The Richard Crouse Show
The Richard Crouse Show - your destination for movie and entertainment news. Crouse, Canada's top movie critic, interviews top actors and celebrities and attempts to moderate an animated pop-culture panel.
On the Saturday November 25, 2023 edition of the Richard Crouse Show we meet two Canadian legends.
First up is stand-up comedian Brent Butt, the star, writer and/or producer of TV shows such as “Corner Gas,” “Hiccups” and “Corner Gas Animated.” He recently added a new line to his resume, thriller author. His debut novel is “Huge,” and it is indeed a huge bestseller.
Set in 1994, the darkly comedic psychological thriller follows a trio of comics on a tour put together by a shady Winnipeg-based comedy booker, through small-town Manitoba and Ontario. The situation goes from bad to worse to downright frightening and violent as they try and get off the road in one piece.
Then, we’ll meet Canada's sharpest and funniest political satirist, Rick Mercer. His latest project is a book titled “The Road Years: A Memoir, Continued…” It’s a look at the his wildly popular show The Mercer Report, it’s beginnings, it’s end and everything in between, including Every living prime minister. Rock and roll royalty from Rush to Randy Bachman. Olympians and Paralympians. A skinny-dipping Bob Rae. And Jann Arden, of course, who gets a chapter to herself.
On the Saturday November 18, 2023 edition of the Richard Crouse Show, we meet Nick Broomfield, director of the new documentary “The Stones And Brian Jones,” now playing in theatres. With candid interviews and never-before-seen footage he reveals how Brian Jones, the founder of the Rolling Stones, was left behind in the shadows of history.
Broomfield props the film up with first-hand accounts, particularly from former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, whose enthusiasm for the music, and Jones’s contributions to it, is infectious. The old stories are bolstered by the addition of new, fresh interviews but it is the focus on Jones as a brilliant musician and not simply another rock ‘n’ roll casualty, that elevates “The Stones and Brian Jones.” The story has its sordid moments, but Bloomfield emphasizes the very heart of Jones’s being, the music.
We’ll also get to know Chelsea McMullen, director of Swan Song, a documentary that takes us inside the National Ballet of Canada’s 2022 legacy-defining new production of “Swan Lake,” choreographed for the first time by the company’s artistic director Karen Kain, who famously debuted in the ballet in 1971. The film’s intimate, character-driven approach chronicles creative conflicts, devastating injuries and personal sacrifices amongst its subjects who, in various ways, confront ideals of race, class and body standards as they navigate a tradition that has historically valued uniformity and compliance.
Then, John Carney, the Irish musician and director of Flora and Son, a new Apple TV+. comedy about a mom, played by the fabulous Eve Hewson, who tries to connect with her rebellious son with music. The director of the Academy Award winning film “Once” tells me about his music saved his life and why he didn’t include my favorite Dublin pub in the film.
On the Saturday November 11, 2023 edition of The Richard Crouse Show we get to know Paul Langlois. Best known as the guitarist and songwriter for the Tragically Hip, he was asked to play the closing ceremonies of the Canada Summer Games in Niagara Falls in August of 2022. That gig got him playing again after Gord Downey’s passing, and the break up of the Hip, and rekindled his love for songwriting. From there, the collection of songs that became his new solo record “Guess What” emerged.
Then, Chris Hadfield joins the show. He is an astronaut, engineer, singer, fighter pilot and the author of the memoir An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, the children's book The Darkest Dark, which was illustrated by the Fan Brothers, and the photo book You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes.
Last year he wrote a thriller called “The Apollo Murders,” a Cold War thriller that introduced audiences to former U.S. test pilot Kaz Zemeckis, as he attempted to stay one step ahead of his Soviet rivals as Russian and American crews sprint for a secret bounty hidden away on the Moon’s surface. James Cameron called it a nail biter, and it hit number one on the best seller charts.
Hadfield returns with “The Defector,” once again placing Kaz Zemeckis in the middle of the action, this time as he takes to the sky in aerial combat to hunt down a high-level defector and uncover Soviet secrets.
Chris Hadfield joined me via Zoom to talk about creating the character Kaz, and how he approached writing his second book of fiction.
On the Saturday November 4, 2023 edition of The Richard Crouse Show we meet Rik Emmett. He is a solo artist, a guitarist, a poet, a song writer, a teacher, a Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame and is probably best known as the co-singer and guitar player of Triumph, the gold and nine platinum selling rock trio who lit up radios in the 70s and 80s.
