Red Green stopping in to say bye

This could be it, Canada.

At least that's what Red Green is saying about his upcoming cross-country tour that starts later this month.

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Steve Smith, who plays Red Green, will make his way to the Vanier Hall stage Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. for the last time.

"This will be my last tour and the worst thing that could happen is that you realize your last tour should've been your last tour," Smith said. "So this is good."

Smith can't say enough about his love for live performance on stage.

"It is absolutely the best, hands down, 1000 per cent ahead of anything else," Smith said.

He said he thoroughly enjoyed doing the television show, writing his books and newspaper columns.

"They're all good - they're all pleasant experiences for me but the live stage thing - if I'd have realized I would have done it long ago," Smith said. "It's not something I came up through - I wasn't a stand up comic and I never did theatre or anything so in 2010 when I went on stage as Red Green that was the first time I'd ever really done that."

Smith said it is a really personal thing to get up on stage in front of a live audience.

"And there's no other agenda," Smith explained. "I didn't bring an audience in for the purpose of using them to create something that I'm going to market after I'm done, like a television show. It's not about lighting or makeup or anything. It would've happened the same way 1,000 years ago. It's just somebody getting up and trying to entertain other people as if they were in a living room or a kitchen or a theatre. I was shocked at how much I really enjoyed it."

Smith said he had to be honest. It's not cheap to go see him.

"So people who are ambivalent about me aren't there, so it's not like this is a cold call," Smith said. "I'm not getting up at a comedy club where they don't know me. The audience has already, by buying a ticket, showed some appreciation for my bizarre sense of humour. So that kind of gives you the green light."

(Not sure if the pun was intended there - "Green" light.)

"The challenge is in the first night or two after that you kind of know how you're doing," Smith said. "I can't create five minutes worth of material and then go to the comedy club to try it out. It just doesn't work for Red Green. So I step on stage with 90 minutes of stuff that's never been said to anybody and hope that most of it goes well."

And if if doesn't then adjustments are made and sometimes it's just the opposite.

"Then there are other things, believe it or not, that you thought were kind of throwaways that were very well received, so you've got to give them a little room to breathe," Smith said. "So, yeah, there are adjustments all the way along but it's honestly not much - it's not five per cent. It's not that much. I know what my point of view is and the audience seems to like that."

When it comes to comedy, it can't be your greatest hits, Smith said.

"So this is all fresh and brand new," he added. He's shot some new video. He's got three of the characters from the show phoning in, there's handyman tips, advice on how to talk to your spouse and words of wisdom for teenagers on how to get that first date.

"I end the show with a wish for the audience and that's gone over really well," Smith said.

"The under current of the whole thing is gratitude and good-bye."

Tickets are on sale at www.ticketsnorth.ca.

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