Originally published with Paste Magazine on February 3, 2016.]
It’s been 40 years since SCTV made the leap from the stage to the small screen. Since then, the Canadian sketch show has grown from a cult classic into one of the most influential sketch comedy shows of all time. Not only did it introduce viewers to the likes of John Candy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Dave Thomas, Joe Flaherty and Andrea Martin in its first season alone, but its approach to sketch comedy was unique at the time.
Growing out of the Toronto Second City stage cast, the fake network at the heart of SCTV gave the cast an opportunity to do pretty much anything. They could spoof soap operas, late-night talk shows, made for TV movies, or even go behind the scenes and explore the characters running the little station that could. The show dealt in timely cultural parody while also building its own self-contained universe full of unforgettable characters. As such, it seems nearly impossible to takeSCTV and narrow down its many and varied characters into a “best of” list.
[Full list available at Paste Magazine.]