It’s been a few years since our friend Alan Foster called to ask, “What have you been up to? Got anything that I should look at?”
Alan was the man who got The Red Green Show onto PBS despite a lot of concerns that audiences wouldn’t enjoy a show that featured a bunch of dorky and scruffy looking oddballs at a bric-a-brac filled lodge in the middle of the nowhere.
The fact that the host of this ‘Men Are From Mars’ circus had a beard, a voice like sandpaper, and never took off his hat didn’t help. Nor did the fact that the cast were all guys.
After all, men and women making fun of each other was a staple of comedy. Here was a show where men made fun of themselves without realizing it, and women were mostly a mystery.
The show went on to be one of the top comedy hits on many PBS stations. I co-created the series, co-wrote many episodes, starred as the bumbling outdoorsman Bill, and had a ball.
No one had ever seen anything like it on television, even though many folks identified with the rural, outdoors testosterone-fuelled lifestyle. (This was decades before the term “Man-Cave” had been invented.)
When Alan called, wondering if we had another hit up our sleeves, my wife Ava, who edited The Red Green Show, told him, “We have done a documentary featuring Patrick McKenna and his wife, Janis.”
Alan knew and loved Patrick because he played Red Green’s awkward young nephew with nerdy abandon, so he was keen, “What’s it about?”
“It’s the story of Patrick getting diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood.”
“ADHD? As in, ‘Attention Deficit Hyper-what is it?”
Alan was polite and finally suggested, “Well, why don’t you send me a copy and I’ll give it a look… Have you got anything else on the go?”
We didn’t. At this point the film had aired in Canada and ADHD was our full-time mission.
Ava sent a DVD of the program to Alan. One day, having nothing better to do, Alan finally watched it. The moment it ended he called us, “Wow… Listen, we need to talk.”
Pretty soon millions of people were talking. Which was exactly what Patrick, Janis, Ava and I wanted to happen. They still are, as some stations continue to run it, and the sequel, ADD & Mastering It!
Thank you, Alan. And thank you every PBS station who took a chance and aired it. And of course to everyone who made it such a hit.
Big smile on my face right now.
Have a great week.
(Oh, Ava says hello too!)
For as little as the cost of a cup of coffee a month you can take part in live community discussions with Rick Green + see our new videos first + other perks
TotallyADD.com is an independent website created & owned by Big Brain Productions Inc. (Rick Green). We tell you this because so many people ask if pharmaceutical companies paid for any of this and the answer is absolutely not. Purchases in our shop, and our Patreon community pays for content creation.