Red Green to perform at Stephens Auditorium


Courtesy of Marlene Palmer/ Media Relations, Steve Smith

Red Green will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Stephens Auditorium. 

Jacob Beals

Comedian Red Green will take the stage at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Stephens Auditorium. Tickets cost $49.50 and are available at Ticketmaster.

Green is currently on his “I’m Not Old, I’m Ripe Tour” that stretches across the country and makes three stops in Iowa.

Steve Smith, the man behind Red Green, said this latest series of shows will cover topics on Red’s past and will feature stories and life tips from the character. Smith talked about what inspired this latest tour.  

“What inspired it was my first tour, which I started on in 2010,” Smith said. “It was just so much fun. I’ve been in show business a long time and the live shows, just me and the audience, is definitely the most enjoyable part.”

Smith originated the character of Red Green on a Canadian TV show he had with his wife called “Smith and Smith.” He said he was inspired to create Red after seeing a fishing show run by a man named Red Fisher.

“It was a guy in Canada named Red Fisher, who had a fishing show, and he didn’t realize he was boring, and I just thought that was really interesting,” Smith said. “He had a half-hour fishing show and he didn’t catch anything.”

Eventually he said his wife wanted to get out of the TV business, so Smith took Red to another level and started “The Red Green Show.”

“Red Green was supposed to be a summer job in 1990, but it’s been an endless summer,” Smith said.

The program ran on public television in the United States and was in production from 1991 to 2006. It still airs on Saturday nights on IPTV. Smith has also uploaded episodes from the show to YouTube through the official Red Green channel.

Each episode features short segments and sketches with Green and his friends that took place at a men’s club called Possum Lodge.

The “Handy Man Corner” segment of the show features Red’s skills as he tackles home improvement and repair jobs in a comedic fashion. For instance, Red would cut corners and use simple items to get the job done, such as duct tape.

In fact, Smith said about 100 rolls of duct tape were used in each episode.

He said the way Green goes about his handy projects is based off of how men sometimes want to get repairs done fast rather than doing the job right. 

“Welding or drilling holes and bolting, that takes time,” Smith said. “Duct tape, five minutes [and] you’re done. Men don’t care if they have to do it again in three months.”

Some of his past projects include a snowmobile made out of a water heater and toboggan, a toilet intercom and even his own customized homemade cars, such as his Cadillac backhoe, Hummer and hybrid vehicles. 

“Probably my favorite was the last episode,” Smith said. “We did 300 episodes, and the last episode was [when] I made a perpetual motion machine that wouldn’t work. I couldn’t get it started.”

Even though Smith played an over-exaggerated “Handy Man” character on the show, he said he is quite the handyman himself and that he grew up that way.

“I grew up in a big city, Toronto, and I ended up moving out in a more rural area … I ended up working on farms and doing stuff,” Smith said. “We would buy a car for $50 and figure out how to make it go.”

Smith also recalled the catchphrases he used in each episode of “The Red Green Show” such as “Keep Your Stick on the Ice” and “If the women don’t find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy” were also things that came to him as he grew up.

The show came to a close in 2006, and Smith said he enjoyed working with everyone on it, but he also expressed that he doesn’t regret that it is over. Smith said he was grateful for the time on the show and the work he had done.

“I’m not a guy who looks back and thinks, ‘I wish I was still doing that.’ I’m always looking at what’s next,” Smith said. “I really enjoyed doing the show, working with those guys. I can’t remember having an argument with anyone of them. It was just like a bunch of friends having fun.”

This latest tour will catch up with Red Green, but Smith has always put Red’s thoughts on different aspects of life into his past shows, with this tour being no different.

“Well, you know Red primarily has a point of view,” Smith said. “He had that point of view when he was 7 years old and he’s got it at 70. And as long as he lives, he’ll have that same point of view.” 

Smith also expressed his excitement to perform in front of a crowd again. He said this is what keeps him touring and why he loves the connection with the audience. 

“For me, that’s why I do [comedy],” Smith said. “I’m not out there trying to tell them how to live. I’m not angry, [and] I’m not obscene. It’s just finding out there are other people in the world like me is kinda comforting.” 

To find out more about Red Green’s upcoming performance, visit the Iowa State Center’s website.