[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SCTV_6197.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[-Top row, left to right: Creator/EugeneLevy as Bobby Bittman, JohnCandy as Johnny [=LaRue=], Andrea Martin as Edith Prickley. Bottom row, left to right: Creator/CatherineOHara as Dusty Towne, Joe Flaherty as Guy Caballero, Creator/RickMoranis as Bob [=McKenzie=] and Dave Thomas as his brother Doug.-] ]]

->''"There were six people who loved to watch television, but they didn't like what they saw--so they decided to do something about it..."''

Proof that Canadians are attempting to control America through comedy.

In 1976, there was a small group of comedians who had worked together for a season on a previous series, ''The David Steinberg Show'' -- a sort of ''[[ItsGarryShandlingsShow It's Gary Shandling's Show]]'' a good decade before Garry Shandling did it. They got together and produced a sketch comedy show around the premise that the sketches were episodes of local shows (or commercials for local businesses) being produced and aired by a television station in the mythical city of Melonville.

This show, ''SCTV (Second City Television)'', has probably had more impact on American comedy than most American shows.

How is that? Well, let's run down the original cast: Creator/JohnCandy. Joe Flaherty. Creator/EugeneLevy. Andrea Martin. Creator/CatherineOHara. Harold Ramis. Dave Thomas. Add in latecomers Creator/RickMoranis and Creator/MartinShort, and you have a veritable who's who of '70s-'80s Canadian comedy[[note]]Although Flaherty, Martin and Ramis were actually American, they ''were'' working in Canada.[[/note]]. Due to the connections between the Chicago and Toronto branches of the Second City comedy troupe, there was considerable constructive feedback between this show and ''Series/SaturdayNightLive.''

The show started with a thirty-minute format on the Creator/GlobalTelevisionNetwork, which ran from 1976-1979. After that, the show was picked up by Creator/{{CBC}} and expanded to an hour. During this era, the show's most popular characters, Bob and Doug [=McKenzie=], debuted. The show was expanded to ninety minutes in 1981 when Creator/{{NBC}} picked it up as late-night programming (this version was known as ''SCTV Network 90''). During this stretch of the run, coupled with the fact that it was neither live nor taped before a live audience, it was able to push the boundaries of traditional sketch comedy. It won 15 Emmys over its network lifespan. A final season of 45-minute episodes aired on Superchannel in Canada and Cinemax in the U.S. (as ''SCTV Channel'') over 1983-84.

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!!''{{SCTV}}'' provides examples of:

