Red Green: 'Your guy' for laughs, quick fixes, manly advice

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Steve Smith, known on stage and TV as Red Green, missed our first scheduled telephone interview because he was underneath his 1951 Mercury. He lost track of time.

"I've got some old cars," the Canadian comedian told The Eagle during a call from his home in Hamilton, Ontario, the following week.

He noted that he's adept at repairs but not at making something look aesthetically pleasing.

"I'm your guy," he said, if you're just in need of a fix.

Smith, then, is similar to his duct tape wielding alter ego Green. When he comes to The Colonial Theatre on his "I'm Not Old, I'm Ripe" tour, the longtime star of "The Red Green Show" on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and modest man extraordinaire will be reminiscing on Green's life — and, consequently, his own.

"All of Red Green is in Steve Smith, so it's not a departure," he said.

But not all of Steve Smith is in Red Green. Smith said he likes to think he's better at math, for example, and he's prone to a thoughtfulness that his character on stage lacks.

"I'm more concerned with things in life," said the 71 year old, who will be releasing his latest book, "The Woulda, Shoulda Coulda Guide to Canadian Inventions," six days after his Pittsfield performance.

In "The Red Green Show," which aired from 1991 to 2006, Smith ruminated on how to patch up anything from cars to relationships while stationed at the fictional Possum Lodge. He was essentially a men's advice column in the flesh.

Though this male focus still features prominently in his acts, he said that he's constantly changing the material. This show will be "totally different" than his performance at The Colonial in 2014, when he was on his "How to Do Everything Tour."

"You can't really do your greatest hits," he said of being a comedian.

When he started doing tours, Smith figured his male-oriented wisdom would attract mostly middle-aged men to his shows.

"I was completely wrong," he said, noting that his crowds are diverse in age and gender.

A young woman at one of his performances told him she used to watch him with her father. A 17 year old gave him a less glowing compliment.

"You make me look forward to being old," he said.

ON STAGE

What: Red Green

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11

Where: The Colonial Theatre, 111 South St., Pittsfield

Tickets: $57

How: 413-997-4444; berkshiretheatregroup.org


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