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Sctv:The Best Of The Early

Joe Flaherty , Eugene Levy    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 46.95
Price: CDN$ 30.64 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Sctv:The Best Of The Early + The SCTV Collection (21-Disc Set)
Price For Both: CDN$ 180.63


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Even the worst of SCTV would be superior to much of what passes for contemporary sketch comedy. This three-disc set collects 15 of the now-legendary 30-minute syndicated episodes from 1978-80 that initially formed the bedrock of SCTV's Network 90 incarnation (now available in its entirety on DVD). There are but three episodes from season 2, which feature SCTV's most popularly known ensemble: John Candy, Joe Flahrety, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Rick Moranis, Catherine O'Hara, and Dave Thomas. Arguably the best of these is "On the Waterfront Again," with Levy's old school and out of touch comedian Bobby Bittman and O'Hara's B-list entertainer Lola Heatherton appearing on "The Sammy Maudlin Show" to promote their hopeless remake of the Brando classic. The bulk of this collection hails from season 3, which lamentably saw the departure of Candy and O'Hara, but also the auspicious arrival of Rick Moranis. Also joining the cast were the unsung Tony Rosato (who does a wicked Lou Costello in "Midnight Express Special") and Robin Duke. They would later make the jump to Saturday Night Live, which gets an upstart thumping in the episode, "Thursday Night Live." One of the season's running gags is a series of promos for Taxi Driver, recast with Woody Allen, Dick Cavett, Gregory Peck, and even Bob Hope ("You talkin' to me? Nobody talks to me that way. I didn't let Darryl Zanuck talk to me that way."). Thomas's definitive Hope also pops up to upstage Bittman on "The Sammy Maudlin Show" to promote "I Owe Peking 2000 Dollars," and alongside Moranis' uncanny Woody Allen in the masterpiece, "Play It Again, Bob." Thomas and Moranis make their momentous first appearances throughout this season as bickering, beer-swilling brothers Doug and Bob McKenzie, SCTV's breakout characters. "The Great White North" (a.k.a. "Kanadian Korner"), their sublimely silly improved segments, introduced such Canadian patois as "Take off," "Hoser," and "Beauty, eh?" into the pop culture lexicon.

SCTV mastered the art of cross parody. "My Factory, My Self," one of Martin's finest half hours, somehow combines An Unmarried Woman, Coming Home, Norma Rae, Kramer vs. Kramer, and The China Syndrome. It's unfortunate that The Early Years represented in this collection do not extend to the first season (Harold Ramis fans, arise!). But these gems are dazzling in their--to quote the hilarious "The Trial of Oscar Wilde" sketch--"sparkling wit and unbelievable intelligence." Some of the references are dated (anyone remember gossip columnist Rona Barrett, transformed here into sportscaster Ronny Barrett?). But we agree with SCTV station manager Guy Caballero. This is "the hippest comedy you'll ever see." --Donald Liebenson


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars John Candy fans take note Dec 30 2010
Let's not take away from what's here.
If you loved SCTV, chances are you'll enjoy the episodes they've provided.

But many fans of SCTV's first three seasons will view this as an oddly-slanted collection for what is billed as "The Best of the Early Years."
You get 15 episodes but 12 of them are from the third season which didn't have John Candy and Catherine O'Hara.
There are also no episodes from the first season so there are no skits featuring Harold Ramis.

This collection would have been far more fulfilling to fans of the early years if it offered a more balanced overview of that period.
Five episodes from each of the first three seasons would have been ideal.

Instead, the obvious emphasis on the third season only serves as a nagging reminder that there are some very enjoyable episodes from the first two seasons missing from this collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Early Dec 7 2012
Verified Purchase
I had seen all these shows way back in 1980/81. Also we had the American series #s 1-4. It was absolutely essential to get the early years while the group was still in Edmonton. Thus our SCTV is now almost complete.
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Verified Purchase
I really like the early years of SCTV as well as the later Network 90 shows and I'm sure you'll like them too. They're hilarious. But there are two issues that need to be addressed. First, this set is a little pricey and second (and more important) this is only what is considered to be the best of the early years. I wish Shout Factory would release the whole collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic laughs March 18 2014
Verified Purchase
Warning you will watch television like you never had before. I love classic SCTV. It's a but dated but for anyone that grew up loving it it's worth getting
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SCTV - Ya had to be there... Nov. 21 2010
By thedano
I bought Disc 1, 2, Best of early years, both Christmas Specials, and Volume 4 and I STILL couldn't find The Tubes or Ian Thomas. I'm going to buy Vol 1, 2, and 3, and mail the others to my brother. He'll love them (for free is even better!)
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