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SCTV, Volume 1 - Network 90 (5 Disc Set)

4.5 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Available for the first time on home video, in a 5-disc DVD box set. It covers the first nine 90-minute episodes which aired on NBC (and later in syndication), and also includes tons of special features.This two-time Emmy-winner ran for two years on NBC


At long last, SCTV is on the air... or at least on DVD! While it never reached the ratings heights or pop culture cachet of Saturday Night Live, SCTV did garner critical buzz and a devoted cult following. As with the Python boys, the ensemble members, and the characters they created to populate the fictional Melonville TV network, are revered in hipper comedy circles. In this respect, SCTV is Letterman to SNL's Leno. This essential five-disc set collects the first nine episodes of the series' Network 90 incarnation, which brightened NBC's Friday late-night lineup in 1981. While original cast member Harold Ramis had since left the show, and Martin Short would join the following year, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Rick Moranis, Catherine O'Hara, and Dave Thomas were SCTV's definitive ensemble (SNL-bound Robin Duke and Tony Rosato, we hardly knew ye). These inaugural episodes are comprised mostly of "the golden classics" (so dubbed by Flahrety's wheelchair-bound station manager Guy Caballero) linked by some new material. Included are such series benchmarks as "The Great White North" segments, featuring Moranis and Thomas as the stereotypically Canadian, parka-wearing, beer-swilling McKenzie brothers; "Play It Again, Bob," starring Moranis as Woody Allen and Thomas as Bob Hope; the ill-fated made-for-SCTV "Polynesiantown" starring Candy's Johnny LaRue; "The Sammy Maudlin Show," starring Joe Flahrety as the most sincerely insincere talk show host, with O'Hara as Lola "I want to bear your children" Heatherton, and "Indira," with Andrea Martin in her signature Evita spoof.

And that's just on disc 1! SCTV could parody Leave It to Beaver and Fantasy Island with the best of them, but anticipating the future Ben Stiller Show, its genius lay in its show business savvy to subvert television and movie convention. When Levy's comedian Bobby Bittman arrives on a talk show, he brings "bloopers" from his congressional testimony. And you don't need to have seen The Oscar to appreciate The Nobel, but it certainly helps. The price is steep, but don't be a hoser. This is the comedy release of the year. And it blows up real good. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • Nine 90-minute episodes from the first NBC season, including "Moral Majority," "Pledge Week," and "Bouncin' Back to You," with appearances by characters Johnny LaRue, Yellowbelly, Edith Prickley, Bob and Doug McKenzie, and Lola Heatherton
  • Commentaries by Joe Flaherty and Eugene Levy
  • The SCTV reunion from the 1999 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival
  • Four new documentaries:
  • "SCTV Remembers," with original cast members Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty, Catherine O'Hara, Dave Thomas, and Andrea Martin, and executive producer Andrew Alexander
  • "Origins of SCTV," with vintage photos and clips from Chicago's Second City Theatre
  • "The Craft of SCTV," with costume, hair, and makeup designers
  • "Remembering John," with original cast, actor Martin Short, writers, and Bernard Sahlins the Second City Theatre cofounder and producer 1959-1985
  • 24-page booklet

