SCTV Network 90

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NBC (ended 1983)

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SCTV Network 90

Show Summary

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
  • ANIMATED TV VERSION OF MEL BROOKS' 1987 COMEDY HEADED TO THIS GALAXY.

    Spaceballs cartoon coming to the tube

  • FROM SPOOKY SHOWS LIKE ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS AND KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER TO CHRISTMAS SPECIALS FROM SCTV 90 AND THE CARTOON NETWORK, THIS WEEK BRINGS DVD RELEASES SUITABLE FOR THE ENTIRE HOLIDAY SEASON.

    October 4, 2005 DVD Releases

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