The reaction of most Canadians
to Rick Mercer
's replacement in 2001 was bittersweet
. On the one hand, Mercer had become a staple of the show, and it could even be argued that its popularity was in large part due to him. On the other hand, Colin Mochrie
was another highly popular Canadian comic
, and it was assumed he could easily fill the rather large expectations awaiting him.
In my opinion, Mochrie's first season on 22 Minutes was almost painful to watch. This, I think, is due to the fact that he attempted to adopt Mercer's style as well as his head anchor role. His slightly more physical/slapstick talents simply couldn't emulate Mercer's sharp, cynical humour.
In this, his second season, however, Mocherie appears to have regained his momentum and seems to have found a way to fit the show while still doing comedy as he does it best.
Comparing This Hour has 22 Minutes and Royal Canadian Air Farce is unfair to both of them. 22 Minutes manages the satirical newscast extremely well, while Air Farce is good in its own right. I don't really believe vulgarity is any part of the issue; both shows are quite mild compared to contemporary television. It was also my impression that the majority of Canadians found 22 Minutes to be the more sophisticated and witty.