Call Him Connie

Call Him Connie

Conrad Black’s appearance on CBC last night, while not exactly a match for the Pythons, was a respectable, sporting effort at satire and self-deprecation. Moreover, the short plug that ran just before the show—during which Black announced “Cannonball!” just as Mercer leaped into his Palm Beach pool—was genuinely hilarious and zany.

And while the set piece titled “Celebrity Tip” (wherein Black demonstrated how to wax an ochre maple leaf, thereby reminding himself of his native Canada) was occasionally forced, it was on the whole warm-hearted and gentle fun. The un-bylined CP story that ran this morning describing Black as wooden and seemingly uncomfortable was flat wrong.

More’s the point, Black’s genial self-mockery was very much at odds with the often sanctimonious and cheesy moralizing that passes for commentary in the press. As always, Black proved himself a more interesting and variegated subject than his most severe critics could possibly conjure. (All of which makes you wonder what sort of impression he might have made before a jury.)

A satirist of note dropped me an e-mail just after the show that caught the spirit of Black’s efforts exactly:

“Conrad B. on Rick Mercer was maybe his best public appearance. A crook with a bit of style.”

Black shows lighter side on Mercer show: Source [Toronto Sun]

Fraudster Black waxes comical: Source [The Guardian]

Black more than a pompous greed-head: Source [The StarPhoenix]