SCTV Classics: Perry Como, the Schmenges and More


SCTV: One of Canada's Best Exports

Offering some of the best television sketch comedy ever, SCTV was built around the premise that viewers were watching the programming of a local Canadian TV station.

This high-concept offered the flexibility of lampooning the entire range of drama, comedy and variety shows on the tube as well as movies, news and documentaries.

The cast of the comedy troupe varied over the run of the series but every member could be counted on to bring his or her A-game every week.

Perry Como
Perry Como, a popular TV singer in the 50's, hosted one of the first weekly programs broadcast in color.

Known for his relaxed singing style, Perry was spoofed by SCTV in one of their most well-known parodies. That's American Pie's Eugene Levy doing the impersonation.

It's been reported that Perry thought this bit was hilarious.

Yosh and Stan Schmenge
Before John Candy was a movie star he portrayed, among a thousand other characters on SCTV, one half of the Czechoslovakian polka act, the Schmenge Brothers.

Ronco: Shower and Blow Dryer in a Briefcase
You don't see this kind of commercial too much anymore but there was a time when TV ads for useless gadgets like Pocket Fishermen and Clappers were all over the place.

SCTV's genius was to take an existing TV premise that was already silly and push it just a few clicks into the absurd.

Be sure to notice what happens to the post and the tree behind Martin Short in this bit.

The Farm Film Report
Who else but SCTV would mash-up an early morning TV farm report with movie reviews about blown' up stuff real good!

That's Joe Flaherty on the right.

English for Beginners
Catherine O'Hara and Andrea Martin were, without a doubt, two of the funniest people ever on television.

5 Neat Guys
SCTV looked at all the commercials for records and cassettes of middle-of-the-road-mediocre music acts and, once again, nudged the concept into the ridiculous range.

What's truly funny about this spoof is that it's not that far off from an ad that might have actually run on TV at the time.