It was easily the most amazing event I’ve ever attended. Wow!! It was so great!!

Hilarious clips and untold memories bring audience to its feet at SCTV reunion

Fans of SCTV were served a heaping dish of nostalgia on Sunday as cast members of the Canadian sketch comedy series gathered to share memories for an upcoming Netflix special.

Seemingly every popular character from the influential show — including Johnny LaRue, Alex Trebel and Edith Prickley — had a moment to shine during the three-hour live taping at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre. The footage will be part of a larger production directed by Martin Scorsese for the streaming platform.

SCTV cast members Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara sat before a backdrop of photographs from the series as they recalled how the scrappy idea for a comedy show began on Global with a tight budget of $7,000 an episode.

Other revealing moments included Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis reflecting on how seminal hosers Bob and Doug McKenzie were originally created as a way to inject more Canadian content into the series.

It wasn’t always certain that Moranis, who has largely stepped away from his acting career since the late 1990s, would show up at the SCTV reunion. But he told the audience that he jumped at the chance to get together with old friends.

SCTV ran from 1976 to 1984 and helped launch the careers of many famed international comic legends, including the late John Candy and Harold Ramis, who were both honoured during the taping.

The show ran two seasons on Global and one on CBC before being picked up by NBC. In its final season, it moved to cable and aired on Cinemax in the U.S. and Superchannel in Canada.

Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel, who served as moderator for the event, was quick to share how much of an impact SCTV had on his own comedic sensibilities as a teenager growing up in Las Vegas.

“This show is the reason we’re not building a wall with the northern border,” he quipped at one point.

Kimmel told the audience he beat out all the other major late-night TV hosts for the moderator gig, coming in ahead of Conan O’Brien in a “to the wire” decision.

Costume designer Juul Haalmeyer said he was taking his own trip down memory lane as he watched the reunion from the audience. He dressed the SCTV cast as their distinctive characters throughout the show’s run.

“Some of these clips I haven’t ever seen,” he said during a break in the taping.

“It’s been a thrill.”

Haalmeyer occasionally starred in skits, including Perry Como: Still Alive, where he played the leader of the Juul Haalmeyer Dancers, despite his lack of professional dance experience.

“Every time they needed a bad singer, bad dancer or bad actor, they’d say, ‘Get that [guy] from over there,”‘ he said.

“It worked for the purposes of the show.”

Other SCTV crew members sat in the audience, including make-up artist Beverly Schechtman and show producer Andrew Alexander.

Extended family of the stars were also in attendance, such as Eugene Levy’s son Dan and John Candy’s wife Rosemary Hobor and their two children, Jennifer and Christopher Candy.

Longtime viewer Kim Piche scored a ticket shortly before the taping from a friend, and said this offered a rare opportunity to revisit a program she felt rivalled Saturday Night Live in quality.

“They played it safe on Saturday Night Live,” Piche said. “I think that SCTV went above and beyond.”

Mary Dempster came to the taping to reminisce about growing up with SCTV, which she watched with her father as a child.

“Forget the cartoons,” she said. “Just go straight to the comedy.”

Netflix hasn’t announced a release date for the SCTV special, but said it will air on Netflix in all territories, with the exception of Canada, where it will premiere exclusively on CTV.

Following CTV’s airing, the special will be available exclusively on Netflix in Canada and worldwide.


Awesome! Awesome!! Awesome!!! An SCTV Reunion!!!

Martin Scorsese to Direct SCTV Reunion Documentary for Netflix

Jimmy Kimmel will host ‘An Afternoon with SCTV’ in May in Toronto to feature in a comedy special.
Netflix has ordered an untitled SCTV reunion special featuring one of entertainment’s most versatile sketch comedy troupes, with Martin Scorsese to direct.

Scorsese will reunite former SCTV co-stars Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short and Dave Thomas in front of a live audience for An Afternoon with SCTV on May 13 in Toronto, to be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

The reunion will anchor the documentary about the cult TV spinoff of Canada’s Second City to be shot over three days next month in Toronto, with Andrew Alexander, John Brunton and Lindsay Cox producing.

Scorsese, with 12 Oscar nominations and a directing win for The Departed (2006), held long conversations with SCTV alum about their character-driven TV satire series that ran from 1976 to 1984 as he developed his documentary about the famed comedy troupe, most of whom were Canadian artists.

