jennifer Robertson, guest host since season 11
Regular characters and segments
- Talking to Americans - Rick Mercer tours the States, talking to Americans as if from a Canadian news program, asking them about "Canadian issues." The object is to prove how little Americans know about their northern neighbours. The piece was so popular, the CBC had Mercer create a one-hour TV special based on the segment. It became the highest rated comedy special in the Canadian television history.
- Babe Bennett - A 22 Minutes "correspondent" played by Cathy Jones, Babe is a sassy suffragette who talks about sexual matters. She ends each segment by saying "I'm just goofin' around, that's all!"
- Max Pointy - A spoof of the CBC's Rex Murphy's political commentary for The National, performed by Colin Mochrie. Max would start off with a legitimate political issue but end up on an unrelated, and generally inane point, by the end of his rant.
- Mansbridge One on One - Colin Mochrie as journalist Peter Mansbridge in a spoof of Mansbridge's CBC Newsworld program Mansbridge One on One, where "Peter" has insightful interviews with himself.
- Dakey Dunn - A 22 Minutes "Male Correspondent" played by Mary Walsh, early replete with gold chain, hairy chest, cigarette and beer, might explain the dilemma of the "Friday Night Girls;" in one monologue, Dakey admits to not completing high school and, in crude English, lays out a machismo view of economic and cultural matters as if himself in command of Newfiedom. This character was earlier used in the CODCO series.
- Marg Delahunty - Mary Walsh as the woman who's crashing press conferences, hosting a "sleepover" for the nation's leading female politicians, and threatening to "smite" the likes of politicians as "Marg Princess Warrior".
- Jerry Boyle - a wanabee prime minister who at the end says, "If you can mark an X, you're my kind of people!", portrayed by Greg Thomey
- Ottawa Gargoyle - Greg Thomey also portrays this character who is a Gargoyle who sits on top of the Parliament Hill and satirize politicians.
- That Show Sucked! with Ma and Eddie Reardon who make fun of TV shows, and Ma saying that what ever show that Edddie watches "Suck" (portrayed by Mary Walsh & Greg Thomey)
- Joe Crow - a Native Canadian "Correspondent" who talks about native issues, portrayed by Cathy Jones
- Mrs. Enid & Eulaylia - two elderly women who talk about daily events (portrayed by Cathy Jones and Mary Walsh)
- Billy Smithopolis - a sports amateur portrayed by Rick Mercer
- Streeters - Rick Mercer rants and raves about politicians and daily events in black and white presentations. This segment was later used in colour presentations on the Rick Mercer's Monday Report series.
- The Campbell Files with Sandy Campbell who talks about the entertainment industry, portrayed by Cathy Jones
- The Quinlan Quints - four quintopolits that live in Buchans Newfoundland, portrayed by Cathy Jones, Rick Mercer, Greg Thomey and Mary Walsh (Colin Mochrie plays the fourth quint role from seasons 9 and 10).
- Raj Bhinder - a Hindi sports nerd portrayed by Shaun Majumder
Other memorable segments
Oilers vs Canadiens
Shaun Majumder (as "Raj Bhinder,") was sent to report on the 2003 outdoors Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens old timers game, preceding the night's actual NHL regular season game. Raj actually snuck into all the team photos, causing uproar from the event's unwitting organizers in the days after, when the photos were released to the press. (Read here for more info)
Often cited as the show's best joke. The sketch was aired during the federal election campaign in 2000, and consisted of a staged rant by Rick Mercer.
When former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day ran for Prime Minister of Canada, he proposed a mechanism to call for a referendum. A petition on any particular subject which gathered at least 100,000 signatures of voting age citizens, would automatically trigger a national referendum.
Mercer's "rant" asked viewers to log on to the 22 Minutes website, and sign an online petition asking the party leader to change his name to Doris Day (after the singer/actress). Producers claim to have obtained in excess of 1,200,000 online votes. This was cheerfully admitted to be a stunt unhampered by the rigours of an Elections Canada-controlled petition. Although the skit had no effect on Alliance policy, it did obtain international publicity for the show and contributed to the general air of farce surrounding Day's election campaign. (See Video Clip!)
Origin of Name
- This Hour Has 22 Minutes takes its title from the controversial CBC newsmagazine This Hour Has Seven Days, which ran from 1964 to 1966.
Photos from the series
For more pictures of the series please visit 22 Minutes Photo Gallery