The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.

Why Rick Mercer Won’t Be Pursuing A Career In Politics Anytime Soon

“The rants are the part of the show that’s completely personal because I write the rants myself,” celebrity speaker Rick Mercer explains in a Yahoo! interview. “I actually view [the rants] first and foremost as my job. Every week I make sure that the rant is done and if people think it’s personal that’s because it is. It’s not written by a group of funny people.” Mercer just wrapped the 10th season of his award-winning show The Rick Mercer Report, where he delivers his trademark rants. With a penchant for politics and pop culture, Mercer has ranted about some of the most pressing issues-of-the-moment throughout the past ten seasons of his show. While he's passionate, poignant, and outspoken on many political issues, Mercer says he has little interest in taking his insight into politics directly.

“The first part of that is you have to know what you’re good at,” Mercer explains. “You might take someone who you admire as a sports writer who covers baseball and they might be great at it, but that doesn’t mean they can pitch the World Series.” However, if ever he did decide to make that leap, he says that his strongest attribute wouldn't be his witty banter or his “ability to turn a phrase.” Rather, it would be the experiences he's had traversing the country, meeting hundreds of Canadians, and starting his own business that would be the most beneficial. More politicians should take time to have these experiences before running for office, he also argues, so that they have more to bring to the table than ambition alone.

For now at least, Mercer will continue to offer his hilariously on-point satire of everything great and irreverent about Canadian culture on his show and on the stage. Mercer has also compiled the best of his rants into the furiously funny and well-written A Nation Worth Ranting About. Whatever the venue, Mercer can target his material to make any audience laugh, ponder, and appreciate the issues facing our nation.

Why’s Rick Mercer Wearing Pink Today? To Put A Stop To Bullying

Rick Mercer is wearing pink today. While the celebrity speaker and host of the Rick Mercer Report says he's usually more of a black and white guy, he's veering away from his usual color palette for a good cause. “I am happy to make the exception [and wear pink],” he says, “if it means stating loud and clear that bullying, discrimination, homophobia and transphobia in schools and communities across Canada must end.”

That's what the International Day of Pink is all about. The movement got its start when students at a Nova Scotia school saw a fellow student being bullied for wearing pink. On their own dime, the kids purchased a multitude of pink shirts and passed them out for other students to wear. “Suddenly the bullies who were making this young man’s life miserable were surrounded by students in pink,” Mercer recounts. “They learned in no uncertain terms that the vast majority of kids were not going to accept their behavior.” Sending the message that bullying is an outlier behavior that most kids won't accept is a vital tool. Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks & Stones and a prominent speaker on bullying, recently argued that most kids don't like bullies as well. If you show kids that the majority of their peers don't think it's “cool” to bully others, Bazelon says that it can help decrease the number of bullying incidents.

Jer’s Vision, a national organization committed to ending homophobia in schools and youth communities, will be hosting a gala for the Day of Pink event. They will present Mercer with the Role Model of the Year Award for his moving rant on the effects of bullying and his passionate appeals to put a stop to bullying and discrimination. Attuned to the news of the moment, Mercer is a timely and relevant speaker on current events and pop culture.  Presenting his satire in a wildly funny manner—just like on the popular Rick Mercer Report—his keynotes can also touch on more serious issues. Often standing room-only, his talks explore all that's great and irreverent about the nation—leaving audiences with a deeper understanding of their country, and the issues it faces.

Celebrity Speaker Rick Mercer Snags 3 Canadian Screen Awards

It looks like celebrity speaker and television host Rick Mercer is going to have to clear out some room in his trophy case. Again. At the inaugural Canadian Screen Awards (a combination of what were once the Genie and Gemini Awards), he took home 3 awards for his work with the record-breaking CBC hit, The Rick Mercer Report. The show itself won the statue (which has yet to be named) for “Best Music, Variety, Sketch Comedy or Talk Program” and Mercer and his team were also honoured for “Best Writing in a Variety or Sketch Comedy Program”. The “Best Performance in a Variety or Sketch Comedy Program” award also went to Mercer for his charismatic and relatable performance on the show.

