Celebrating Seniors – Steve Smith (Red Green) is 70
Canadian businessman, writer, comedian and actor Steve Smith, AKA Red Green, was born December 24, 1945 in Toronto, Ontario, and grew up in that city. Smith married his high school girlfriend Morag in 1966 and the couple celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary in 2015.
After stints at different jobs, Morag and Steve Smith turned to entertaining the masses together with music, and ultimately, comedy. Smith & Smith, a comedy act featuring the couple, was formed in 1974. By 1978 their act was a sketch comedy television show filming in Hamilton, Ontario for CHCH Television. The series was syndicated to other TV stations across Canada, and it was on this show that the character of duct-tape loving homespun handyman Red Green (as portrayed by Steve Smith) was first introduced. Morag & Steve incorporated S & S Productions in 1980 to support Smith & Smith, but it has since produced numerous other television programs. Their grown sons Max and Dave are involved with the business.
Below, Morag & Steve Smith singing the Smith & Smith show-closing tune Take Care of Someone Who Loves You
In 1986 Smith & Smith had evolved into the new sitcom Me & Max, starring Morag and Steve Smith, and their two young sons Dave and Max; the series lasted one year.
After the demise of Me & Max, Steve and Morag returned to sketch comedy in The Comedy Mill, again produced by and airing on Hamilton’s CHCH TV from 1987-1991. When The Comedy Mill show ended in 1991, Morag retired.
Steve Smith decided to breathe new life into the character he’d created years earlier, debuting The Red Green Show in 1991 on CHCH television in Hamilton.
Over the course of the next 15 years and 299 episodes later, The Red Green Show (right photo, 1992) was produced by different Canadian television stations, ultimately ending up at CBC from 1997-2005. The Comedy Network bought the series, and The Red Green Show has also been run on PBS in the U.S.
The Red Green Show featured Smith in character as Red Green, a sort of Home Improvement/DIY “How Not” send-off with funny handyman and fix-it skits. The series spawned a movie, Duct Tape Forever (2002), with 3M Scotch Duct Tape as a major sponsor.
Steve Smith retired in 2005, and he and wife Morag, who have a home in Hamilton, Ontario, began spending their summers living on their 79 foot long houseboat. True Canadians, they drive to Florida every winter to while away the winter months. Steve Smith was awarded the Order of Canada in 2006 in recognition of his work.
A car enthusiast, Steve Smith has owned a Viper (2001-2009) and recently auctioned off his 2008 Limited Edition Bentley Arnage Concours in April 2015 at the Toronto Classic Car Auction. He told Cameron French | Daily Brew that “In 2001 I bought a brand new Viper. I decided at that point I was a very old young guy…In 2009 I got rid of the Viper and got the Bentley, because I was no longer an old young guy, I figured I was a young old guy.” He keeps many of his cars in Florida.
Steve Smith has said in interviews that it wasn’t long into retirement that he felt the “creative itch”. Promptly upon becoming a senior citizen, he wrote the Red Green inspired comedy books How to Do Everything (2011), The Green Red Green: Made Almost Entirely From Recycled Material (2012), and Red Green’s Beginner’s Guide to Women (For Men Who Don’t Read Instructions) (2013).
Not content with writing comedy in “retirement”, Smith decided to perform stand up comedy. Senior citizen Steve Smith has toured the U.S. and Canada, entertaining fans with his humour on his Wit & Wisdom Tour (2013), and the How to do Everything Tour (2014); not surprisingly, his tours are also sponsored by 3M.
Smith told reporter Bill Brioux of the Canadian Press in 2011, that he’s loving stand-up comedy, but as an older man, “It’s odd for a man my age to be doing something brand new that’s not a medical procedure.” Below, Steve Smith as he appeared in 2013 on George Strombopoulos Tonight.
In 2016, new septuagenarian Smith is once again touring. You can catch his I’m Not Old, I’m Ripe act in U.S. cities; check his website for dates. When not touring, Smith has said that he likes golfing regularly with friends and family at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club, or while wintering in Florida.
Some of our favourite Red Green quotes:
“A sure sign of maturity is that when you feel good, it makes you suspicious.”
“Don’t let that cramp bother you. It means you must still have a muscle.”
Happy 70th Birthday, Steve Smith!