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Toronto's comedy scene in the 1970s had become intensely vibrant. So great that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) once devoted the awkward Saturday night half-hour+ time slot following "Hockey Night In Canada" and preceding national news, to the spirit of what would one day become the SCTV phenomenon.
Speaking of which, IF anyone out there has a video copy of their hilarious version of the 1958 film, "Queen Of Outer Space", starring Paul Birch, LET ME KNOW! I remember Eugene Levy's voice and those of others dubbed over the actual soundtrack. This was the predecessor to the brilliant Mystery Science Theatre 3000! The spoof had to be just about the most brilliant, if not the funniest, thing I had seen to that point in my young life - it played some time in the mid to late 1970s. I've been told by reliable sources the show was called "Stay Tuned."
It seems John Candy was the man NBC was originally interested in to form a new sketch comedy series, but this generous and kind giant invited his friends and colleagues from 1970s Toronto Second City to be involved and we comedy aficionados can be thankful he did. The result was the most intelligent, creative and funny television series on the North American continent.
At this point in time, comedy in Canada had finally become comparable to anywhere in the world. For the writing/performing ensemble on "SCTV Network 90," they had reached the apex of brilliance during this time. Most of the cast went on to greater fame in later projects.
The series raised the confidence for Canadians who pursued comedy as a career and now the nation can boast many top notch domestic comedy series. Comedy is now an industry in which Canadians rival the best in the world and the development of SCTV Network 90 was an important part of that process.
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