Don’t touch that dial! Don’t touch that one either! Scorsese is set to re-team the miscreants of SCTV.
The citizens of Melonville must be in an uproar. Having suffered years without their beloved SCTV programming, the fictitious town has almost completely faded from pop culture memory. The imaginary audience has dwindled along with the utterly freaky, weirdo miscreants that paraded within Canada’s premiere sketch comedy show. While some of its stars broke out into the mainstream appeal of Saturday Night Live and National Lampoon, their origins have become rather difficult to track down. Maybe that is about to change.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Martin Scorsese is gathering several of the original cast members of SCTV on stage in Toronto for a reunion special hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. This live audience recording will serve as the backbone of a new Netflix documentary directed by Scorsese, and could hopefully champion a resurgence for the most outrageous comedy troupe to break into television. However, don’t expect the whole gang to be there.
The stage show is titled An Afternoon with SCTV and will take place on May 13th. Joining Kimmel on stage are SCTV alums Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, and Dave Thomas. John Candy and Harold Ramis have obviously, already left us, and Rick Moranis has been on an acting hiatus since 1997. No Bob McKenzie? That seems kinda wrong.
SCTV was often a bafflingly bizarre sketch show. There was John Candy’s Johnny LaRue desperately seeking the spotlight, hijacking cooking shows for the poor and starring in blasphemous remakes of Chinatown. Ramis’ Moe Green invaded PSAs on the recognizable symptoms of the dead. Martin Short’s Ed Grimley mystifyingly escaped his Canadian confines to assault the sensibilities of Saturday Night Live. There was a character once seen that could not be unseen…if you don’t say.
Scorsese must be feeling pretty happy in his relationship with Netflix. His Irishman reunion with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci has wrapped filming and is expected to be released on the platform sometime next year. The fact that he reportedly went waaaay over budget in the film doesn’t seem to phase his masters. After all, Netflix has $8 billion to spend during this year alone.
The director loves to tinker on documentaries between narrative films. Between Shutter Island and Hugo, Scorsese shot docs on George Harrison and Elia Kazan. In 1978, he crafted the ultimate concert film with The Last Waltz, and he’s chased that experience with Shine A Light, plus brief segments in The Blues and No Direction Home. As an artistic neurotic himself, he’s fascinated by the like-minded.
The oddballs of SCTV will give Scorsese plenty of obsessive personalities to ponder. You can practically hear his signature chuckle barely keeping it together behind the camera. You can also imagine the similarly dark pathos he once explored in The King of Comedy. For every joke and sight gag on SCTV, there is a sad story to contemplate as well. They’re the perfect gang of comedy reprobates for the director to dissect.