Mark Critch and Mary Walsh


“And now we do the whole thing in French.”

This was the recurring joke of the night by Mark Critch, who ended the live anniversary episode of This Hour Has 22 Minutes at Algonquin Feb. 5 with an uncanny impression of John Baird.

Baird resigned only a couple of days before the live-taping of the show, but the cast had already prepared a sketch. Having such pertinent material is common, said 22 Minutes cast member Susan Kent during an interview with the Times.

“We write as close to the day as possible,” said Kent. “It’s hard to say who we’re roasting and how until we know what’s happening in the world of politics.”

The anniversary was held in Ottawa for the comedy festival Cracking Up the Capital and because Ottawa is the show’s, “Home away from home,” according to Rebecca Gadsden, the associate publicist of 22 Minutes.

Algonquin Commons Theatre made the perfect shooting location.

“It’s big enough but also small enough with all the necessary equipment,” said Gadsden.

The event was a big hit. The theatre was completely packed full of politicians and fans of 22 Minutes. Gadsden says when the tickets went on sale they sold out in 10 minutes.

The event had a red carpet where the cast and politicians posed for Ottawa news organizations such as the CBC and the Ottawa Citizen.

The cast included: Susan Kent, Mark Critch, Cathy Jones, Shaun Majumder and Mary Walsh.

Even the Official Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair attended. Mulcair was in one of the pre-recorded sketches. The cast made digs at him all night, referring to him as “Orange Crush.”

“It was great,” said Mulcair to the Times. “With 22 Minutes, it’s always light fun.”

The cast didn’t hold back on any of the political parties. They called Justin Trudeau a stoner, Stephen Harper a nerd and Thomas Mulcair a sucker.