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Bradley R. Swirnoff
I was a huge fan of SCTV for many years--starting with their super- low budgeted half hour show. Throughout their run in syndication, network and cable TV, I watched the show. So, I was very familiar with the Shmenge Brothers skit. I was, however, a bit surprised when this led to a made for TV special "The Last Polka". I say surprise because this was not one of their better skits and it seemed as if the show got about as much out of the Shmenges as they could. Still, they decided to make this mockumentary. I watched it when it came out and was just thinking about it yesterday and so I decided to check YouTube...and found it. So is it worth looking for or not? And, more importantly, was it as slow and dry as I remembered?!
The title "The Last Polka" is obviously a takeoff on the documentary "The Last Waltz"--a super-famous film by Martin Scorsese. The film finds Yosh (John Candy) and Stan (Eugene Levy) announcing that they'll do only one more concert and then retire. The film consists of lots of fake interviewed with the boys and others as well as clips of them supposedly performing. It also purports to tell the history of the act and how they rose to fame(?).
The film was pretty much as I remembered it...long, slow and probably a bad idea in hindsight. The Shmenge shtick wore thin quickly and some portions could have used a HUGE editing (such as Rick Moranis' singing and the girls' group). As a small skit, the Shmenges worked...as an hour long bone-dry mockumentary it really didn't. After all, after a while, their bad clothes, terrible singing, polka music and weird accents is all you get...again and again. I would have much preferred a film about some of the other acts on the show...such as Guy Caballero or another Doug & Bob McKenzie film.
I loved "SCTV"...but I cannot bring myself to recommend this awful and misguided show. I think my score of 3 might be a bit generous. And, if you think I'm wrong try watching it (possibly again) on YouTube.
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