Possum Lake is a small town located in the wilds of Canada. Some of the men of Possum Lake belong to Possum Lodge. Their motto is “Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati,” meaning, “When all else fails, play dead.” They are led by Red Green (Steve Smith). His nephew and resident geek, Harold Green (Pat McKenna), produce a local access-style sketch show called The Red Green Show.
Each show is laid out with one main storyline (like a fishing derby in the polluted lake, trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, a hurricane threatening the lodge, or inventing grass that only grows to a certain height, thereby cutting out the need for mowing). Mixed in with the main story are segments that include the Possum Lodge Word Game, Handyman’s Corner, and A Moment With Red.
In the Possum Lodge Word Game, Red tries to get one of the other lodge members to guess the secret word in 30 seconds with clues for a great prize. Usually the word is something easy, but it takes awhile for the player to get the word from Red’s clues.
Handyman’s Corner has Red turning useless junk into something useful, using things readily available and held together with duct tape. Want to know how to make a drag racing car out of an old lawn mower, a ladder, a kid’s bicycle, and a chair with no legs? Red shows you how with the magic of duct tape. Need to lift a heavy object, like a woodstove, to the second floor and you don’t want to kill your back? Red can show you how with an extension ladder and a pair of skis. Like Red says, the motto for a handyman is, “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.”
A Moment With Red allows Red to get philosophical with us and dispense advice on subjects like relationships, divorce, and what to expect after the age of 45. These monologues include him explaining the Seven Stages of Parking.
Stage 1: You’re a kid. All you have to park is your butt.
Stage 2: You’re a teenager and are out parking with a girl who has a good chance of being your future wife.
Stage 3: You’re married with kids and are now parking at a McDonald’s with a play area.
Stage 4: The kids have grown and are working, coincidentally, at McDonald’s. Meanwhile, you’ve bought yourself a sports car and are caught parking with a girl who has no chance of being your future wife.
Stage 5: Now you’re parking in the garage, where you’re also living.
Stage 6: You’re old; no license, no car, no parking spot.
Stage 7: You’re parked. Permanently. You have your own parking spot. It even has your name over it.
Joining the fun are Winston Rothschild III (Jeff Lumby), Dalton Humphry (Bob Bainborough), Mike Hamar (Wayne Robson), Edgar Montross (Graham Greene), and Ranger Gord (Peter Kelleghan). They contribute to the chaos that happens when men are allowed to congregate without women around in every way conceivable, such as when Winston and Mike decide to try to raise money and get a date by setting up a bachelor auction, or when Ranger Gord creates his animated educational films that explain how planting a cell phone in the ground causes telephone poles to grow.
The Red Green Show was a Canadian television institution that ran for 15 seasons and 300 episodes. This season is smack in the middle at Season 11 in 1999. It is contained on three DVDs with 16 episodes clocking in at over 400 minutes. I give it two thumbs up and can’t wait to see more of it on my local PBS station. Like Red says at the end of every episode, “Keep your stick on the ice.”