These included Levy as smarmy comic Bobby Bittman and broadcaster Earl Camembert, the late John Candy as smooth-talking Johnny LaRue, the late Harold Ramis as game show host Moe Green, Martin as leopard-clad programming boss Edith Prickley, O’Hara as platinum blonde singer Lola Heatherton, Dave Thomas as drama critic Bill Needles, Rick Moranis as one of the 5 Neat Guys and Joe Flaherty as station manager Guy Cabellero.

Canadian-born comic and actor Martin Short brought many of his SCTV characters to his eventual star turn on Saturday Night Live.

Most of the original SCTV cast moved from the Canadian touchstone comedy to successful careers in Hollywood movies and TV shows. SCTV got its start in Toronto in 1976, a year after Saturday Night Live debuted stateside, as a satire of TV programming conveyed as a broadcast day from a low-budget TV station in the fictional town of Melonville, with backstage machinations included.

The latest SCTV reunion follows Moranis and Thomas, who played SCTV’s and SNL’s beer-loving McKenzie brothers during the 1980s, last year reuniting for a Toronto benefit concert. Other Canadian comedy legends on The Second City concert bill included Ghostbusters star Dan Aykroyd and O’Hara, Levy, Martin Short and Flaherty.

The satirical series continued on air to 1984, before being syndicated across North America. SCTV alum Levy and O’Hara co-star in the Canadian-made comedy Schitt’s Creek for Pop stateside, and the duo have appeared in films like Waiting for Guffman, For Your Consideration, Best in Show and A Mighty Wind.


I hope I can manage to go to this as it will be awesome, eh?!

Take off, eh? Bob and Doug McKenzie lead bill at star-studded comedy fundraiser in Toronto

Local fans of Canadian comedy had better prepare to dig deep for a couple of good causes. In July, Bob and Doug McKenzie — Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas of SCTV fame — are reuniting for one star-studded night in Toronto, featuring Martin Short, several of The Kids in the Hall, Eugene Levy, and more.

“Take Off, Eh! An All-Star Benefit For Jake Thomas And Spinal Cord Injury Ontario” was born after Jake Thomas, the SCTV writer/star’s nephew, sustained a complete spinal-cord injury while snowmobiling, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. So on July 18, some of the biggest stars Canada has ever produced will gather on the Second City mainstage for a fundraiser with benefits, proceeds going to Jake Thomas’s Road to Recovery and Spinal Cord Injury Ontario.

Among the performers: Martin Short with an interview by Jiminy Glick with a surprise special guest; comedy from Dan Aykroyd, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, and Joe Flaherty; The Kids in the Hall’s Dave Foley, Scott Thompson and Kevin McDonald; and musical performances from Paul Shaffer, Ian Thomas, Murray McLauchlan and surprise musical guests. That’s on top of the first McKenzie brothers appearance anywhere since a 2007 CBC special.

Thomas, the 68-year-old Hamilton native, told the Star on Thursday that it would be an “exceptional evening for any fans” of the comic performers in attendance, but for him the tragedy of the accident looms over the event.

“Of course, I’m excited to be working with Rick Moranis again, and doing something with Dan Aykroyd and Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy, and The Kids in the Hall … but under the circumstances it would be so much better if it (the accident) hadn’t happened and we didn’t have to do this.”

Tickets aren’t cheap — they’ll be $500 when they go on sale on June 12 via, with $2,500 VIP tickets (including a party with the stars afterward) on sale a week prior — but for fans this is a rare opportunity. Moranis has not been seen live or on screen for a decade, quietly recording a couple of comedy albums while writing the odd op-ed piece for the New York Times.

Thomas, meanwhile, has largely been working behind the camera as a writer and director, though sharp-eyed viewers of Bones will have spotted him in small roles there.

Created out of a need to create some extra, specifically Canadian content for the longer Canadian version of SCTV episodes, Bob and Doug were caricatures positively wallowing in Canadiana, wearing Mackinaw jackets, frying back bacon and drinking real beer on camera. They became an unlikely pop-culture sensation, leading to the 1981 album Great White North (and its hit single “Take Off,” featuring Geddy Lee of Rush) and the 1983 film Strange Brew.

Thomas said that the project was born when he discussed the accident with Short, who suggested a benefit show and promised his own participation; Second City co-owner Andrew Alexander then “picked up the torch and ran with it.

