SCTV Network 90

NBC (ended 1983)



User Score: 166

out of 10
User Rating
83 votes

By Users

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

    Spaceballs cartoon coming to the tube


    October 4, 2005 DVD Releases

  • Tuesday
    No results found.
    No results found.
    No results found.
    • Great sketch comedy

      What is it about Canadians and sketch comedy. The Kids in the Hall, half of any SNL cast and of course SCTV. SCTV in any of it's form is hillarious.

      I'll be the first to admit, by the time SCTV Network 90 came to be, The SCTV format was a little past it's prime. Still the characters held up and some new ones were introduced, most notably Martin Short's Ed Grimely. Most people who were fans of SCTV before Network 90 phase thought N90 was just rehashed old stuff from CBC days, even though no sketches were re-used. There are DVD's available and if you scout around Dollar General stores you can get the 1st two volumes for $5 each.

      Happy Huntingmoreless
    • This show was absolutely wacky & wonderful!

      The SCTV gang was the only gang to come even close to the genius of SNL, & they ran neck-and-neck, in my opinion! Spawning several great stars such as Candy, Short, Levy, Martin, Moranis, Thomas, & Flaherty, this show was created/written by the cast, & they were hotter than the devil! From the Mackenzie Brothers to Edith Prickley to Guy Cabellero to Monster Chiller Horror Theatre (scarrrrrrrrry!) to blowing up celebrities (blow 'em up good - REAL good! Heh heh!), this show was a rollercoaster of craziness that made me laugh until it hurt - & oh, I loved it!moreless
    • the best satirical TV series ever

      Its easy to underestimate the importance of SCTV.After all for most of its run,it was overshadowed by Saturday Night Live,which had one of its best casts at the beginning.But I submit that SCTV has had more impact than even the best shows of SNL.The writing the acting,and the production values outweigh anything Lorne Michaels and his show has done.So many memorable characters from SCTV,so many great sketches.Satire has never been done better on TV,than it was on SCTV.Shows today like The Simpsons and Family Guy,which have many satirical references,owe a lot to SCTV,not to mention the plethora of sketch shows like MADTV,todays SNL,among others.And some of the SCTV are still around in movies and TV,like Eugene Levy,Harold Ramis,Dave Thomas,Catherine Ohara,and Andrea Martin.Sadly,John Candy left us way too soon.Its a word used too much,but I believe he was a comic genius.There has been no one else quite like him.I wish they would bring back the reruns,not in truncated form the way TV Land did a few years ago,but the way they were originally shownmoreless
    • Great and classic SNL like variety comedy skit show.

      A great and classic SNL like variety comedy skit show. this was another really funy show. i tried to describe an episode that i really want to see again. I'm not sure which version of the show it was from. I just remember two of the cast members were parents of a child that they wanted to get rid of and they kept him in a cage. it was a very , very funny episode. If you have any information on it, please give me a PM. It had some things that were pretty racey for TV especially back then. I'm not saure if anyone would run this today since everyone is trying to be so PC.moreless
    • Maybe the most brilliant pure comedy show ever

      "SCTV" in all its manifestations was the most creative, intelligent, and hilarious pure comedy show (as opposed to sitcom) that has ever been on American television, with the possible exception of "Monty Python's Flying Circus." The fact that both these shows originated in other countries besides the U.S. should remind us that we're not the best in everything. Only on "SCTV" would you see two or three things being parodied at the same time, as in the merging of "The Andy Griffith Show" with Merv Griffin to produce "The Merv Griffin Show." Or Pauline Kael being "blowed up real good" on the "Farm Film Report." And characters like the McKenzie Brothers, Guy Caballero, Johnny LaRue, and Edith Prickley--well, I could go on and on, but suffice to say this was comedy at its most complex and funniest, with a collection of writer/comedians that was unsurpassed.moreless