Canada’s backwoods self-help guru Red Green is returning to Victoria with his unique advice, good, bad and totally masculine.
The man who made himself famous as a duct tape architect is on tour after a winter’s hibernation in Possum Lodge where he penned his third book for Random House, Red Green’s Beginners Guide to Women (For men who don’t read instructions).
Steve Smith, the comic brain behind Green, is launching Green’s latest tour, How to do Everything (From the man who should know). Victoria is the third stop on the tour, Saturday (Sept. 21) at the Royal Theatre, which starts with a brief warmup in Ontario before officially debuting in Surrey and Courtenay.
How to do Everything borrows some of the material from Beginner’s Guide to Women but is its own show, written after the book.
Smith, er, make that Green, will be at Munro’s Bookstore at 2 p.m. on the day of the show, signing books as part of the Munro’s 50th birthday celebration.
“I’ll read from the book in the show and there are parts of the show based on the book. But the show is new. I sat down with a clean slate in January,” Smith said. “From zero to a 90-minute show is a lot for an older brain.”
Writing isn’t new to Smith who, with wife Morag, has written thousands of sketches dating back to their comedy show Smith and Smith in the ‘70s. Then came the modern fame with the Red Green Show.
“It’s a hell of a lot easier to write a book,” Smith said. “For starters, on a quantity level, you write a book and then a couple years later you write another one. With TV, it’s like a shark, you feed it, and then a minute later it’s hungry again.”
Morag, meanwhile, is still ”dead centre” in the scheme of things. In a way, it’s still just Smith and Smith.
“If she didn’t (tour with me) I wouldn’t (tour). She does 95 per cent the driving. To us, it’s an adventure, like travelling in an RV without actually having an RV. There’s no RV. There’s no campsites. And we’re young again without any worries.”
Smith, in a moment of clarity too cerebral for Green, talked about how writing goes hand-in-hand with his continued longevity by exercising his comedic muscles.
“If I ever get old, which could be next week, I would focus on writing books but my favourite thing is the touring,” Smith said. “You gotta write, it’s like going to the gym and training. To me, the more creative you are, the more creative you are. If you don’t use it, it will go.”
The book truly is a (heterosexual) beginner’s guide to women, with information both useful and useless, albeit expertly passed along in the most fatherly manner by Green.
A book so masculine is ripe for criticism in its alienation of women as people and yet the book is also protected by its own bubble of absurdity.
For example, Smith’s wife Morag, the other half of Smith and Smith, has never read a word of it or any of the books Smith has written.
“It’s hard to know who’s buying the book but its always amazing the number of women in the audience of our shows,” Smith said. “Yes the book is a masculine point of view and that’s what women like about it, they want to know what goes through a man’s mind that makes them think this is appropriate behaviour?”
On the other hand, many of Green’s most dedicated are of a certain breed.
“One letter I got from a woman said, ‘I sit in the living room and watch the show with my husband. He thinks I’m laughing at the show.’”
Tickets for Green’s show are available at the Royal and McPherson theatre box offices or at redgreen.com.
By Travis Paterson