Daily Archives: July 1, 2009

Celebrating Canada Day with Bob and Doug McKenzie of the Great White North (and SCTV)

Canada is famous for its comedians, and Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas as well as the rest of the SCTV crew are up there with the best. One of the bits they used to do on SCTV was portray these two “Canadians”, Bob and Doug McKenzie. in a segment called “The Great White North”. According to wikipedia:

“The Great White North” (originally known as “Kanadian Korner”) was a panel show that played upon Canadian stereotypes. Bob and Doug, two dimwitted beer-swilling brothers wearing heavy winter clothing and toques, would comment on various elements of Canadian life and culture, frequently employing the interjection “Eh?” and derisively calling each other a “hoser.” Among the topics discussed were snow routes, the Canadian-built robot arm on the Space Shuttle, the inappropriateness of bedtime stories about dog fights, flat tires, and “why there aren’t enough parking spaces at take-out doughnut shops.”

The sketch was conceived when SCTV moved to the CBC television network. Each episode to be broadcast on that network was two minutes longer than those syndicated to the United States. The CBC network heads asked the show’s producers to add specifically and identifiably Canadian content for those two minutes. Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas thought that this was a ridiculous request, since the show had been taped in Canada, with a mostly Canadian cast and crew, for two years. The request inspired them to create a parody that would incorporate every aspect of the humorous stereotype of Canadians.

The segments were videotaped at the end of a day’s shooting, with just Thomas and Moranis and a single camera operator. The sketches were for the most part improvised on the set, and after doing several such ad-libbed bits, they would then select the best ones for use on the program.

The whole “CBC/Canadian content” request is a very Canadian thing, too. 🙂 But in a way, I’m glad: the result was some very good comedy.

For folks who have never seen this, here’s a taste of the show:

Beauty, eh?