“Andrew (Alexander) was instrumental in offering his theatre, arranging to get Gretzky’s (restaurant) for the after party, and he said he’d put a tent in the parking lot on the other side of his theatre for cocktails beforehand. And he’s doing all of this just because he’s a nice guy.”

“It’s a once in a lifetime show with some unusually talented people that all got their start in Toronto — coming together because of unfortunately tragic circumstances, but trying to turn it into an entertaining, fun evening for everybody who’s going to be there supporting it.”

“It will be an exceptional evening for any fans of the McKenzie Brothers, or any fans of Aykroyd or The Kids in the Hall, or Marty Short or Eugene and Catherine.

“It’s a one-time event and all of the proceeds will go to Jake and Spinal Cord Injury Ontario.”



‘SCTV’ Reunion: Martin Short, Eugene Levy to Appear on Andrea Martin’s ‘Working the Engels’

TORONTO — Martin Short and Eugene Levy are set to guest star on the Andrea Martin comedy vehicle Working the Engels for NBC and Shaw Media.

Martin, Short and Levy worked together in the Toronto production of Godspell before later joining SCTV as performers and writers.

The Halfire-CORE comedy will see Short play Chuck Pastry, the head of huge corporation Big Pastry, while Levy will perform the role of Arthur Horowitz, a family-oriented, well-connected and much-loved lawyer who is a neighbor of the Engels.

The series, created and written by Katie Ford and Jane Ford, centers on a family who must band together to keep their heads above water when their father and breadwinner passes away, leaving them with a mountain of debt.

The Engels must all go to work running Dad’s storefront law firm, with one minor problem: Daughter Jenna is the only one who is qualified to practice law.

Scott Thompson (The Kids in the Hall) and Sarah Levy will also guest star on the Canadian comedy, while Jason Priestley (Beverly Hills, 90210) will direct four episodes.

Besides Martin, Working the Engels stars Kacey Rohl, Azura Skye and Benjamin Arthur.

The 12-episode series is currently shooting in Toronto.


Can’t wait to see it!!

Short looks back in ‘Goes Home’

The question of nature versus nurture in Hamilton, Ont., is explored comically with I, Martin Short, Goes Home.

As Short asks, “The question I guess we pose is, would Mozart still be Mozart had he been raised in Winnipeg?”

I, Martin Short, Goes Home, which airs Tuesday, April 3 on CBC, is a one-hour “mockumentary” that sees the famous SCTV alumnus making a pilgrimage back to Hamilton. Nominally, it’s a bookend piece to his 1989 HBO special, I, Martin Short, Goes Hollywood.

A fictionalized version of Short’s upbringing is the backdrop for I, Martin Short, Goes Home, wherein Short is keen on staging a benefit concert for an old childhood TV idol, played by Fred Willard. Former SCTV cast members Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty and Robin Duke also appear as various characters.


12597 – I wanna go!!

Second City taps celebrity alums for 50th anniversary bash
As part of its upcoming fiftieth anniversary, Chicago’s Second City comedy theater will host a one-night-only Chicago reunion of the cast of the iconic SCTV comedy series, featuring personal appearances by Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Harold Ramis, Martin Short and Dave Thomas, Second City is to announce later today.
There will also be special guests at both live SCTV shows, which are slated for Friday Dec. 11 on Second City’s mainstage at 1616 N. Wells St.
Also expected to perform on stage and/or sit on panels during the anniversary weekend: Jim Belushi, Jeff Garlin, Alan Arkin, Dan Castellaneta, Tim Meadows, Jack McBrayer, Tim Kazurinsky, Richard Kind, Fred Willard, Dick Schaal, Scott Adsit, David Rasche, David Steinberg, Robert Klein and many others. Invitations have also been sent to other powerful Second City alumni, including Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Dratch, Steve Carell, Mike Myers, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.
Many of those high-wattage stars are expected to show up for special alumni shows slated for Sat. Dec. 12 on both the mainstage and the attached e.t.c. stage. Panels on various aspects of Second City and the history of the theater and its art will take place all weekend.
All of the shows are billed as benefits for the Second City Alumni Fund (a fund that supports former Second City employees who have hit hard times) and thus will command a hefty but yet-to-be-announced ticket price. Tickets are not yet on sale, but they will be available to the public.
SCTV Canadian sketch-comedy show, originally an offshoot of Second City’s Toronto company, was created by Bernie Sahlins and Andrew Alexander and aired in syndication throughout Canada and the U.S. Alexander is the current proprietor and executive producer of the Second City.
The December event will feature the entire original SCTV cast (along with Short, who joined the show in its fourth season), with the exception of the late John Candy. Short, who joined the show in its fourth season, will take Candy’s place.
“This is like a high school reunion with all the good and bad friendships, the love of your life – ex-girl- and boyfriends and the teachers you loved and hated,” Alexander said, in an e-mailed message. “The extra pounds and grey hair. It will be a blast.”
For more information, visit


