Stock up on the handyman's secret weapon
October 27, 2013 6:19 AM   Subscribe

From 1991 to 2006, there was one show that stood ready to help Canadian men with much needed advice on D.I.Y., hunting, fishing and other wildlife pursuits, not to mention married life and other challenges of modern life. Now the entire archives of the Red Green show are available on youtube.
posted by MartinWisse (46 comments total) 80 users marked this as a favorite
 
"If they don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."

These are not words to be taken lightly in my household.
posted by Blue_Villain at 6:25 AM on October 27, 2013 [11 favorites]


Awesome, eh?
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:33 AM on October 27, 2013


Great. Now my wife is never going to leave the house...or the sofa.

(I'm pretty sure she'd leave me for Red Green.)
posted by notsnot at 6:39 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


The men find a charity for the Lodge to affiliate with as way of avoiding taxes and receiving government grants. Red makes a device that automatically clears snow from your driveway. Ed Frid brings in a bucket of leeches. Red makes a fireworks display out of screen doors and a high voltage transformer. The men have a brief tennis competition.
I'm so watching this.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:43 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I used to get stoned and check out the Red Green show on late night television and I ain't even Canadian
posted by smackwich at 6:44 AM on October 27, 2013


Some kids recall growing up watching Disney, Blues Clues and the like. Mine? Red Green. And they are awesome for it.
posted by hal9k at 6:45 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Awesome find. Thanks, and keep yer stick on the ice.
posted by Gungho at 6:57 AM on October 27, 2013


Love Red Green - what a great time-sink you've shared. Must buy more duct tape!
posted by leslies at 6:59 AM on October 27, 2013


Episode 1, for those looking for it.
posted by Solomon at 7:08 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some kids recall growing up watching Disney, Blues Clues and the like. Mine? Red Green. And they are awesome for it.

When I was in middle school, we dressed in plaid and drove through the middle of a December snowstorm to see Red Green put in an early U.S. appearance at the New Hampshire public television studios.

It was kind of weird. Although Steve Smith was in full costume, he stayed in his natural voice (as in that episode of Due South) and largely stayed out of character opting instead to pleasantly converse about how far everyone had traveled and how each of us had discovered the show and what we liked most about it. This was years before they started doing those national PBS telethons, so I'm inclined to believe that he wasn't quite prepared for the crowds of crazy people dressed in flannel shoving wacky, improvised duct tape inventions in his face for comment.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 7:18 AM on October 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


When I was a kid my mom worked late every Friday, so it was just my brother, dad and myself. We always had steak or porkchops and then watched Red Green. Adventures with Bill was my favorite segment, followed closely by Gord Pinsent's fishing tales. And handyman corner, of course.

The beauty of the show was what happened off camera. It was too low budget to actually act any of the stories out. It was Red giving updates of what happened between filler segments.There were a cast of characters that didnt actually exist. (Stinky Pererson comes to mind.) It was just funny storytelling.
posted by Brodiggitty at 7:19 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


For the fanboys fandymen out there - - Red's on tour.
posted by fairmettle at 7:35 AM on October 27, 2013


I grew up in Northern Minnesota. The Red Green show is practically a documentary.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:49 AM on October 27, 2013 [16 favorites]


Patrick McKenna is the only person ever to win a Gemini award for Best Actor in a Drama (for Traders) and Best Actor in a Comedy (for The Red Green Show) in the same year (1998). He played a ruthless heartless trader in the drama show, and the nerdy nephew in the Red Green Show.
posted by seawallrunner at 7:52 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


True story: my mom has Red Green's cat.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:55 AM on October 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


All these years later, it is still a tradition in our family, when our (now adult) daughter is here for the holidays, to pop in the scratchy VHS of the Red Green Christmas.
posted by Danf at 8:04 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was about 9 years old surfing channels when I first stumbled on the Red Green Show. As a kid in the southern U.S., most of the jokes flew over my head, but I was captivated by the lodge atmosphere and flannel clothing. I was hooked and starting taping episodes when the irregularly aired on late night television. Then I grew up, became a teenager, and pretty much forgot all about it. Thanks, MartinWisse. I've got a lot of catching up to do.
posted by fishmasta at 8:07 AM on October 27, 2013


ricochet biscuit: "True story: my mom has Red Green's cat."

