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Talking to Americans

"Talking To Americans" was a regular feature presented by Rick Mercer[?] on the Canadian political satire show This Hour Has 22 Minutes. It was later spun off into a one-hour special that aired on CBC TV.

It consisted in interviewing Americans on the street and supposedly duping them into agreeing with ridiculous statements about Canada. The intent was to satirize American ignorance of its neighbour. Examples included Americans persuaded to congratulate Canada on legalizing insulin, adopting the twenty-four-hour day, to exhort the Canadian government to install an air conditioner to preserve the National Igloo, or to agree that the U.S. should bomb Saskatchewan or send ground troop into Gilles Duceppe.

The most famous segment featured Mr. Mercer in 2000 asking then-presidential candidate George W. Bush, who had previously stated that "you can't stump me on world leaders", for his reaction to an endorsement by Canadian Prime Minister "Jean Poutine". Bush responded diplomatically and said he looked forward to working together with his future counterpart to the north. However, the prime minister's name is Jean Chrétien; poutine is a French-Canadian fast food dish of french fries and cheese curd. Also, Chrétien hadn't endorsed any candidate at the time. Bush's opponent, Vice President Al Gore, also fell victim to Mercer, when he was asked about the Canadian capital Toronto (it's actually Ottawa). [1] (http://abcnews.go.com/sections/nightline/DailyNews/CanadaTV_010731)

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