His candid and hilarious show features his trademark rants—the best of which have now been turned into a book, A Nation Worth Ranting About—and his satirical commercials and fake newscasts. He embraces all that is great (and not so great) about the nation on his show, which routinely beats out American programming in the ratings. Mercer has also taken home over 25 Gemini awards in his career for his work with The Rick Mercer Report, Made in Canada, and This Hour has 22 Minutes. Not only is Mercer popular in front of the camera, but he's also a hit on stage; his keynote speeches are often standing-room only. Arguably one of the most requested speakers in the country, Mercer appeals to a wide array of audiences thanks to his unique mix of comedic satire and extensive knowledge about the country. He covers the topics that matter to his audience while making them laugh in the process—a skill that will undoubtedly keep the awards rolling in.

Honored: Bryn Mawr College Awards Patti Smith The Katharine Hepburn Medal

As one of TIME's most influential people in the world, Patti Smith has inspired generations of fans all over the world. Bryn Mawr College recently honored Smith's contribution to music and the arts by presenting her with the Katharine Hepburn Medal. They called her a “trailblazer in the male-dominated world of rock and roll,” and said that she inspires students because she “conveys enormous passion and continues to transform herself throughout her artistic journey.” In a tribute video, students at the college shared their own thoughts on how Smith had changed their lives. One female student said that Smith is “fearlessly herself,” something that she always strives to achieve. Others say that she “embodies what Bryn Marr is all about” because she is a strong woman who is not afraid to vocalize her opinions or revolt against social constructions.

At the ceremony, Smith performed for a crowd of more than 300 people and read from her National Book Award-winning memoir Just Kids. Throughout the course of her career, Smith and her band released 8 albums, and she was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Her debut effort, Horses, has repeatedly been listed as one of the greatest albums of all time. Smith is also a poet and visual artist and has released a plethora of work in both of those disciplines. A natural storyteller, Smith is a gifted orator and presents compelling keynote presentations. She shares her insights on what truly defines an artist and how we can motivate ourselves to achieve our passions—no matter what they may be.

Rick Mercer: Why He Loves His Job & Being A Political Satirist [VIDEO]

“I would be a fool not to be excited to go to work everyday,” Rick Mercer says in a new interview. “I get to do all the things I like doing, and thankfully, there's an audience for that.” Mercer recently spoke at the CBC Winter 2013 Season Preview, where he shared his thoughts on what makes working on The Rick Mercer Report so great, and what to expect in the coming season. As he says, a lot of the show is spontaneous and he never knows what to expect from one episode to the next. While they have an idea in mind when they start filming, sometimes plans can change at a moments notice and they'll have to rework an idea on the fly. The unique brand of humor-meets-commentary he employs on the show has earned him over 25 Gemini Awards and the respect of the nation.

Equally as popular on the speaking circuit as he is in the television industry, Mercer is one of the most highly sought after keynote speakers in the country. He is also the author of three bestsellers: Streeters, The Rick Mercer Report: The Book, and 2012's A Nation Worth Ranting About. No matter the medium, Mercer commands attention like few can. His talks are as funny as they are insightful and his subject matter leaves audiences questioning—and appreciating—all that's great and irreverent about the nation.

Celebrity Speaker Rick Mercer Sounds Off On His Rant-Writing Process

There are few YouTube videos, aside from those by Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, perhaps, that have racked up the numbers that celebrity speaker Rick Mercer's trademark rants have. Thus far, the comedian and television host has earned over 25 million views to his channel—and that's only counting the ones on his official account. Delivered
each week on his Gemini-winning show The Rick Mercer Report and then published online shortly thereafter, his rants are always on his mind, he says in a recent interview. “I guess I’m always thinking about the rant in the back of my head because in many ways I consider that the most important part of my job,” Mercer tells TV Guide Canada. Mercer, who just released a book of his rants called A Nation Worth Ranting About, says he comes into his office to finish his rant for the week every Thursday at about 5 p.m., sometimes finishing them in a few hours and sometimes working late into the night.

While he admits he never set out to make his show family-friendly—and sometimes tackles some hot-topic political and social issues—the show has transformed into something that is accessible and appropriate for all audiences and he's happy with that. “In TV, the thing everyone hopes to do is kind of create a show that a family can watch together,” he says. “And people have kind of given that up because people don’t watch TV that way anymore.” He also says he includes a strong current affairs focus and tries to avoid profanity to ensure that a wider section of the country can indulge in the content.

