The Last Polka (1985 TV Movie)
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If you like spoofs such as "Waiting for Guffman", "The Best in Show", "Spinal Tap" and "A Mighty Wind" you've got to see the granddaddy of them all, "The Last Polka"!
The film traces their rise to prominence from their childhood in native Leutonia to their final comeback concert. Along the way, we're treated to hilarious archival footage and interviews with those who worked with them and loved them, played by other "SCTV" luminaries like Rick Moranis, Robin Duke, and Catherine O'Hara. Later released on video. It's an excellent comedy special... a must for anyone who loved Candy and "SCTV!"
This movie has it been impossible to view and or find to buy and watch. Initially aired on HBO I have not seen this great classic since it aired in 1985.
The two Schmenge brothers, are shown from their humble roots, to household rockstar-like status, as polka accordion players.
People in our family still use that catchphrase: Cabbage rolls & coffee! MMMM, MMMMMM, GOOD!
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.
I think I may have become an actor to hide from myself. You can escape into a character. - John Candy
I thought to myself, Join the army. It's free. So I figured while I'm here I'll lose a few pounds. - John Candy
Who wants an orange whip? Orange whip? Orange whip? Three orange whips. - John Candy
For those of you comparing the film to similar, more recent movies such as Mighty Wind and Best in Show, please stop! Although both of those films are SCTV exploits, they pale in comparison to The Last Polka. These films sacrificed quality for quantity - they were both about 30 minutes too long!
In the Last Polka, each scene is funnier than the last because they didn't have time to bore the audience. Also - Christoper Guest was NOT involved, therefore, automatically making The Last Polka even more funny (Spinal Tap excluded, of course).
If you happen to be lucky enough to find this movie, it's a must see. Hopefully we will see this on DVD some day!