SCTV: Cast List Of The Canadian 'Saturday Night Live'

By | December 21, 2020

test article image
Andrea Martin, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Martin Short, and Eugene Levy. Source: Toronto Star

The Canadian comedy show SCTV gave us John Candy, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara Eugene Levy and others -- while it wasn't exactly Saturday Night Live, it was certainly an incubator for major comic talents. While SNL birthed comic comets like John Belushi and Bill Murray, our neighbors to the north were creating their own brand of off-the-wall laughs with quirky original characters that included Bob and Doug Mackenzie (Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas) and Ed Grimley (Martin Short), as well as a host of impersonated celebrities, such as Julia Child (played by John Candy) and Elizabeth Taylor (Catherine O'Hara).

test article image
A few of the brilliant minds behind SCTV. (theglobeandmail)

Believe it or not, the roots of comic genius run deep in Canada. In the country most known for maple syrup and hockey, sketch comedy icons like Super Dave Osborne and Mike Myers got some of their earliest breaks. SCTV, which stands for Second City Television, began in 1976, derived from the comedy and improv troupe Second City. Founded in Chicago in the '50s, Second City opened a Toronto branch in 1973. Second City's Chicago group became famous for grooming performers for Saturday Night Live (which premiered in 1975), while the Toronto theater fed SCTV.

When producer Andrew Alexander got the band of seminal comedy actors together, he pitched a show centered around the programming of the world’s smallest TV station. The idea allowed the group unlimited choices of characters, sketches, and funny concepts set in the fictional tiny town of Melonville. With a blank slate to which they could paint their endless imaginations, the hall of fame cast of funny people went to work.