SCTV Network 90

NBC (ended 1983)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 2 : Ep 12

    3D Firing Line: Midnight Cowboy II

    Aired 3/18/83

  • S 2 : Ep 11

    Sammy Maudlin: South Sea Sinner

    Aired 3/11/83

  • S 2 : Ep 10

    Sweeps Week

    Aired 2/25/83

  • S 2 : Ep 9

    Bobby Bittman's Retirement

    Aired 2/18/83

  • S 2 : Ep 8

    SCTV Classifieds / Vic Arpeggio

    Aired 2/11/83

  • Cast & Crew
  • Martin Short


  • Eugene Levy


  • Andrea Martin


  • Catherine O'Hara


  • Dave Thomas


  • show Description
  • After a successful Canadian run as Second City TV on Global and SCTV on CBC, the cast packed up and moved to America (theoretically) when NBC offered them a time slot under the title SCTV Network 90. With them, they brought their unique, quirky characters, their personalities, and the shows they had appeared on. (Original Second City TV head writer Harold Ramis didn't join them, as his character of station manager Moe Green had been kidnapped two years earlier.) Dick Blasucci had begun writing for the cast in their second series, SCTV, and joined them here, writing many classic sketches. Tony Rosato and Robin Duke wrote scripts at the beginning of the show as they had before, until quickly leaving to write and perform for Saturday Night Live/i>. The appeal of SCTV Network 90, however, doesn't only come from the writing, but from the sheer wit of its legendary stars. The characters of Bob and Doug McKenzie were reluctant creations to sooth Canadian demands, which is why they were loaded with stereotypes. However, the corny accents Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas used and their moronic comments made them popular enough to bring their two-minute show, Great White North (aka Kanadian Korner) to NBC. They weren't the only siblings on the show, however. Andrea Martin played Edith Prickley, a sleazy, nasal-voiced, leopard-skin-clad station manager and replacement for Moe Green, and her sister, entrepreneur Edna Boil, wife of Tex Boil (Dave Thomas). One of the show's first pair of recurring characters were news anchors Floyd Robertson and Earl Camembert, played by Joe Flaherty and Eugene Levy, respectively. Because Floyd took his work more seriously, he got all the interesting, relevant stories while jealous, biased, paranoid Earl got dull pieces of fluff. Earl had his own series, One About the Town, while Floyd hosted Monster Chiller Horror Theatre as vampiric Count Floyd. Levy also played nasal-voiced, loud-mouthed Lou Jaffe, and Flaherty also played SCTV's owner, Guy Caballero, who rode a wheelchair to garner respect. The late John Candy played such memorable characters as the money-grubbing, boorish Johnny LaRue, who would star in, direct, or produce anything he could get cash out of. There was also the evil Dr. Tongue, who used 3-D to frighten the audience (his hunchbacked sidekick, Woody Tobias Jr, was played by Levy). Flaherty also played annoying talk show host Sammy Maudlin, whose obsessive sidekick, William B. Williams, was played by Candy. Obnoxious stand up comedian Bobby Bittman (Levy) was a frequent guest. Candy also played Gil Fisher, the fishin' musician who entertained real bands and was based on Red Fisher. There was also Andrea Martin's Pirini Scleroso (the cleaning lady from Leutonia, who had a poor handle of the English language), Eugene Levy's various game show hosts, and Thomas' Lin Ye Tang. Harold Ramis called Lin "an ongoing evolution that never evolved," since every time Thomas did the character, he looked different. Catherine O'Hara played Lola Heatherton, a second-rate cabaret singer who'd had an affair with most of SCTV's male staffers. There were also the dead-on, painfully accurate impressions, such as Morgan Fairchild (O'Hara), John Ritter (Thomas), Joyce Dewitt (Martin), Henry Kissinger (Levy), Gregory Peck (Flaherty), and Divine (John Candy). As it had during its Global days, SCTV Network 90 showed not only what they broadcast, but the behind-the-scenes lives of the SCTV cast; even the announcer, Harvey K-Tel (Thomas), who mostly only appeared in voice, was occasionally shown. Early on in the NBC run, they used reruns of old Second City TV sketches, albeit with editing and the announcer's voice dubbed by Thomas. The final piece of the cast puzzle fit late in the 1981-82 season: Martin Short. With Short's arrival also came a new soap opera, a spoof of Days of Our Lives called The Days of the Week. After the first NBC season, Thomas, Moranis, and O'Hara left the show. Many believed, however, that Martin Short made up for their departures. With his excellent vocal talent and equally great impressions, he was an immediate hit. He could do Dustin Hoffman, Jerry Lewis, and David Steinberg, but his characters are even more popular. Among them were nonogenarian songwriter Irving Cohen; Jackie Rogers, Jr, homosexual night club singer; Boil Boy, Edna Boil's new husband (Tex walked out on her); and his most famous creation, pointy-haired spazz Ed Grimley. Even with Short, the show lasted only one more season on NBC. The network smothered the cancellation by saying it had offered to put SCTV Network 90 in a prime-time slot, which they did. The problem was, it would have been 7:00 Sunday evenings, the same period once owned by Disney's Wonderful World. Had SCTV Network 90 gone there, they would have had to cut back drastically on their sophisticated humor to meet the so-called "family hour" standards. Undoubtedly, the show would have been scraped off the air because it would run against 60 Minutes on CBS, which had claimed Disney in 1981. The SCTV Network 90 team refused to pander to network demands. Levy, Short, Martin, and Flaherty would get one more dose of glory, this time when Cinemax picked up what would be named "SCTV Channel." That final version of SCTV is governed in a separate TV Tome guide.moreless