Product Details

  • Actors: John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara
  • Writers: Brian McConnachie, Tom Couch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2004
  • Run Time: 780 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001S6AQE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,244 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "SCTV, Volume 1 - Network 90 (5 Disc Set)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Parker Benchley VINE VOICE on July 9, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Whenever I got together with friends discussing television and movies we always wondered why every crummy TV show and movie made it to DVD while SCTV was not yet on DVD. Then we would inevitably begin to reminisce about the show, out favorite sketches, etc. Now we can all watch together because SCTV is finally on DVD . . . well, at least some of it is, and that's a good start.
For those who fondly remember the series I must first state that this is not a collection of the 30-minute shows that were shown in syndication. Rather, this collection contains the first nine shows of SCTV-90 that ran on NBC during the early 80's. Fortunately, the first episode of the collection is a retrospective of some of the best sketches that ran on the syndicated show. Fans will be able to see "Night School Hi-Q," a quiz show where Eugene Levy plays a harassed Alex Trebek to Catherine O'Hara's clueless Margaret Meehan; John Candy as a fully grown Beaver who finally gets revenge in Eddie Haskell; Rick Moranis as Merv Griffin comparing jacket linings with Yasser Arafat and Liberace; and the jewel of the disk, Rick Moranis as Woody Allen playing against Dave Thomas as Bob Hope in "Play It Again, Bob." No one ever imitated Bob Hope like Dave Thomas; seeing him on the screen almost makes us believe were really were seeing Bob Hope, that's how good the impersonation was.
And there's more to come with some of the best-loved characters in SCTV: Guy Callabero, Edith Prickley, Bob and Doug McKenzie, Johnny LaRue, Mrs. Falbo, Lola Heatherton, Bobby Bittman, Earl Camembert, Floyd Robertson, aka Count Floyd, Dr. Tongue, Perini Scleroso, Mel Slirrup, and Sammy Maudlin. They're still as funny, and almost as fresh, as when we watched them back then.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A good day indeed! Who could ever forget Count Floyd hosting Monster Chiller Horror Theater screening such epics as Dr. Tongues 3D House of Pancakes (Would you like some syrup!)and Dr. Tongues 3D House of Stewardesses.
Other Great Sketches;
The Godfather: SCTV trys to eliminate the four families (ABC, CBS, NBC & PBS)
Polynesian Town: Johnny LaRue begging for his crane shot.
Fantasy Island: John Candy as Tatoo is a classic, especially when he gets amorous with a stratavarius violin!
The Guy who sells used fruit (Eugene Levy)
The Porno store guy with the snake on his face (John Candy)
Indira; The musical: (Andrea Martin)
The Days of the Week: You'll be hard-pressed to find two more stupid characters than Rocko & Mojo.
...And last but not least, Great White North. SCTV's answer to the stupid "Canadian Content" rule that was imposed upon them. Out of their protest came the two most memorable characters of the 1980's! Coo Luk-u-coo-coo-coo-luk-u-coo!
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By A Customer on March 15, 2004
Format: DVD
All I can say is that the release of the 90 minute SCTV episodes is like finding the Holy Grail. These shows, dating back to 1980 or so, were contemporaries of the earliest Saturday Night Live shows and, to many of us, totally *blew away* SNL, even with its now-legendary early cast members. Amazing considering the total shoe-string budget on which these were done.
For those of you who don't know, the cast included Joe "Veddy Scary" Flaherty (Count Floyd, Guy Caballero), Eugene "As A Comedian, in All Seriousness" Levy (Bobby Bittman, Mel Slurrup, Woody Tobias Jr., Yosh Schmenge), Martin "I Must Say" Short (Jerry Lewis, Ed Grimley), Catherine "Tip Toenail" O'Hara (Lola Heatherton, Brooke Shields), Andrea "Momma's Got it Now" Martin (Edith Prickley, Ms. Falbo, Indira Ghandi, Mojo), Dave "Hoser" Thomas (Bob Hope, Doug McKenzie), Rick "Vuhdeo" Moranis (Gerry Todd, Woody Allen, Bob McKenzie) and of course John "They Laughed at Me in Budapest!" Candy (Dr. Tongue, William B. Williams, Johnny Pavarotti, Stan Schmenge). How's that for an embarassment of riches? Oh yeah, and occasionally you'd have lightweights like Harold "Crazylegs" Ramis drop in. This is one of the few shows that I cannot even think about without smiling, or even outright laughing.
I certainly hope the DVD gives these programs the treatment they deserve -- including plenty of extras and commentary (maybe even interactive scripts?? Pwwweeeez?). This material is certainly worthy of major tender loving care.
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Format: DVD
While Saturday Night Live added a hip-edge to the television variety show, it was in many ways more of a return to TV's live performance roots than a revolution in comedy. SCTV, "the little show from Canada that could," was the late '70s and early '80s real innovator.

A comparison between SNL and SCTV is in some ways akin to comparing McDonald's and Burger King: each had a unique premise that shaped everything they did. Burger King (in its day) was a slave to the pace of a flame-broiler, while McDonald's pre-cooked. Likewise, SNL wrote, staged, and performed a show in 6 days. They worked in front of a live audience and were beholden to the pace (i.e., waiting out laughs) that such an arrangement dictated. SCTV was performed for cameras, and had time to write, edit, digest, reduce, and re-use in a way SNL never could.

The result is that SNL pushed towards catch-lines and easily identifiable, repeatable characters. SCTV, on the other hand, evolved into an ever more complex tapestry of comedy, irony and parody that wrapped around and glided through their sketches. Further, the isolation of their Canadian studio location (particularly the Edmonton years) kept the cast a true ensemble. Unlike the ego wars of SNL, SCTV remained largely devoid of breakout stars through its entire run.

At the heart of SCTV's success is the concept (or conceit) that the program was day-in-the-life of a low-end television network. The programs present a seamless intertwining of the "SCTV Network" programming and the characters and traumas which fictionally produced it. Even the musical guests (which in this set include Dr. John, The Tubes, Roy Orbison, and Robert Gordon) have their performances (both musical and acting) woven into the sketches.
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