Saturday Night Live is mining comedic gold from the new Donald Trump administration, but Canada's premier satirist Rick Mercer finds nothing funny about U.S. politics.
'There is serious harm being done.' - Rick Mercer
"I'm aghast; I'm aghast and shocked every single day," Mercer told CBC Radio.
Mercer has been making viewers laugh on CBC-TV for more than 20 years, and tonight his show will go up against Trump's first speech to Congress, outlining his agenda. The Rick Mercer Report will instead focus on some Canuck content, including an ice boat race and construction of Parliament Hill.
"There's no joy there," Mercer said of Trump. "A lot of people think, 'Oh this must be great for people in your business,' and I don't think anybody in my business wishes ill on the world or the country just to make their job a little easier."
Mercer shocked, but unsurprised
Though Mercer said he is "shocked" daily by Trump, he is not surprised to see the new U.S. president moving forward with controversial projects like a border wall with Mexico. After all, Mercer said, these are promises that were made on the campaign trail.
Mercer, however, is worried about Trump's attempt to discredit the media.
"I find the full frontal assault on the New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, CNBC … I find that all very disconcerting and perhaps the strangest thing that I've witnessed in my lifetime in the western world."
It's these darker aspects of Trump in office in which Mercer finds no joy.
"A lot of satirists are on the left and so they often shine when they have something to complain about. But it's one thing to have something to complain about; it's another thing when you feel like there is serious harm being done."
Trump has support
Known for his politically astute rants, Mercer also offered a critique to Canadians who might be feeling smug and secure in their belief that a Trump-like administration could never find traction here.
Mercer said that there are many Americans who support Trump, and that "one would have to think that a big chunk of Canadians are probably quietly thinking he's doing a good job."
The Rick Mercer Report airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. CST on CBC-TV.