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (5)

    • Johnny LaRue: What a day. I lost my business. I lost my best friend. And I lost my pants. Dr. John: Forget it, LaRue. This is Polynesiantown.

    • Guy Cabellero: Well, tonight's pledge night here at SCTV and we're hoping you'll pledge lots of money to our network. Now some of you at home might be saying to yourselves,"But I thought SCTV was a commercial network". Heh, heh. Well, it is. But just because it's commercial doesn't mean we're making money.

    • Guy: I'm sorry, Lola. I had to cancel our love. It was doing badly in the overnights.

    • Dave Thomas (Russian Announcer): Do not adjust your set. This is Three C P One.

    • Announcer: SCTV. Ratings aside, we're number one!

    Notes (27)

    • This episode is filled almost entirely with sketches from the Second City Television days. The "One On the Town: Levon Helm" sketch is new, and the "English for Beginners" sketch has actually been re-done using the same dialog but a new set.

    • Bobby Bittman (Eugene Levy) appears throughout the closing credits.

    • Here, Joe Flaherty and Dave Thomas play Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, respectively. They later reprised these roles for "I, Martin Short, Goes Hollywood", an HBO special starring Second City star Martin Short.

    • Commercials in this episode: -"Tex and Edna Boil's Organ Imporium: Rhythm Ace" with Dave Thomas as Tex Boil and Andrea Martin as Edna Boil. -"Career Home Study" with Dave Thomas as Don Mair. -"Taxi Driver with Woody Allen" with Rick Moranis as Woody Allen. -"Transmission Difficulty" -"Taxi Driver with Gregory Peck" with Joe Flaherty as Gregory Peck. -"Extreme Close-Up with Dave Thomas" with Dave Thomas as the host and Harold Ramis as Moe Green. -"The Man Who Would Be King of the Popes" with Joe Flaherty as Peter O'Toole (O'Tule) as the King, Catherine O'Hara as Katherine (Cathyrn) Hepburn, John Candy as the voice of the announcer and Richard Burton (Berton) as the Pope, Dave Thomas as Richard Harris (Hariss) as the King of Popes, and Eugene Levy as Victor Spinetti (Spynetti) as the tailor. -"Taxi Driver with Sid Dithers" with Eugene Levy as Sid Dithers. -"The Love Boat: Deerhunter Special" -"Chet Vet the Dead Pet Remover" with Dave Thomas as Chet. -"My Fair Lady" with Andrea Martin as Perini Scleroso as Eliza Doolittle, Joe Flaherty as Rex Harrington, Jr as Prof. Henry Higgins, and Dave Thomas as Sir Wilfred Moose-Moryn as Colonel Pickering. -"Harlett Romances" with Andrea Martin as the avid reader and Joe Flaherty as the co-worker.

