"Stay Tuned" was a largely improvised program, designed to fill time between the end of "Hockey Night in Canada" and the 11 p.m. national news. The first episode ran only nine minutes ...
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"Stay Tuned" was a largely improvised program, designed to fill time between the end of "Hockey Night in Canada" and the 11 p.m. national news. The first episode ran only nine minutes because the hockey game ran overtime. Written by
What a welcome arrival to CBC's programming this show was. After wasting most of my Saturday nights watching Keon, Ellis, Ullman, Sittler and the rest of the Toronto Maple Leafs blow another hockey game, I was ready for some laughs. If there was enough time between the end of the game and 11:00 news, "Stay Tuned" provided them in spades!
This was NOT a Second City production, but the show depended heavily on Second City performers. I don't recall many from the cast, but Eugene Levy and Jayne Eastwood definitely stand out in my vague memory.
My favorite episodes were when the cast did a spoof of the 1958 cinematic sci-fi stinker, "Queen of Outer Space", starring Paul Birch. The actual film was screened (sound muted), while actors provided improvised dialogue from an off-screen venue, a unique concept at the time. After that, I always watched out for them to do another film this way again and I believe for a time they made their film spoofs a regular segment.
This idea was the probable predecessor to the brilliant and popular Mystery Science Theater 3000 concept that has entertained so many of us these many years later.
The time-slot was the worst possible for any program in Canada, because it aired after Saturday night hockey, which with 1970's trademark bench-clearing brawls and etc., often ran past 10:30 pm. This meant the show itself had anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes of airtime, depending on the length of the preceding game/punch-fest. I guess the only good thing about the time was that the show drew in viewers like me, disillusioned and frustrated hockey fans who went on to become huge fans of SCTV and SNL.
If any old CBC employees kept a video of the "Queen Of Outer Space" spoof, I'd be interested in purchasing a copy. This brilliant satire is one of those golden memories from my childhood.
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