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SCTV: Second City Television Network - Volume 3
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2005
Another great box from Shout! Entertainment. Some excellent skits are contained within. Specifically:
* The Pre-Teen World telethon (with Rick, Eugene, and John as the pre-teen band The Recess Monkeys doing a cover of Chiliwack's "My Girl")
* The first Schmenge Bros. sketch (including commercials for Schmenge Travel and Schmenge Records)
* "Chariots of Eggs" with Hall & Oates.
* The first Al "No Song and Dance Here" Peck Used Cars ad
* The People's Global Golden Choice Awards
* "The Days of the Week" soap, in six parts. ("Didn't you have amnesia?" "Um...maybe. I don't remember.")
* The Battle of the PBS stars

If you've read Dave Thomas' book, watching the last 3 or 4 of these shows will remind you of how burned out he said he was, and it shows in a few pieces. (e.g. "Charlie's Kitchen.")..but the addition of Martin Short to the cast gave the show a great shot in the arm, and this box set contains the only three shows where Short, Moranis, Thomas, and O'Hara are all together.
Martin Short isn't utilized as much as he became later in the run of the show, but he does shine in "Jerry Lewis Live On the Champs-Elysees"

Overall, the production values are at their best here. The makeup, costumes, sets and camera work are much improved in this cycle.

The DVDs have the same great navigation as Vol. 2, with titles to the shows, and chapter stops on the sketches. I even found an easter egg on disc 3, which is the first I've found on any of the volumes (silent home movies from backstage at Edmonton.)

Two new commentaries: one from Joe Flaherty with Paul Flaherty and Dick Blasucci (not very entertaining, although they allege that Eugene Levy is a billionaire after making "New York Minute" with the Olsen Twins). Another from writers Dick Blasucci and Mike Short (more informative and less rambling than the other one.)

The bonus features
* SCTV -The Producers. Not as entertaining nor as informative as I would have imagined.
* That's Life w/ John Candy - a "PM Magazine"-type segment, showing John Candy at home. Short and sweet.
* SCTV Remembers, Pt 3 - Catherine O'Hara and Martin Short are very entertaining in this 20 minute segment.
* John Candy photo gallery - nice photos from the sets taken by his wife.
* SCTV at the Museum of TV & Radio - very nice segment. I wish it was longer than an hour. Rick Moranis was among the cast members at this event, and it is the first "extra" on any of the volumes to include is recollections.
* The booklet includes a nice little intro by Jennifer Candy (John's daughter) and the script to the Jerry Lewis sketch.

If you have the first two volumes, you won't be disappointed with Vol. 3. Good stuff.

(note: I have one beef with Vol. 3. The packaging is different: Vol. 3's DVDs overlap to save space....This makes the width of the box set about 1/16th of an inch narrower than the other two, which is nice - but the overlapping DVDs are a pain. - You need to remove Disc 2 to get to Disc 1.)
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2005
After decades in legal limbo, the classic SCTV episodes are finally available to the public on an ever-growing assortment of DVD box sets. This third volume documents the various changes that occurred over a crucial ten-month period in 1982. The most obvious change was the arrival of Martin Short, which coincided with the departure of Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas and Catherine O'Hara. A less noticable change was the gradual disappearance of the laugh tracks; this was a subtle indication that the cast was becoming more attentive to style and craft.

During a ten-month period in 1982, only nine original episodes were aired, and that's a lot of reruns. The writers were simply not prolific enough to satisfy the demand for more high-quality material. In addition, the cast now seemed reluctant to indulge in physical humor, preferring the quiet character-driven comedy that was Second City's trademark. The only time you saw an energetic performance was when they were making fun of energetic performers, such as Eugene Levy's manic impression of Borscht Belt comic Jack Carter, Martin Short's brutal take on Jerry Lewis, or Andrea Martin's blaring imitation of Ethel Merman's singing voice.

The bonus features in this box set include a CD of live sketches and songs from the Second City archives (now the property of Sony) with narration from Second City alum Robert Klein. The sound quality varies from track to track, but it's still fascinating listening for comedy historians. Fans may be surprised to learn that Martin Short and Catherine O'Hara only worked together in a handful of episodes; this box set includes a hilarious new interview where the two crack each other up with impromptu impressions.

The last episode in this box set features Rick Moranis' swan song for SCTV; his "Soapy Maxwell" piece ends with him walking off the set after an awkward pause because the scene has no ending. Dave Thomas as Bill Needle exits sentimentally, Jimmy Durante-style, after announcing his retirement from TV. Catherine O'Hara would return for guest appearances along with Thomas, but she chose not to make a grand farewell in this final episode. Her performance in "Love Slaves Of The Southwest" is a fascinating character study.

Technical note: three major edits have been made because of publishing rights issues. A John Belushi farewell tribute has been deleted from the "Great White Palace" episode, Rick Moranis' polka version of "Stairway To Heaven" has been awkwardly edited from the "Happy Wanderers" piece, and Bill Murray's scene from "Days Of The Week" no longer uses "Mrs. Robinson" as its theme. Despite these deletions, I'm still recommending this box set as high-class entertainment - just don't throw out your old videotape copies yet.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2005
The "Stairways To Heaven" sketch that has been cut for music rights issues is a hilarious sketch. Boo to Led Zeppelin or their management for not letting it be seen.

