This comedy/variety show specialized in parodies of movies and television shows and commercials. Often, they would also have a special guest (e.g., a TV actor) join them in the comedy ... See full summary »
Sketch comedy show set around the fictitious TV station SCTV. The programs broadcast by SCTV were parodies of films and other television shows. They included "Farm Film Report", Woody Allen's "Play It Again, Bob!", "Monster Horror Chiller Theatre", and "Great White North." Other skits involved the staff of SCTV, like president Guy Caballero, clueless newscaster Earl Camembert, washed up actor Johnny LaRue, and leopard-skin print wearing station owner Edith Prickley. Written by
The McKenzie brothers characters, from the "Great White North" sketch, were essentially reincarnated in animal form, when Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas reunited to voice the mooses Tuke and Rutt in Brother Bear (2003). See more »
In the first 2 seasons the cast names were given by voiceover (by Dave Thomas) instead of opening credits, and the last name was given as "And Dave Thomas as the Beaver". In the first 2 seasons the opening includes a parody of the Indian-head test pattern. See more »
Different from SNL in that it's actually funny . . .
As a previous poster has said, SNL and SCTV were both comedy sketch shows, but that's where the resemblance ends. SNL far too often descended into juvenile, and sometimes even infantile, humor and its casts were way too uneven. It had the brilliant and manic John Belushi, but it also had the mediocre Garrett Morris, who really didn't do much of anything. It had the gifted Gilda Radner, who could do damn near anything, but it also had Laraine Newman, who didn't do all that much, either, and many of the cast members in its later shows really had no business being there. SNL's cast did various running characters, but, with few exceptions, each person's character wasn't really distinguishable from the actor himself. SCTV had no such problems. John Candy's Johnny LaRue, Josh Shmenge and Gil Fisher ("The Fishin' Musician") were about as different from each other and Candy himself as you could possibly get, as were Rick Moranis' Doug McKenzie and Rabbi Yitzhak Karlov, Andrea Martin's Edith Prickley and Mrs. Falbo, etc. Another big difference between the two shows was the writing. Virtually every episode of SCTV was as sharp, incisive and devastatingly funny as anything that ever came out of television; SNL on the other hand could go for weeks without having a decent show, and in fact went for several YEARS in the '80s without having any even HALFWAY decent shows. SCTV integrated all of its guest stars into the actual storyline of the episode itself, with often surprising results (musicians Dr. John, Tony Bennett and Fee Waybill of the Tubes, for example, turned out to be quite good). SNL put its guest hosts into some of the sketches--with many of them obviously reading their lines off of cue cards--and most didn't acquit themselves particularly well.
One of SCTV's main strengths was that it gave its audience credit for having the intelligence to understand what it was trying to say and do, which was something that SNL often lost sight of, especially in its later years. And how could anyone forget such brilliant pieces as "Abbott and Costello in a Turkish Prison"; "Dr. Tongue's 3-D House of Stewardesses"; the side-splitting parody of "Ocean's 11" with the monumentally untalented Vegas schlock comic Bobby Bittman and his even less talented idiot son Skip; the hapless Count Floyd of "Monster Chiller Horror Theater", who--no matter how pathetic the movie ("Tonight's film: 'Bloodsucking Monkeys from West Mifflin, Pennsylvania'!") he was showing--always stubbornly claimed, "Oooh, wasn't that scary, kids?"; "The Sammy Maudlin Show"; "Farm Film Report" ("They blowed up real good!"); the list goes on and on. Most of the sketches are so sharp, witty and clever that they don't date at all, even though they're almost 30 years old. SCTV set a high standard for sketch comedy, and so far no other show has measured up.
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