11300 – It was a spectacular, surreal show!!

Dan’s Note: I didn’t write this, but I agree with every word!!
All the hits, as good as we remember
It was 1974 all over again, and thankfully so, as SCTV veterans did their thing
Richard Ouzounian – Toronto Star Theatre Critic
Anybody searching for the Fountain of Youth is advised to pay a visit to the Second City on Mercer St. where The Benefit of Laughter opened last night for a two-performance run.
The five cast members from the iconic series SCTV ñ Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short ñ hadn’t appeared together on a stage in 24 years, but you’d never know it.
They showed us without a doubt that they had the talent, the panache and that inexpressible larger-than-life quality called stardom that still makes them unique.
Nothing could make that clearer than a moment in the first sketch they performed, where O’Hara played a teacher summoning the worst parents of her class. All was going fine and then suddenly, a door flung open and there was Martin, a.k.a. Edith Prickley, in her leopard-clothed glory.
It was like someone had pulled an electric switch on the stage. Everything seemed brighter, funnier and the audience cheered their approval. And the first time Martin uncorked that incredible cackle of hers, all of us felt like it was 1974 all over again … and boy, were we glad it was.
Miracles like that were in plentiful supply last night. Let Levy’s clueless Earl Camembert do his slow burn through a news report where stolid partner Floyd Robertson (Flaherty, the king of deadpan) got all the good headlines and you practically fell apart with glee waiting for the final eruption that you knew would come.
When Martin’s twitching, preening Ed Grimley triumphed over a superior candidate at a job interview and went into a dance that looked like a cobra squirming through a sea of Vaseline, everything seemed right with the world.
By the time Act II began with an episode of the Sammy Maudlin Show, bliss reigned supreme.
Flaherty sleazed his way through the talk show host with vintage grease, Levy’s Bobby Bittman hit new heights of self-promotional hilarity and then the Earth stopped on its axis as O’Hara’s bleached blond and white-spangled Lola Heatherton slunk into view, offering to bear all our children.
The medley of Canadian songs she did with Levy hit new heights of hilarity, ending with his ad-libbed “I don’t know those kookie, crazy Canadian clouds after all.”
The hits kept on a comin’, as they used to say, with Short stopping the show as the loathsome Jackie Rogers Jr. and a gossipy hairdresser who uncorks lines like, “John McCain is so old, the only time he doesn’t have to pee is when he pees.”
There was also first-rate work from the inventive Colin Mochrie and the daffy, delectable Women Fully Clothed, but this evening belonged to the gang from SCTV.
They subtly saluted their absent friend John Candy by saying how much they missed his William B. Williams character during the Maudlin show but otherwise, it was laughter all the way.
Were they great in the past? Undoubtedly. Were they great last night? Absolutely. Will they ever be that great in person again? Only God and Guy Caballero know for sure.