On the plus side, the bonus CD of Second City stage material is great - funny and smart.

The show was becoming more refined in this "cycle", and gentler. Two performers whose manic energy had always been an asset, Dave Thomas and Catherine O'Hara, were soon to depart along with Rick Moranis. They each do good work on here, but less of it and Thomas and Moranis do write a couple of long, insipid sketches near the end that appear to be tryouts for writing bad Hollywood movies. And a lot of other mediocre stuff ("Shake and Bake" for example, is pretty sad. These guys had been so brilliant in seasons/cycles past).

Personally I prefer the previous cycles. But when the good gags came here, they were pretty amazing. Eugene Levy's "The Days of the Week" pieces are a highlight of nearly every episode, and great. Levy's Howard Cosell imitation, seen here in "The Battle of the PBS Stars", will bring tears to your eyes. "I Was A Teenage Communist" is perfection in brainy satire.

Like every other season or cycle of SCTV, there is some great, amazing stuff on here.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2005
SCTV is a comedy classic. Yet despite the often brilliant satire, much of the episodes in the first two box sets fall short. Maybe it's just my own experiences talking, but I really thought SCTV came alive with this cast, and in the short run with both Martin Short and Rick Moranis at the same time.

There are some absolute classics here. For those of us who grew up on the absolute worst of television history in the 70's, with the endless variety shows and "star ensemble" "olympic" style games, and so forth, the sketches were brilliant satire. Who could forget Levy doing Howard Cosell in the "Battle of the PBS Stars" episode, especially the boxing match between Julia Childs and Mister Rogers. I am crying with laughter. The "Raiders of the Lost Ark" silly take off sketch of "Soapy Maxwell" where Moranis exists the show with lines like "I'll shoot you so full of holes you will look like the Cub's infield" it is funny stuff indeed.

The show really went to town on the "Great White North" surprise popularity. The episode where Bob and Doug get their own variety special will leave you in stitches.

This is SCTV at its best in my opinion. The best line up and some of the best skits. If you have never seen the show, start with this set, not the first two. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2010
A great set with one bonus nobody seems to have mentioned. On disc 3 of VOLUME 3, if you let the DVD cycle through the Main Menu (a one minute loop where highlights play on the little 'tv screens' while the theme music plays) for over 5 minutes, the disc will automatically engage and play 8mm home movie footage relating to SCTV. This is mainly behind the scenes skit footage, with some outside the studios.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2006
As I type this, I've given the 3rd NBC season a once-over and found that unlike the 2nd and 4th seasons, this one doesn't warrant watching all the way through; certainly not the "3D Stake From The Heart" episode.

I agree with most; watching this season gives you the impression that the cast was running on fumes, but there are still enough quality sketches contained herein that justify picking this up. Namely, "Chariots Of Eggs", "Pre-Teen World Telethon", "Maudlin's Eleven", "Long Distance", and "The Great White North Palace".

By the end of this season, Martin Short had joined the cast and was such a brilliant shot of adrenalin, it's unbelieveable how good he is. Check out "Mean Joe Greene Playhouse" to see what I mean.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2005
SCTV was the high water mark for comedy on television--there will never be another show with as deep a talent pool or cast members willing and able to dive in head first into unchartered waters of comedy..(ok enuf water metaphors..)
This, third in the series, marks the arrival of the incomparable Martin Short who remarkably was able to not only meet the high bar set up by the original cast but actually surpass it on occasion.
The finest of fine, fine quality comedy...so fork up your dineros and send 'em in to SCTV..cus as Guy would say, we need your cash or the next boxed set might just be hours and hours of soccer!!!!!
Long live LaRue!!!
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These episodes inspired the early "Saturday Night Live" and still hold up today. Not all of the content holds up, but most of it is still great. My favorite in this season is still the "Battle of the PBS Stars" episode and, in particular, John Candy (dressed as Julia Child) boxing it out with Mr. Rogers, the latter finally resorting to cheating in order to win. Hilarious stuff! There's lots more including the first appearances of the funny, funny pseudo-commercials featuring Edith Prickley's sister Edna and her organ-playing husband, Tex. These continue into the next season, even after Tex's suicide (he just can't stand Edna anymore!), after which Edna begins searching for a replacement partner for her the commercials for her ever-changing small businesses.

The only problem I've had getting others to appreciate the humor has been a bit of difficulty getting it through their heads that the whole concept is the story of a small-time TV station struggling to survive. We see clips of some of the station's programming, commercials, and behind the scenes backstabbing all in one package. Until viewers "get" the overall idea, they find it all a bit confusing. It's worth the small effort, I assure you.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2005
If you are a fan of sketch comedy then this is for you. I looked at SCTV when I was young and didn't understand it and ultimately hated it . But now at 20 this show is flat out hilarious.

While no show is perfect it has its slow spots but they are at a bare minimum , so you won't even notice it . But I do suggest you get the first two released SCTV sets before you get this one so you'll know what to expect , which will be side splitting laughter! Now The 30 minute shows please !? But till then keep the laughter coming!
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on June 20, 2015
Volume 3 has fewer high points than Volumes 1 and 2, but overall it is an entertaining assembly of shows. And anything SCTV has to offer is funnier and more creative than many current prime time network shows. Individually and collectively, the SCTV cast is stellar.
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