You don't just leave that there without explaining. Spill it.
posted by notsnot at 8:15 AM on October 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


This will be very useful, for instance, I was just trying to explain to someone about his skunk skin mittens, without much success.
posted by 445supermag at 8:23 AM on October 27, 2013


True story: my mom has Red Green's cat.

That's not a story.. that's more like a Canfact.

My fav RG episodes involve Graham Greene. Example, 2.

The show got pretty repetitive and moribund near the end, but was a lot of fun for a good long stretch.
posted by edgeways at 8:42 AM on October 27, 2013


You don't just leave that there without explaining. Spill it.

Really, the explanation is so mundane that it is hardly worth recounting. It was in those days (a decade ago) a high-energy young cat who was at home all the time bouncing around the house when the humans were out at work, so they needed a home for it. Steve Smith's son's girlfriend was then working with my mom, who always has two or three cats, so she was asked if she would like one more. Now the cat is an undignified senior cat who is so scared of visitors that he cowers in the linen closet for hours while company is over. If I did not seek him out to scratch his head on my occasional visits there, I probably would not have seen him in the last three years.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:00 AM on October 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


This is good stuff. Thanks for posting it.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:22 AM on October 27, 2013


"Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati"
posted by islander at 9:30 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not Canadian in the slightest, but the characters sufficiently resemble my extended family and the people I grew up among that it really strikes home anyway.

It would have taken no effort to turn this into cruel parody or treacly po-folks nostalgia, and it's a little amazing how well they managed to skirt the boundaries of those sentiments.
posted by ardgedee at 9:48 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yay!

(I always think my dad is half red green half king of kensington.)
posted by chapps at 9:54 AM on October 27, 2013


In my mind, PBS : The Red Green Show :: NPR : Car Talk. Now that both shows are off the air, I worry that we've reached the end of the "goofy old men fixing things in creative ways" genre. Is there nobody who can step in and carry this torch?
posted by gueneverey at 10:14 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Red Green aficionados will want to check out his earlier show: Smith & Smith.
posted by docgonzo at 10:30 AM on October 27, 2013


My husband likes to recite the mens' prayer:

I'M A MAN

I CAN CHANGE

IF I WANT TO

I GUESS
posted by desjardins at 11:17 AM on October 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


I told him he should go as Red Green for Halloween; he's gone through at least three large rolls of duct tape this weekend while winterizing our trailer.
posted by desjardins at 11:19 AM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Is there nobody who can step in and carry this torch?

Well there's you're problem right there, you're still dealing with a lighting system dating from the dawn of mankind, as well as relying on a manual labor for positioning and transportation. What you need is a fishing net, the brightest LED Christmas lights you can find, some military-grade paracord, and a couple of weather balloons. Soon everybody will want to know who's the guy with the bright ideas - he'll be the one with the giant artificial sun floating above him, and that bounce in his step and that intense, slightly concerned look on his face that only comes from the intricate balance between the joy of experiencing near-lunar gravity, and the approaching terror that he is also a hair’s breadth away from a strong wind turning him into an airborne navigational hazard.
posted by chambers at 11:37 AM on October 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


I loved watching the Red Green show on PBS as child and I will always remember Edgar's stirring review of Dances With Wolves.
posted by Darken Skye at 11:54 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


My wife found it totally unfunny. Which is the highest praise I could possibly imagine.
posted by tommasz at 12:31 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is fantastic. As a British import, I love the Red Green show.
posted by arcticseal at 1:32 PM on October 27, 2013


I'd say Ron Swanson is doing a good job of carrying the torch.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 3:09 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


"It is Winter"...

