Ah, Mary Walsh. She’s been a Canadian comedy staple for years, appearing on our screens in CODCO and helping create This Hour Has 22 Minutes. She’s made appearances on sitcoms, had her own talk show about books, advocated for the discoverer of insulin on The Greatest Canadian, and starred in movies. She even directed the movie Young Triffie.
But perhaps Walsh is best known for her character Marg Delahunty, the grandmotherly ambusher of politicians, and her alter ego’s alter ego, Marg, Princess Warrior.
She’s gotten in the face of prime ministers and recently managed to royally piss off the train wreck that is Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto (maybe you remember the stories of him berating 911 operators?).
Although Walsh appears fearless when confronting the powerful, she says it’s stressful, particularly in the case of Ford. “Mr. Ford himself was particularly nerve-racking simply because he seems to be so out of control that it’s very.... I don’t know what was wrong with him, but I found it very scary to be next to him,” says Walsh.
But Walsh isn’t about to give up on what she does.
“I wouldn’t say I enjoy it too much. You know, it’s like writing. That’s what you do, you know what I mean? I haven’t done a lot of Marg ambushing lately, so obviously the Conservative governments, the right-wing governments of the world, not just our Conservative government, are very difficult to get next to,” she says.
“They don’t want to be gotten next to, you know what I mean? And they do everything in their power — hiring huge security firms. I mean, didn’t the prime minister just have his security vehicles flown over to India for fear that someone, some Indian — I mean, what Indian person knows who the fuck Prime Minister Harper is anyway, you know what I mean? Why does he need his fucking security vehicles? So it’s a very big deal to get next to one of those people because they don’t want you to be next to them, right?”
When asked about whether the current government is worse than, say, the Mulroney government, Walsh responds in a way that would make Edwards proud, essentially chastising the interviewer for asking such a stupid question.
“I guess that you would recognize that this government is particularly.... I mean, journalists aren’t allowed to ask questions. Journalists are being kept behind barriers six feet from the prime minister, you know? And none of the people who are in the cabinet are allowed to speak, it has to go through the PMO. I don’t know why you’d be asking me this, I mean this is widely reported.”