SCTV Reunion for Show that Would Now Face PC Problems

May 28th, 2018 12:32 PM


If you are a fan of perhaps the best comedy show on television, SCTV, you probably already have a smile on your face. Uzbeks were part of the hilarious SCTV universe from Canada that would be considered taboo today in our overly PC culture because they were parodied as being a drunken, shiftless people. Back when SCTV was broadcast during the years 1976 to 1984 the references to Uzbeks caused not a whiff of protest which says something about how times have changed.

David Menzies of Rebel Media in Canada explains why SCTV was so popular and, sadly, why many of today's SJW snowflakes would be incapable of tolerating it.

The May 14 Variety reported on the upcoming SCTV special next year...but leaves out mention of why such a show would face a wall of controversy today as well as avoiding how NBC destroyed SCTV which was vastly superior to SNL.

TORONTO — Loud and abundant hometown love set the tone in Toronto’s historic Elgin Theatre on Sunday, as seven stars of the legendary “SCTV” reunited for a lively conversation filmed in front of a live audience for inclusion in an original Netflix comedy special, set to air in 2019.

Beauty, eh?

Announced last month, the as-yet-untitled special, directed by Martin Scorsese, will explore the legacy of “SCTV” —the beloved Canadian sketch-comedy series that ran six seasons, between 1976 and 1984, and chronicled the singular oddball characters and outrageously ambitious programming of a small, perpetually underfunded station in fictional Melonville.

...While the actors took some polite digs at rival show “SNL” — they had a hoot recalling the “SCTV” sketch “Thursday Night Live” — they more frequently described the show’s supportive working vibe, which was the polar opposite of the fictional station’s dysfunction. “We would stand behind the cameras, it was always collaborative,” Martin recalled. “We were a part of everybody’s scene, it was never us against them.”

Mental Floss reminds us of the problems SCTV faced from the major networks including the president of ABC who thought Americans were just too stupid to figure out the humor of that show:

SCTV was almost on ABC. The network's late night decision maker “loved” what he saw of the pilot, but ABC President Fred Silverman overruled him, saying the show was “too intelligent.”

Mental Floss also explained how NBC sabotaged SCTV at the time when their beloved SNL was dying.

While unthinkable now, Saturday Night Live was consistently on the cancellation bubble in the early to mid 1980s, with middling ratings and little support from critics. Meanwhile, NBC picked up critical darling SCTV as a 90 minute show (as SCTV Network 90) in 1981, airing it on Fridays from 12:30-2 in the morning. An NBC Vice President went as far as to publicly say that SCTV was the “best comedy show on television” and deserved a better time slot, and floated the idea of it sharing the Saturday night 11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. block. That network executive soon lost his job, and the idea was never brought up again.

To get more of a feel for what the incredible humor of SCTV was like, let us look at an episode based on the theme of Soviet television, 3CP1. It features a grossly oversized minicam, drunken Uzbeks (of course), and a parody of "My Mother the Car" where former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev is reincarnated as a tractor on a collective farm to give romantic advice to a worker.

Fortunately, many of the classic bits from SCTV can be viewed on YouTube where, unlike SNL which relied heavily on topical political humor which is outdated today, the humor is still as funny now as it was when it first aired.

Here is a final example of SCTV humor which caused not a flutter of protest back then but which would almost inevitably have the SJW types of today out in force demanding an apology from the producers.