Hoser mania is back, eh?
HOLLYWOOD — Coo Roo Coo Coo Coo Coo Coo Coo!
It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard the immortal call of the “Great White North,” but that’s about to change as Bob and Doug McKenzie get ready to celebrate a significant anniversary.
True, their movie, Strange Brew was released in 1983, but why wait until 2008 to commemorate 25 years when there’s a perfectly good two-four sitting in front of them right now.
Refusing to let that, uh, Golden opportunity slip away, Toronto-based producer Jane Welowszky has been in Hollywood doing interviews for Bob & Doug’s Two-Four Anniversary, a one-hour special slated to air on CBC this summer in which Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas reunite to play the beloved McKenzie Brothers for what could be the very last time.
Among those Welowszky has filmed so far, sharing their fondest Bob & Doug memories, are Ben Stiller, Martin Short, Jason Priestly, Paul Dooley (who was one of the Strange Brew cast members), The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, Dave Foley, Tom Green, Mad TV’s Will Sasso and hockey great Mark Napier.
“Ben Stiller had lined up with his mother, Anne Meara, when he was just a kid, waiting three hours to get their autograph at Sam Goody Records at Rockefeller Center,” says Welowszky, who heads up a production company called Me Jane Films.
“Everyone has a story or an anecdote since the McKenzies really touched a lot of lives.”
She’s hoping one of those willing to share will also include Demi Moore who had actually auditioned for Strange Brew but ended up losing the role (of Pam Elsinore) to Canadian actress Lynne Griffin.
In the course of her travels, Welowszky is also looking to snag some of the politicians who at the time felt that Bob and Doug were harmful to the Canadian image.
While a firm date has yet to be locked in, Welowszky anticipates CBC will agree to May 19, the kick-off to the Victoria Day long weekend, which also happens to be the unofficial start of two-four season.
A special edition Strange Brew DVD is slated to come out in the fall, which will also likely contain some of the recently shot footage.
As aficionados will tell you, “Great White North” took off back in 1980 when SCTV was mandated by the government to fill two minutes of each program with what would be considered strictly Canadian content.
The ensuing Hosermania had become a bit of a mixed blessing for Moranis and Thomas over the years, but absence has clearly made their hearts grow fonder. Their toques have been recreated for the occasion as has the memorable GWN set.
“When Bob and Doug left SCTV the original set was basically thrown out,” says Welowszky.
“We found a guy who used to work for the show and he rescued it from the dumpster and now it’s in his basement in Toronto so he and his buddies can sit around drinking beer in front of the “Great White North” set.”
Among plans to promote the upcoming special is an on-line Canadian Hoser competition (“like Canadian Idol but really different, eh?”).
Beyond the big Two-Four, development continues on the long-in-gestation The Animated Adventures of Bob & Doug, a half-hour series that would air in the Simpsons/King of the Hill time slot.
“As Dave says, he looks better animated now,” says Welowszky.
“He’ll have a long shelf-life that way.”
Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas reunite as Bob & Doug in special CBC documentary!!
Hoser mania is back, eh?