As the host of one of the nation's most popular television shows, Mercer delivers his own unique brand of humour and intelligence to the small screen and the stage. His keynotes as as highly-regarded as his show, and he is arguably the most requested speaker in the country. He has also written several bestselling books and recently picked up an executive producer credit for a short film called Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, which premiered at The Toronto International Film Festival last year.

In Defense of Canadian Humour: Rick Mercer

Celebrity speaker Rick Mercer, master of the rant, might have a bone to pick with anyone who thinks that Canada doesn't have a good comedy scene—especially because he himself is so well-known for his sense of humour! In a new opinion piece in the Toronto Star, the host of the Gemini-winning show The Rick Mercer report is cited as an example of a Canadian who has made it big with his satire. In the article—which reads similarly to the style Mercer invokes in his popular rants—the author explains that contrary to a recent Vanity Fair article, there are more than “nine funny Canadians alive today,” and they didn't “all move to the States.” Mercer, for example, has enjoyed tremendous success while remaining in Canada—and did so focusing on mostly Canadian content. His show, and the witty satire that he employs on it, routinely crushes other contenders in terms of ratings—and that includes his American competition.

In his trademark style, Mercer satirizes current domestic and international affairs in a way that is both entertaining and informative. Not only is he popular on television, but he is one of the country's most requested keynote speakers and has a collection of three national bestselling books under his belt. As the Toronto Star writer argues, Mercer's popularity is a prime example of the ability for a Canadian comic to hit it big. As witty as he is insightful, Mercer shares the hot topic issues-of-the-moment with his audiences and inspires them to become involved in the important events that influence their lives.

Gawker: Spike Lee’s Bad 25 “Elevates the Rock Doc to an Art Form”

The website Gawker, not generally known for glowing reviews, calls Spike Lee's new Michael Jackson documentary, Bad 25, “the greatest Behind the Music episode of all time,” adding that the film “elevates the rock doc to an art form.” Encapsulating the life of one of the music industry's most prolific, and also most scandalized, icons is certainly a daunting task. But Lee's firm grasp of cinema and near unrivaled ability to weave a complex story into an easy-to-manage pop culture manifesto shows viewers a side of the legend that they rarely, if ever, got to see. “At over two hours in length,” writes Gawker, “what could have felt like a bloated obituary is unmistakably alive.” Using songs from Michael Jackson's Bad, as well as concert footage and behind-the-scenes video interviews, Lee pulls back the curtain to reveal the man behind the celebrity.

One of the most outspoken filmmakers of our time, Lee documents the life of one of the world's most controversial musicians in a match made in Hollywood heaven. Going beyond a simple “making of” of Jackson's blockbuster album, the Peabody Award-winning director shows us the making of a man, a celebrity, and an icon who is still impacting the world even years after his death. Lee's undeniable talent for telling a story in any medium—from film, to live talks, to media appearances—brings the people and events that shape our history into context, leaving us with unforgettable pieces of work that linger with audiences long after the reel is finished.

Celebrity Speaker Rick Mercer Rants about Ranting in Maclean’s

“The danger in not ranting is dire,” Rick Mercer warns in a recent Maclean's article. The celebrity speaker and star of CBC's The Rick Mercer Report said that Canadians don't rant enough, and cautions that “if we as a nation don’t rant then the powers that be will use that complacency against us.”

He tells Maclean's that he learned the importance of ranting from a young age. “I didn’t come out of the womb ranting but chances are I heard a few good ones while I was in there,” he jokes. With his signature mix of sharp-witted-humour-meets-intelligent advice, Mercer quips that without standing up for yourself and demanding action, nothing would ever get done—a caveat adopted from his mother that he puts into practice regularly. 

He also reminds us that politicians work for the people—not the other way around. “We are the boss,” says Mercer, “and if [the politicans] want to work for us they have to listen to us, answer our questions and occasionally, like all employees, listen to the boss rant.”

Bold and inspiring, his words lift from the page and demand attention—similar to his other call-to-action rants that first become popular on CBC's This Hour has 22 Minutes, and have now become a staple in his own show. His best rants have been assembled into his latest book, A Nation Worth Ranting About. Released earlier this month, it is a collection of Mercer's fiercely funny (and sometimes serious) diabtribes about national issues. His two other books, Streeters and RMR:The Book, were bestsellers.