I loved that show. There was always a faint sound of chainsaw or hammering in the background. Canadian reality for anybody living out of the city.
I stayed with my Mom in Northern Saskatchewan this summer, and it was all chainsaw, and all fixing stuff, all the time. All around us. Our summers are short. THERE ARE THINGS TO BE FIXED.
posted by antiquated at 3:51 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Harold: "One can assume that you're out of the firewood business?"

Red: "We're out of the pick your own firewood business. The regular firewood sales are just gonna be on hold for a while until the cottagers go back to the city for the winter at which point we'll have easy access to their wood piles"

Harold: "You're gonna steal their firewood?"

Red: "Oh no, it's not--I'm not stealing, I'm log brokering. I'm selling log futures. We protect their firewood from the ravages of winter, and then we sell it back to them in the spring"

(This exchange still cracks my father up)
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:38 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's still Saturday night fare for us here in the wilds of Iowa... don't believe Iowa Public TV will ever drop it.
posted by drhydro at 4:39 PM on October 27, 2013


If you are a die-hard Red Green fan, you might be interested in seeing the sets from the show. They're still kept in one piece, on display in Hamilton Ontario, in what may be the world's most spectacular 70,000 square foot surplus store "Mr Used".
posted by Popular Ethics at 6:47 PM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm not a misogynist, but seriously, it was the only show I could watch with my 2 sons, and Momma (my wife) would leave us alone. I also grew up in MN (cold part), so we liked the cold jokes, but mostly we liked guy time, still do. How many shows do you see on TV w/o any wimmin?
posted by primdehuit at 7:36 PM on October 27, 2013


Now this is relevant to my interests. If I can't fix it with duct tape, baling twine, WD 40, or spit, it probably can't be fixed.

There's always a couple rolls of DT in the garage, and at least one in the kitchen junk drawer, tack shed, horse trailer, and truck. Plus the one I keep over the coat rack in the back entry. You can never have enough duct tape.


...pop in the scratchy VHS of the Red Green Christmas.

A Red Green Christmas?
I sooo have to set this up for Christmas day viewing!!
Welcome to Possum Lodge.
posted by BlueHorse at 10:25 PM on October 27, 2013


"In my mind, PBS : The Red Green Show :: NPR : Car Talk. Now that both shows are off the air, I worry that we've reached the end of the "goofy old men fixing things in creative ways" genre. Is there nobody who can step in and carry this torch?
posted by gueneverey at 1:14 PM on October 27

I think you're looking for Holmes Makes It Right, wherein Canadian former general contractor, and all around dogooder Mike Holmes and his crews of licensed sub-contractors, show shocked home owners, on a weekly basis, how to spend $300,000+ (CDN), to rip out and correctly redo partially finished basements, or similar home improvement projects gone tragically wrong, in neighborhoods of unprepossessing $150,000 tract homes, and why that is always a good idea, and really, the only thing to be done.

A future cult classic, trust me.
posted by paulsc at 12:44 AM on October 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


(a.k.a. "Holmes on Homes," which I always found a much better name.)
posted by wenestvedt at 7:07 AM on October 28, 2013


I love the Possum Lodge Word Game and Ranger Gord to a scary degree.
posted by dragonplayer at 8:36 AM on October 28, 2013


In my mind, PBS : The Red Green Show :: NPR : Car Talk. Now that both shows are off the air...

Red Green and Car Talk are both still on regular rotation on Minnesota Public TV and Radio. I haven't seen Red Green in years, but I still rarely miss a Car Talk. They have been playing some quite old ones too which is interesting.

I grew up loving Red Green - it could have easily been in Northern Minnesota without changing much - but I got kind of tired of it some time back. It just got to be too much of the same. I may have to go back and rewatch some of them now that it's been a while.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 9:38 AM on October 28, 2013


I'm surprised Harold was in the first episode. I always assumed he was added later to be a foil to Red.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:44 AM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:59 AM on October 28, 2013


« Older Two Thumbs Up   |   Anytime I hear the wind blow, it will whisper the... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments