I’m going!! I’m going!!!!

SCTVers reunite for charity event
TORONTO – For some, it was Catherine O’Hara’s unhinged Lola Heatherton, for others it was Eugene Levy’s impersonation of a near-comatose Perry Como, for still others it was Tex and Edna Boyle and their bizarre organ emporium.
Almost every Canadian has a favourite SCTV character, moment or routine – and so, too, do a litany of comics who have been paying tribute to the zany and groundbreaking troupe as some of its most famous members prepare to reunite next week in Toronto for two shows.
“It’s tremendously uplifting and one of the greatest rewards, to hear your peers, and these really great comic minds, saying they look up to us,” the U.S.-born Joe Flaherty, 66, said Wednesday from his home in Toronto, where he’s lived since the early 1970s.
“It’s the best you can do, to get those kinds of accolades.”
Dave Foley, currently touring North America with the Kids in the Hall as they enjoy a reunion of their own, says he was an insanely devoted fan of “SCTV” as soon as it started airing on the CBC in 1976.
“When I was a kid we lived in Creemore, which is about an hour out of Toronto, and we only got two TV channels clearly,” Foley recalled in a recent interview from Boston.
“We had this old antenna lying on the floor in our attic and I’d have to go up for about two hours of fiddling with this antenna so that we could watch ‘SCTV’ each week. I would be up there … shouting out the window to my brother downstairs: ‘Can you see anything?’ We had to do that every single week because we loved that show so much right from its first airing.”
SCTV, in fact, had a huge impact on “The Kids in the Hall” as Foley and the four other Kids decided where to take their TV show a decade later.
“They were a big part of why we don’t do any parodies – because of how much we loved ‘SCTV,”‘ he said. “‘SCTV’ just did it way better than we could ever do it.”
Foley counts the SCTV spoof “The Grapes of Mud,” Levy’s imitation of an Alex Trebek type on “Half Wits” and any time the late John Candy showed up as the smarmy Johnny LaRue as among his favourite SCTV moments, but was quick to add that it was almost impossible to name favourites.
British-born comic Tracey Ullman recalls moving to the U.S. more than 20 years ago and immediately becoming enthralled with “SCTV” and the hysterical goings-on at the local TV station in the fictional town of Melonville.
“It was so cutting edge compared to anything else they were doing in the U.S. at the time – it was brilliant and really, it still is brilliant,” Ullman said recently in a telephone interview from Los Angeles.
As a female comic, Ullman said she was particularly blown away by Catherine O’Hara – especially her portrayal of a kooky D-list entertainer who frequently appeared on the Sammy Maudlin talk show and shrieked: “I love you! I want to bear your children!”
“The impersonation of Lola Heatherton was just fabulous because Catherine O’Hara is such a great actress. It was more than an impersonation, it wasn’t a surface impersonation – there was a lot of stuff underneath that was brilliant. She’s the absolute funniest.”
Brent Butt, star and creator of CTV’s hit comedy “Corner Gas,” said he still watches SCTV whenever he can and marvels at how sharp and funny the humour remains.
“It holds up better than a lot of shows and is still every bit as funny as it was then,” Butt said from Vancouver.
“But the two who really stand out for me are Johnny LaRue and Bobby Bittman. Bobby Bittman because I always wanted to be a standup, and here was this guy who was this cartoonish stereotype of all the bad standups in the world – this guy was the guy not to be, but you were always pulling for him,” he said. “Johnny LaRue was so pathetic, but so funny.”
The jovial Flaherty, whose memorable “SCTV” characters included poker-faced news anchor Floyd Robertson and an alcoholic Hugh Beaumont in a “Leave It to Beaver” parody, said he’s not nervous about taking to the stage next Monday and Tuesday nights in Toronto.
The shows – featuring him, O’Hara, Levy, Andrea Martin, Martin Short and Harold Ramis – are aimed at raising funds for veteran artistic and support personnel from “SCTV” and the Second City theatre troupe who are facing health or financial hardships.
No media have been accredited to cover the shows, and they were conceived simply as low-key affairs meant to raise charity money.
“We’re only going to rehearse on Sunday,” Flaherty said.
“We’re doing some SCTV characters, we’re doing some stage stuff that we all did on stage at Second City, and we’re doing some improvisation. It should be interesting, that’s for sure, but the best thing is that it’s put us all in touch again.”
Flaherty says age, however, has slowed everyone down slightly.
“Yes, we’re all together and we’re a lot older,” he said with a laugh. “The more I look at it, the more I see why comedy works so well for the young.”