Rik Emmett left Triumph in 1988 to pursue a solo career, and released records in a variety of styles, including rock, blues, jazz, classical, bluegrass, and flamenco. He’s he won the Canadian Smooth Jazz Award for Guitarist of the Year and now has written a book called “Lay It On the Line: A Backstage Pass to Rock Star Adventure, Conflict and Triumph,” available now wherever you buy fine books.
In this conversation we talk about the memoir, objective perspective of a career when you’re inside it, his favorite guitar players and much more.
On the Saturday December 30, 2023 edition of the Richard Crouse Show we have at two movies to end your year with a smile.
First, we’ll meet Jon Heder, Jon Gries and Efren Ramirez, the stars of “Napoleon Dynamite,” the movie Jim Carrey said “changed comedy movies.” The story of a listless and alienated teenager who decides to help his new friend Pedro win the class presidency in their small western high school, while dealing with his bizarre family life back home, is one of the most quoted movies of all time. We go deep on the legacy of the movie.
Then, I welcome brothers David and Jerry Zucker, and Jim Abrahams, the writers and co-directors of “Airplane!,” the 1980 hit spoof about which David Letterman said, “film comedy became different after that movie.” the Zuckers and Abrahams have a new book, “Surely You Can't Be Serious: The True Story of Airplane!,” available now wherever you buy fine books, will stop by in just a bit to tell all about the making of the movie and the film’s lasting impact.
On the Saturday October 28, 2023 edition of The Richard Crouse Show we meet David and Jerry Zucker, and Jim Abrahams, the writers and co-directors of Airplane, the the story of a washed-up pilot summoned to greatness on a potentially doomed aircraft. It spoofed the genre of airline disaster movies, made a fortune at the box office in 1980 and inspired a generation or two of filmmakers like Peter Farrelly, one of the filmmakers behind s Dumb and Dumber; There's Something About Mary and the comedy-drama Green Book, who said, “Seeing Airplane for the first time was like going to a great rock concert, like seeing Led Zeppelin or the Talking Heads.”
The movie’s secret weapon was the casting of serious actors, like Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges and Peter Graves, who played the comedy straight. The result was a great spoof and a comedy unlike anything else.
Now you can learn the story behind the making of the film in “Surely You Can't Be Serious: The True Story of Airplane!,” the new book by David and Jerry Zucker, and Jim Abrahams, which is available now wherever you buy fine books.
We’ll get to know New York City-based stand-up comedian Tina Friml. She has performed at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, is a regular at the Comedy Cellar in New York City and has a large following on line for her unique take on her own physical disability, and fearless honesty about the social assumptions that come with living with cerebral palsy.
Finally, author Ainslie Hogarth stops by. She is the author of four novels, including “Motherthing,” a darkly comedic novel about a woman who must take drastic measures to save her husband and herself from the vengeful ghost of her mother-in-law that was chosen as one of New York Times picks for best book of the year in 2022. Today we’re here to talk about her new novel, “Normal Women,” a darkly comic story about how we value female labor—and how we don’t. In the story a new mother becomes embroiled in a dangerous mystery when her friend, a controversial entrepreneur, goes missing.
On the Saturday October 21, 2023 edition of The Richard Crouse Show we welcome a household name. In the NHL Ken Dryden backstopped the Montreal Canadiens to six Stanley Cup championships in eight seasons. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was a Liberal Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2011 and Minister of Social Development from 2004 to 2006. In 2017, the league counted him in history's 100 Greatest NHL Players. He received the Order of Hockey in Canada in 2020.
He's also an author. His books include the bestselling “The Game” and “Face Off at the Summit.” His new book is “The Class: A Memoir of a Place, a Time, and Us,” a look back to class 9G at Etobicoke Collegiate Institute.
Then, we’ll meet Irish-Canadian playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. Her 2010 novel “Room” was a finalist for the Booker Prize and an international best-seller. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Room,” and since then she has released a number of best-selling novels, including “The Wonder,” and her latest, “Learned by Heart,” which was shortlisted for the 2023 Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.
The new novel is based on the true story of two girls who fall secretly, deeply and dangerously in love at boarding school in nineteenth century York.
On the Saturday October 14, 2023 edition of The Richard Crouse Show we get to know Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris. His film “The Thin Blue Line” placed fifth on a Sight & Sound poll of the greatest documentaries ever made, and he has, in his films, documented everything from the career of Robert S. McNamara, the Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War and physicist Stephen Hawking to a topiary gardener, a robot scientist and a naked mole rat specialist.
