×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘SCTV’ Reunion Brings Hugs, Laughs and Hosers to Toronto for Netflix Special

TORONTO — Loud and abundant hometown love set the tone in Toronto’s historic Elgin Theatre on Sunday, as seven stars of the legendary “SCTV” reunited for a lively conversation filmed in front of a live audience for inclusion in an original Netflix comedy special, set to air in 2019.
 
Beauty, eh?
 
Announced last month, the as-yet-untitled special, directed by Martin Scorsese, will explore the legacy of “SCTV” —the beloved Canadian sketch-comedy series that ran six seasons, between 1976 and 1984, and chronicled the singular oddball characters and outrageously ambitious programming of a small, perpetually underfunded station in fictional Melonville.
 
Three days before the Sunday taping, local excitement heightened when it was confirmed that Rick Moranis — who in 1997 took a hiatus from regular onscreen work — would join previously confirmed “SCTV” members Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Andrea Martin, Martin Short, and Dave Thomas onstage.
 
After the tech checks (one camera boom was named Johnny LaRue, after the late “SCTV” star John Candy’s recurring character), the curtain rose on panel moderator Jimmy Kimmel, standing center stage in front of eight armchairs, which were set in a curved row, and a backdrop of large “SCTV” stills that surrounded a two-story-high image of a vintage television.
 
Kimmel, who watched “SCTV” growing up in Las Vegas, called the show “one of the strangest, greatest things I’ve ever seen” and the reason why the U.S. is “not building a wall on the Northern border,” then introduced the first clip montage, which included the first scene of Episode 1 and generous clips of some legendary “SCTV” sketches and characters.
  
For three hours, the audience — former “SCTV” crew, friends and family, Canadian media industry and cultural types, and hundreds of ticket buyers (but, sadly, no one dressed as Edith Prickley) — in the packed 1500-seat Elgin responded with laughter and applause to smartly assembled, themed montages that provoked the group chat.
 
While there were few revelations, the warm, effortless banter that flowed between the actors kept the audience hanging on every word, whether it be about celebrity impressions, wrap-arounds, wrap parties, or the secret behind successful “SCTV” parodies of well-known American plays, soap operas, and mobster films.
 
As Levy related, “SCTV’s” first two seasons, which aired on the then-fledgling Ontario network Global (the show was only available then in syndication in the U.S.) “taught us what not to do — almost everyone came out of theater, so we had to learn how to produce a show.”
 
In addition to naming favorite and despised characters, the actors discussed the origins and ethos behind iconic bits, recurring sketches, and, of course, the pop-culture phenom Bob and Doug McKenzie, the toque-wearing, beer-guzzling hosers who emerged in 1980 when the show was aired on pubcaster CBC and two additional minutes of Canadian content was required.
 
“We couldn’t believe how easy it was,” laughed Moranis, who played Bob. “It was nothing like any of the other pieces in the show — one of those weird things that caught on.”
 
While the actors took some polite digs at rival show “SNL” — they had a hoot recalling the “SCTV” sketch “Thursday Night Live” — they more frequently described the show’s supportive working vibe, which was the polar opposite of the fictional station’s dysfunction. “We would stand behind the cameras, it was always collaborative,” Martin recalled. “We were a part of everybody’s scene, it was never us against them.”
The Toronto audience particularly enjoyed the discussion of Candy’s brilliance and warmth, and of how everyone the cast met or worked with — even longtime “SCTV” producer Andrew Alexander, who is one of the reunion-special producers — inspired a bit for the show.
 
Canadian broadcaster CTV announced that it has teamed with Netflix to become the exclusive Canadian broadcast partner of the special. Under the partnership, Netflix will premiere the “SCTV” special worldwide in all territories except Canada, where it premieres exclusively on CTV. Following CTV’s airing, the special will be available on Netflix in Canada.

More Digital

  • Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality

    Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality Nightmare

    At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year, Google announced that it has taken up the long and ever-lengthening dream of the video game streaming service. Meant to replace the hefty, pricey, altogether confounding experience of buying and using various gaming hardware, Google Stadia will run video games on Google’s own hardware in a server [...]

  • crunchyroll logo

    Crunchyroll Raises Subscription Price to $7.99

    AT&T-owned anime subscription video service Crunchyroll is raising its monthly subscription price from $6.95 to $7.99 a month, it announced in an email to members Friday. It’s the service’s first price increase ever, according to a spokesperson. Related Andrea Martin Leaves 'Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus' After Breaking Ribs 5 Things We Learned at [...]

  • StyleHaul

    StyleHaul Shuts Down U.S. Operations, Lays Off About 65 Employees

    The axe is falling on StyleHaul: The fashion, beauty and lifestyle digital media and marketing company owned by RTL Group is shuttering U.S. operations, resulting the layoff of around 65 employees. Related Andrea Martin Leaves 'Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus' After Breaking Ribs 5 Things We Learned at TCA 2019: Day 8 StyleHaul offices [...]

  • Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown, a leading platform for letting music fans know about upcoming concerts by their favorite artists, has acquired Hypebot, a news site publishing stories about the music industry and technology, and its sister site MusicThinkTank. Related Andrea Martin Leaves 'Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus' After Breaking Ribs 5 Things We Learned at TCA 2019: [...]

  • Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’

    Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’ Is Future of VR

    As virtual reality becomes more and more available, many developers are looking for new frontiers to expand the experiences offered by the tech. Related Andrea Martin Leaves 'Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus' After Breaking Ribs 5 Things We Learned at TCA 2019: Day 8 For Netherlands-based Vertigo Games, that next frontier is what they [...]

  • GDC 2019: Google's Play For Gaming

    GDC 2019: Google's Play for Gaming Ubiquity, Rise of Ray Tracing, Store Wars

    The Game Developers Conference finished up Friday evening, wrapping one of the most exciting GDCs in recent memory with Google’s splashy entrance into AAA video gaming, the emergence of real-time ray tracing as a compelling technology for film, TV, and games, and the growing war between two global estore powerhouses: Valve’s Steam and the Epic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content