This is good!!

Second City opens theatre venue named for John Candy
Toronto’s Second City troupe officially raised the curtain Friday on a new performance space named after the late Canadian comedy great John Candy.
The John Candy Box Theatre opens Friday evening with a show featuring Second City alumni and faculty.
The cozy theatre space is part of Second City Toronto’s Training Centre, which offers courses to the general public on improvisation, acting and writing. It will host regular pay-what-you-can shows and serve as a performance venue for Second City students.
Toronto-born Candy died of a heart attack in 1994 at age 43, during filming of the movie Wagons East.
His career included starring on the comedy-variety show SCTV, as well as a long string of Hollywood films throughout the 1980s and early 90s, such as Splash; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; Uncle Buck; Brewster’s Millions; Spaceballs; Who’s Harry Crumb?; Home Alone; JFK; Only the Lonely; and Cool Runnings.
During the 1990s, the lifelong football fan was also a minority owner of the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts team, along with hockey great Wayne Gretzky and majority partner Bruce McNall, including during the team’s 1991 championship season. The team added Gretzky and Candy’s names to the Grey Cup in a special ceremony in 2007.


Why is Dave Thomas going through with this?!? Without Moranis it is not Bob & Doug!!!

Rick Moranis opts out of cartoon take on iconic comic duo Bob and Doug
TORONTO – Canada’s iconic comic duo Bob and Doug don’t sound quite like they used to.
The beloved hosers, immortalized on “SCTV” by comedians Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis, are set to return next year in an animated series but only Thomas – who plays Doug – is lending his voice.
Moranis’s character, Bob, will be voiced by former “Full House” star Dave Coulier.
Thomas says Moranis is staying behind the scenes as executive producer and just isn’t interested in appearing on the show.
“You have to come in every two weeks or so and record and he just didn’t want to do that so I said, ‘All right, we’ll get somebody else,’ ” Thomas said Monday from Los Angeles.
“I think at a certain age you have to allow people to do what they want.”
It’s been nearly 30 years since the beer-swilling duo debuted on the beloved sketch show “SCTV” with their tuques, lumberjack jackets and liberal use of the words “eh” and “hoser.”
Thomas says the half-hour show will be updated with current cultural references to bring it into the new millennium and appeal to a new generation. But he understands that some fans might be upset that Coulier is voicing Moranis’s role.
“There’s got to be room to grow,” insists Thomas, adding that he and Coulier have been friends for years since they worked together on “America’s Funniest People.” Coulier hosted and Thomas executive-produced.
“I can understand some real diehard fans going, ‘Oh, man, that’s an outrage!’ But I think most people will look at it and judge it as it is and go, ‘Is this funny? Does it work?’ And I think it does and I think we’ll get their blessing as a result of that.”
“Bob and Doug” is set to air early next year on Global and talks are in the works for a U.S. broadcast via Fox.
Like the live version, the cartoon take will feature direct-to-camera addresses where the McKenzie brothers can wisecrack and banter in their unique lingo, but the expanded format will lift the veil on their personal lives. Upcoming storylines reveal the duo’s friends, family and the town where Bob and Doug live – a fictional place called Maple Lake, located somewhere in Ontario near the United States border.
“It’s sort of like Springfield in the Simpsons, you know,” Thomas explains.
Turns out the boys work as garbage collectors and live in a much more culturally diverse world than their live action incarnations. Other characters include their boss, Dwight, who is black and drives the garbage truck, and their good friend Henry Chow, who runs a Chinese restaurant.
“I think you have a requirement to make a lot of changes that you wouldn’t have done for the sort of purists and fans of Bob and Doug on the old two-minute shows on the Great White North set,” Thomas says of the new elements.
The last time fans got an in-depth look at the boys was in the 1983 feature film, “Strange Brew,” but Thomas says all the backstory developed for that film had to be abandoned for the cartoon because of rights issues.
“MGM will sue us,” he says simply. “So we have to create new realities. So we have a dog and instead of calling it Hosehead as we did in ‘Strange Brew,’ we called the dog Buck. And we can’t drink Elsinore beer because we don’t own that, MGM does. And all these big companies are so litigious and so proprietary that you can’t mess around with them.”
Thomas, who runs the animation company behind the show – Animax Entertainment – says he is also working on a couple of pilot scripts as a writer, but is not interested in doing much acting these days.
“It has to be something, I think, where I sit down,” says the funnyman, who turns 60 in May.
“Behind a desk…. I don’t really like jumping all over the place. I don’t have that youthful enthusiasm I used to have.”