    • This is an early TV appearance by Mimi Kuzyk, who would later play Detective Patsy Mayo on the fourth season of Hill Street Blues.

    • Ian Thomas is Dave Thomas' brother.

    • This episode began the period where NBC dropped the word "90" from the title of this series.

    • Dave Thomas's Red Rooster, who rides in a rocket with Dr. Tongue and Woody, was patterned after SCTV producer Alan Rucker. In college, Rucker had shared an apartment building with future SCTV head writer Harold Ramis.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (23)

    • End credits music: Thanks for the Memories by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra with Ella Fitzgerald.

    • End credits music: De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da by The Police.

    • End credits music by Ashbury Jukes.

    • End credits: A voice-over of Bobby Bittman complaining to SCTV.

    • End credits: Shows a "Lunchtime Street Beef" theme and helicopter shot, however the helicopter crashes.

    • In the sketch "The Jazz Singer", Al Jarreau sings his hit We're in this Love Together.

    • End credits: It's my Party

    • In the "Fishin' Musician" sketch the Plasmatics performed their hit Doom Song.

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (25)

    • The character of Yuri the weightlifter is based on Russian weightlifter Vasily Alekseyev.

    • British Film Festival The titles and subject matter of the films featured in the festival are all allusions to English movies featuring angry young antiheroes: Look Back in Anger (based on the play by John Osborne, directed by Tony Richardson, starring Richard Burton, 1958), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (directed by Tony Richardson, starring Tom Courtenay, 1962) and A Clockwork Orange (based on the novel by Anthony Burgess, directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Malcolm McDowell, 1971).

    • The character of producer Larry Seigel is based on veteran Hollywood producer Joel Silver.

    • Big Momma, the performer at Johnny LaRue's Luau Room, is based on the character of Bloody Mary played by Juanita Hall in the 1958 movie of the musical South Pacific. Big Momma even sings Bloody Mary's trademark song Happy Talk.

    • Polynesianown is an allusion to the classic American movie Chinatown (1974) starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, directed by Roman Polanski and written by Robert Towne.

    • Used as a perennial time filler over the many years of SCTV, the commercial for the musical production "Indira" is a parody of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical Evita based on the life and rise to power of Eva Peron of Argentina.

    • The Kovak camera commercial is a parody of the 1980 Oscar winning movie Ordinary People starring Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore and Timothy Hutton (note that the wife wears a t-shirt reading "I am not Donald Sutherland's wife" and refers to her husband as Calvin, the Sutherland character's name in the movie). It is also a parody of a then current series of very popular commercials for Polaroid cameras featuring James Garner and Mariette Hartley (who took to wearing a t-shirt reading "I am not James Garner's wife" to combat the image projected by the commercial).

    • Lola: And you were in my dream too. This episode ends with a scene inspired by The Wizard of Oz, as Lola wakes from a dream and everyone who was in it comes to visit her in her dressing room.

    Show More Allusions
  • Fan Reviews (8)
  • Great sketch comedy

    By ssimonds1, Aug 02, 2007

  • This show was absolutely wacky & wonderful!

    By cuddles3, Jul 07, 2007

  • the best satirical TV series ever

    By drwoowoocl, Aug 05, 2006

  • Great and classic SNL like variety comedy skit show.

    By SammyJ131, May 06, 2006

  • Maybe the most brilliant pure comedy show ever

    By tallactor, Dec 17, 2005

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