Growing up on Kenmount Road, all the way out by the VOCM station, Mark Critch says the closest people he had to play with were car salesmen from the area dealerships.
He was an old soul, he says, and when he started school, he was a bit of a fish out of water.
“An outsider and an 80-year-old man in a kid’s body,” is how he describes himself as a child.
It was perfect fodder for a memoir, as it turns out.
After chatting with publishers from Penguin Random House Canada a couple of years ago, Critch wrote a few things down with the goal of putting together a book.
“They really focused in on a chapter about childhood,” he says of the publishers. “They said, ‘That’s the book we want!’ As I started to write, I couldn’t stop.”
Set to be released Oct. 2, “Son of a Critch: Memories of a Newfoundland Childhood” is a collection of Critch’s tales of misadventure while growing up in St. John’s in the 1980s as the son of famed VOCM newsman Mike Critch and his wife Mary — and as the weirdest kid in school.
Critch is one of the province’s best-known comedians, with 14 years under his belt as co-star and co-writer on CBC’s “This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” a starring role in “The Grand Seduction,” host of the Halifax Comedy Festival and numerous appearances at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal.
He has photo-bombed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau while shirtless, gotten into a Twitter spat with “Happy Days” actor Scott Baio and offered Pamela Anderson a cheque to quit acting for good, among other escapades.
The “Son of a Critch” cover features Critch recreating his kindergarten school picture from St. Teresa’s Elementary (including sweater vest and wooden wheel prop), while holding the original photo.
The book will be released in hardcover and as an e-book, and can be pre-ordered now at www.penguinrandomhouse.ca.
Critch is already looking forward to getting to work on the sequel this summer, having secured a two-book deal with the publisher.
“I really hope people like my first book, because like it or not, there will be a second,” he says.