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Picture Credit: SCTV: The Best of John Candy


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This Show Page is maintained by: Jay Norris

> Description 
Second City Television, or SCTV, was a Canadian television sketch comedy show offshoot from the Toronto troupe of The Second City.

The show's cast included John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Andrea Martin, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, Harold Ramis and Dave Thomas, many of whom had previously been regulars on The David Steinberg Show. All of the original featured cast went on to successful careers in American film and television, although later additions Tony Rosato, Robin Duke and Jan Randall weren't so lucky. (Rosato and Duke were called upon by Dick Ebersol to help fix Saturday Night Live in the Spring of 1981.)

SCTV first aired on Global in Canada, and later moved to the CBC. It ran in Canada from 1976 to 1984. The show also aired on NBC in the United States, under the title SCTV Network 90, from 1981 to 1983. In 1984, for its final season of existence, the show moved to pay-TV channel Superchannel in Canada and Cinemax in the United States, changing the name slightly to SCTV Channel.

The basic premise of SCTV is that it is the television station for the city of Melonville. Rather than broadcast the usual TV rerun fare, the business, run by the greedy Guy Caballero (Joe Flaherty) who sits in a wheelchair only for respect, puts on a bizarre and humorously incompetent range of cheap local programming. This can range from a soap opera called "The Days of The Week", to game shows like "Shoot The Stars", in which celebrities are literally shot at like targets in a shooting gallery, to full blown movie spoofs like "Play it Again, Bob" in which Woody Allen tries to get Bob Hope to star in his next film. In-house media melodrama was also satirised with characters like Candy's vain, bloated variety star Johnny La Rue and Martin's hatchet-faced, shrewish Edith Prickley, the station manager.

Parody shows included The Goose Girl, a Tarzan-style spoof in which Martin plays a girl, whose family have died in a plane crash, who has been raised by geese. A parody of the popular western drama Grizzly Adams -- retitled Grizzly Abrahams -- depicted the burly western hero as the owner of a wild tortoise, which took weeks to lead police to the skeletal remains of its master, trapped beneath a fallen log.

As one chronicler has noted, the TV station concept gave the show the ability to parody virtually any TV genre, as well as advertising. Some of the most memorable sketches involved parodies of late-night low-budget advertising, such as the "Used Fruit Stand", in which viewers were enticed to come early with the offer of free tickets to 'Circus Lupus', the Circus of the Wolves (accompanied by mocked-up photos of wolves forming a pyramid and jumping through flaming hoops). Equally memorable were the faux-inept ads for local businesses like Tex and Edna Boil's Organ Emporium.

Impersonations were also an integral part of the comedy, with almost every cast member playing multiple roles as well-known personalities. Some impressions include Short's Jerry Lewis, Candy's Orson Welles, Pavarotti and Herve Villechaize, O'Hara's Katharine Hepburn, Andrea Martin's Streisand, and Flaherty's range of impersonations including Gregory Peck, Peter O'Toole, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Bing Crosby, William F Buckley, Geraldo Rivera, Charles Bronson, Alan Alda, Gene Siskel, Richard Nixon, Jack Klugman, Slim Whitman, Larry Fine and Salvador Dalí -- and of course, Levy's Ricardo Montalban.

Show Description Credit: Wikipedia
 
> Airing History & Information 
Last Airing Jul 17, 1984
Premiere September 21, 1976
Episodes 135
Network Syndicated, NBC, Cinemax
Format/Time Color / 30 Minutes
Country United States
Upcoming Airs Not currently airing
 
> Cast 
John Candy....   various characters (1976-1979, 1981-1983)
Tony Rosato....   various characters (1980-1981)
Rick Moranis....   various characters (1980-1982)
Dave Thomas....   various characters (1976-1982)
Harold Ramis....   various characters (1976-1978)
Catherine O'Hara....   various characters (1976-1979, 1981-1982)
Andrea Martin....   various characters
Eugene Levy....   various characters
Joe Flaherty....   various characters
Martin Short....   various characters (1982-1984)

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