Without Moranis?!?!? Dave, what are you thinking?!?!

Moranis unsure of Bob & Doug Toon
TORONTO – The Fox network is eyeing the new Global-TV cartoon “The Animated Adventures of Bob and Doug McKenzie” – and Doug is ready to dump a reluctant Bob in order to continue with the show.
Dave Thomas says his McKenzie sibling, Rick Moranis, was a hesitant participant in the series, airing on Global this fall.
“He doesn’t enjoy doing any showbiz stuff anymore,” Thomas said Tuesday in an interview from Los Angeles, where he was busy working on scripts for the show.
“I can’t even guarantee his involvement long term in this, but whatever … if I have to drag a sound-alike in for his voice, I’ll do that. I don’t think anyone would care because it’s a new product.”
Thanks to Global’s haste in green-lighting the show, Thomas says, Fox executives were immediately interested when he pitched it to them and asked to see scripts and the pilot.
“We submit the pilot in early August, and we’ll hear after that. But I think they’ll go for it – I think they like this show. Just to get them this close is good, and means we can probably get someone else interested if they’re not.”
The series is based on the lovable hosers from the SCTV show, but Thomas says the beer-swilling brothers find themselves in a whole different environment in the new series.
“They are in a world that they weren’t in before, and they have some friends who are a little raunchier than they are,” he says.
“But Bob and Doug are tolerant guys and they like everybody. That’s why people like them – they’re so good-natured. They don’t hate anybody.”
U.S. fans have long loved the iconic Canadian duo, Thomas adds, and there’s been no push by Fox to have him Americanize the show in any way. The network has had runaway successes with its animated series, including “The Simpsons” and “American Dad.”
“They’ve got thoughts on jokes and stuff like that but nothing that would make it any less Canadian,” Thomas says.
“And Americans have been behind Bob and Doug from the get-go … ‘Strange Brew’ is a perennial college, beer-drinking movie here in the States. Americans are looking for stuff to laugh at just like Canadians.”
Thomas says he never dreamed that Bob and Doug would have such enduring appeal when he and Moranis dreamed up the concept almost 30 years ago as a raised middle finger to the CRTC’s Canadian content regulations during SCTV’s heyday.
Offended by the CBC’s request to add some obvious Canadian content into the show to keep the CRTC happy, Moranis and Thomas came up with Bob and Doug, who embodied every possible Canadian stereotype – from their fondness for beer, toques and lumberjack jackets to their use of the word “eh” in almost every sentence.
“I thought it was a bit of a nightmare back then, when I thought of myself as a young artist, but now that I think of myself as an old hack, I’m glad I have Bob and Doug,” Thomas says.


May he rest in peace!!

‘The Second City’ founder Paul Sills dies at 80
CHICAGO – Paul Sills, founder of Chicago’s famed improvisational comedy group “The Second City,” has died at age 80. His wife, Carol Sills, told the Chicago Tribune that Sills died early Monday at his home in Baileys Harbor, Wis., from complications from pneumonia.
The comedy troupe says in a statement on its Web site that Sills’ influence on American theater “cannot be exaggerated” and “his work will certainly live on forever.”
Sills helped start Second City in 1959. The humor mecca has turned out some of America’s best-known comedians, including John Belushi, Bill Murray and Gilda Radner.
Sills’ play, “Story Theatre,” was nominated for a Tony Award in 1971.