Handyman turned marriage counsellor
Having mastered the fine art of duct-tape repair, Red Green is ready to wade into substantially deeper waters with his new how-to book on understanding women.
Red Green’s Beginner’s Guide to Women (For Men Who Don’t Read Instructions) is coming out in time for Green’s fall Canadian tour, which stops at the Red Deer College Arts Centre on Monday, Sept. 30.
The plaid-shirted champion of underachievers everywhere is a self-declared specialist on a whole ream of things — including how to build your own airplane (“The first step is — don’t,” Green cracks). Therefore, he feels fully qualified to put on his marriage counsellor hat and tackle the always timely topic of male-female relations.
“I’ve already written a How to Do Everything book,” Green says, so why not branch out even further? “I’m interested in covering a whole lot of subjects — it’s as if I have ADD.”
Anyone who’s watched the popular Red Green TV show, now in syndication, will know that the bearded host has been married to his off-screen spouse Bernice for eons. It should come to no surprise that Green’s real-life counterpart, actor Steve Smith, has similarly been wed to Morag for 46 years.
“My wife’s a good one,” says Smith, who doesn’t believe his better half has changed much over the decades. “Women stay the same, it’s men who have to get smarter.”
While his stage persona, Green, arguably isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, Smith believes he has learned some common wisdom about marriage over the years. Among the homespun advice Green dispenses is: “Women always have the last word in an argument. Anything after that is just the beginning of the next argument.”
Green also opines that menopause is an elaborate cover up. “She’s actually been taken over by aliens. It could last up to 10 years, but eventually they’ll decide to abandon the project — it’ll be too much for them — and she’ll come back. You have to wait for it.”
Smith’s own words about women are less pithy, but somehow ring truer. “What women want is for you to care about what they want,” says the comic actor, who noticed his audience is always interested in relationship humour.
“Every time I talk about husband and wife stuff, it gets the strongest reaction.”
Smith isn’t sure why the Red Green character strikes a chord with men of a certain age. “I guess I represent a certain generation and I’m pleased that my point of view somehow typifies how they feel.”
The Red Green Show has now run on PBS for some 20 years. Smith says, “It’s the longest-running Canadian show on an American network, ever.”
Green has pockets of fans living in New England, Texas and the Pacific Northwest, but most reside in the American Midwest. Smith says Green’s U.S. fans “are like Canadians with guns. Down-to-earth people, with solid moral values.”
Tickets for the 7 p.m. show at the RDC Arts Centre are $65.80 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.