“The Pigeon Tunnel,” his latest film, now streaming on Apple TV+, is a look at the extraordinary life of David Cornwell a.k.a. prolific author John le Carré. Through a retelling of his life, Cornwell examines the very essence of truth, and how memory and manipulation play a part in how we shape our world and our perceptions.
“The Pigeon Tunnel” is as compelling as any le Carré novel. Cornwell/ le Carré knows how to tell a tale, and like any good spy, he knows what details to include, and which to hide away. Morris doesn’t attempt to chip away at the façade and get at the underlying truth, because he knows, in the hands of master storyteller, a good story is a good story, whether it is true or not.
We’ll also meet Robert McCallum, director of the Amazon Prime documentary “Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe,” an award-winning look at the life and legacy of legendary children’s entertainer Ernie Coombs.
Finally, we’ll chat with Tatiana Maslany. You know her as the Emmy winning star of thew science-fiction thriller “Orphan Black,” and as part of the Marvel Universe as the star of “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.” Today she joins me to talk about playing Jennifer, a Monarch butterfly who suffers from acrophobia, a fear of heights, in the new animated film “Butterfly Tale.” We talk Butterflies, Broadway and much more.
On this episode of the Richard Crouse Show we’ll meet Stewart Reynolds a.k.a. Brittlestar, a fifty-something social media star who bills himself as “The Internet's Favourite Dad* (*unproven).” He has a massive following—his videos have been viewed over 650 million times on all the platforms—and done so without licking an airplane toilet seat, like viral video sensation Ava Louise, or posing provocatively on an OnlyFans page… yet. Toay we’ll talk about his latest project, a new book called “Welcome to the Stupidpocalypse: Survival Tips for the Dumbageddon,” a collection of short comedic essays on politics, life, and more as a field guide for life.
Then, we’ll meet Emily Pohl-Weary, a writer and creative writing instructor at the University of British Columbia. Her previous books include YA novels Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl and Strange Times at Western High and the poetry book Ghost Sick. Today we’ll talk about her latest novel “How to be Found,” a young adult novel about inner-city teens who live on a razor's edge and understand that chosen family is just as important as blood.
On the October 6, 2023 edition of the Richard Crouse Show we meet actor Peter Facinelli. You know him from roles on TV shows such like Six Feet Under, Damages and Nurse Jackie but he’ll likely always be best known as Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the wildly popular Twilight franchise. Today we talk about his new film On Fire, the story of a family who lives in a trailer home in the woods who are suddenly confronted by a wildfire.
Then we’ll meet John Carney, the Irish musician and director of Flora and Son, a new Apple TV+. comedy about a mom, played by the fabulous Eve Hewson, who tries to connect with her rebellious son with music. The director of the Academy Award winning film “Once” tells me about his music saved his life and why he didn’t include my favorite Dublin pub in the film.
We’ll also meet Michael Crummey, an award-winning poet and novelist from Newfoundland and Labrador. The Toronto Star called his latest novel, The Adversary, a story about two rivals who represent the largest fishing operations on Newfoundland's northern outpost, a masterpiece. We’ll talk about the novel and how it begins with one of the best opening lines I’ve read in recent memory.
On this episode of the Richard Crouse Show we’ll meet Bill Welychka. Fans of Much Music and MuchMoreMusic will remember Bill as the longest serving VJ on those channels, including a long stint as the host of the channel's country music series Outlaws & Heroes. These days Bill is still working in broadcast television, and has recently written a book about the lessons he learned from hanging out with many of the music industry’s biggest stars. The book is called “A Happy Has-Been (Exciting Times and Lessons Learned by One of Canada’s Foremost Entertainment Journalists.)”
Today we talk about the book, Much Music, and his battles with depression.
Then, we’ll get to know Canadian singer/songwriter, Astrid Young. She is the younger sister of Neil Young, with whom she toured and recorded for many years, and an accomplished musician whose discography dates back to 1984 and boasts over forty releases, including four solo albums and a multitude of credits as a side-musician and background singer. Through the years, Astrid has played stages large and small, from the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in Hollywood to Paradiso in Amsterdam, Brazil's Rock in Rio, and everywhere in between. Today we talk about the rerelease of her album ‘One Night At Giant Rock’ and some new songs, including “Lay Me Down (Borrowed Tune),” which I can’t stop listening to.
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