The handyman’s secret weapon is duct tape – with enough tape, a tinkerer is only limited by his imagination.
Steve Smith a.k.a. Red Green, known for his inventive ideas and jury-rigged contraptions, made the adhesive product famous for improvement projects.
“Duct tape is a man’s tool. No man wants to take long to do anything,” said Smith. “He would rather use a roll of duct tape and take 20 minutes to fix something.”
Smith said some men would rather get it done quickly, even if it means they will have to repair the same device again in a few months.
In a typical episode of The Red Green Show, the cast and crew used more than 100 rolls of duct tape.
In the show’s Handyman Corner segment, Smith created devices such as a boat car, a refrigerator van, a bathtub barbecue and countless others over the TV series’ lifetime.
“People who are little bit handy, or think they are, relate to Red Green,” said Smith.
The character, Red Green, came to life during the TV show Smith and Smith, where he starred alongside his wife, Morag.
Smith was inspired by a man named Red Fisher, who starred in The Red Fisher Show, which appeared on CTV in the early ’70s and late ’80s.
“He wasn’t there to be funny, but he was,” said Smith.
Smith also took aspects of himself to build the character. He said when stuff broke down sometimes you had to just “make it work” rather than spending a lot of time fixing a problem.
Smith said he wasn’t the class clown growing up, but he knew how to turn a phrase to entertain people.
The character Red Green was known for his catchphrases, like ‘Keep your stick on the ice’ and ‘If women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.’
Initially, The Red Green Show was supposed to be a summer job, but TV viewers kept tuning in over the course of 15 seasons to see the antics happening at Possum Lodge.
When Smith was approaching his 60th birthday, he told the producers it would be his last season, and the show come to a close in 2006.
“I always like to leave the party when it’s still kind of humming,” said Smith about his departure.
Smith is touring across Canada during his I’m Not Old, I’m Ripe Tour, presented by Rocklands Entertainment, and is making three Vancouver Island appearances. Smith performs in Nanaimo at the Port Theatre on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.
This is Smith’s third tour and it is autobiographical of Red Green’s life.
His tours were Wit and Wisdom in 2013 and How to Do Everything in 2014.
“By far it’s the most enjoyable thing I have ever done in my entire life,” said Smith about his comedy tours. “It’s very personal. It’s just me and the audience.”
Although the show went off the air years ago, Smith said new fans are being introduced to the characters on the official YouTube channel, http://bit.ly/2bN8M0a.
Tickets for the Nanaimo performance are $61.50 and are available in advance by calling 250-754-8550 or www.porttheatre.com.