* AffectionateParody: And how!
* AndStarring: "And Dave Thomas as The Beaver." Doubly deconstructed: Dave Thomas wasn't any more famous than anybody else in the cast, he was just alphabetically last; also, he did not, in fact, play The Beaver when SCTV did its ''LeaveItToBeaver'' sketch, Creator/JohnCandy did.
* AndYouWereThere: The ''Fantasy Island'' episode, and later with Lola Heatherton in the "Bouncin' Back To You" sequence.
* BerserkButton: Mayor Tommy Shanks seems to live in his own loopy world. He even shrugs off accusations that he's corrupt. Then, a drunk Floyd Robertson makes comments about his mother. Shanks is NOT amused AT ALL.
** Bill Needle DOES NOT like to be corrected.
* BreakoutCharacter: Bob and Doug were created to be strictly filler to satisfy, and make fun of, Canadian Content broadcast rules, but they became the most popular characters of the series. In fact, the show itself lampshades this in "The Great White North Palace." In that episode, Guy Caballero realizes how popular Bob and Doug are, and gives them their own VarietyShow to shore up the flagging network. This is [[ThePeterPrinciple completely outside the brothers' comfort zone]], however, and the show is an instant failure that is so bad that Guy Caballero orders the broadcast halted in the middle of an atrocious sketch with Bob and Doug as the Festrunk Brothers (Two Wild and Crazy Guys).
* BreakupBreakout: Linsk Minyk after he left The Happy Wanderers.
* CanadaEh: Taken to a truly extreme length in the episode "The Sammy Maudlin 23rd Anniversary Show", where the station has to pipe in broadcasting from the Creator/{{CBC}} due to budget cutbacks. The resulting footage skewers several Canadian films and series (including ''Goin' Down The Road'', ''Front Page Challenge'' and the "Hinterland Who's Who" nature commercials) and makes fun of established institutions like curling and Prince Edward Island.
* CanadianAccents: Bob and Doug [=McKenzie=], probably the most "Canajun" Canadian accents ever aired, eh?
* TheCaper: Thoroughly spoofed in "Maudlin's Eleven".
* CatchPhrase: Both straight (Bob and Doug, Count Floyd, Mayor Tommy Shanks) and subverted (Lola Heatherton, Bobby Bittman)
* CausticCritic: Bill Needle, big time.
* CelebrityStar: Performers like RobinWilliams and Bill Murray did guest spots as sketch characters. Most guest performers were musicians appearing as themselves on the ShowWithinAShow ''The Fishin' Musician'' and thus engaging in outdoorsy activities with its host. Within recurring sketches like ''The Sammy Maudlin Show'' and ''Farm Film Report'', this concept was frequently spoofed with cast members playing various celebrities or [[{{Expy}} Expies]] thereof.
* ChristmasEpisode: Several, which took plenty of potshots at Christmas programming tropes.
* CloudCuckoolander: Many characters, with Bob and Doug being notable examples.
* {{Corpsing}}: In a sketch where a [[IrishmanAndAJew Scotsman and a rabbi]] exchange stereotypical insults at each other, Creator/RickMoranis, who plays Rabbi Karlov, is clearly stifling his laughter directed at the insults he comes up with for the Scotsman.
** Possibly, but it could also be the character of Rabbi Karlov stifling his glee at coming up with (what he thinks are) brilliant insults.
*** Harold Ramis, in his sketches from season 1, corpses constantly. See, for example, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wpJJgpXmpI Do-It-Yourself Dentistry]], in which he constantly [[AsideGlance looks off screen]] and smiles at the crew, [[spoiler: because that's real rum in that bottle, which he didn't know until he took a drink. He ended up legitimately plastered after this sketch.]] and [[http://youtu.be/OARlQP9GOe0?t=3m39s this scene from Ben-Hur]], where he again grins and glances off camera while John Candy [[ItMakesSenseInContext barks at him]].
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Guy Caballero ranks up with [[Main/TheSimpsons Mr. Burns]] in all-around venality.
* CorruptPolitician: Melonville Mayor Tommy Shanks, who was involved in bribery, though his corruption is more along the lines of him being [[HanlonsRazor too stupid to know any better]] than any inherent vice.
* DarkReprise: Parodied in ''Garth and Gord and Fiona and Alice''. The early scenes in The Maritimes are set to the sprightly "To It And At It" by Canadian folk-country icon Stompin' Tom Connors. Once they get to Toronto, it's replaced by a slower, grittier hard rock CoverVersion.
* DeadAir: During an episode about an up-and-coming boxer who was slated to fight the champ on their station. The entire episode is spent hyping up the underdog, even making a short film about him. At the end, when the fight begins, the underdog is [[CurbStompBattle knocked out by a single punch,]] leaving SCTV with nothing but dead air for the remainder of the program as they desperately looked for something, anything they could fill it with.
* DeathTrap: Used in the Talking Projector sketch and the Six Gun Justice sketches.
* DeconstructiveParody: Everything from Ingmar Bergman classics to old Canadian movies.
* DownerEnding: Subverted in "CCCP 1", where Edith Prickley assures the audience that nobody died when the Russians retaliated against SCTV, but since The ColdWar was going on at the time, the future between North America and Russia is uncertain at that point.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The first season is remarkably different from the later seasons:
** Actors appear as themselves instead of their characters
** Dr. Tongue was a children's show host instead of an actor in a movie.
** Johnny [=LaRue=] was a part of the SCTV News and was a children's show host.
* ExcitedKidsShowHost: Mr. Messenger
* FakeBand: Yosh and Stan Schmenge and "The Happy Wanderers", the Lemon Twins.
* FoodPorn: Used in "Emergency Caterers".
* GloriousMotherRussia: The entirety of the ''[=CCCP1=]'' episode.
* GoryDeadlyOverkillTitleOfFatalDeath: ''Monster Chiller Horror Theatre'', and some of the "movies" featured thereon, such as the oft-promised-but-never-screened ''Bloodsucking Monkeys from West Mifflin, Pennsylvannia'' and ''Dr. Tongue's 3-D House of Meat''.
* GreatestHitsAlbum: parodied with ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMjtvSABQ3Q 5 Neat Guys' Neatest Hits]]'', for a group of incredibly dorky pop crooners from TheFifties.
* HollywoodToneDeaf: The ''Pre-Teen World'' band The Recess Monkeys and their rendition of "My Girl (Gone Gone Gone)" (originally by Canadian band Chilliwack).
* HorrorHost: Count Floyd.
* HumorDissonance: In-universe in ''Neil Simon's Nutcracker Suite'' ("SCTV Staff Christmas Party"). In ''The Sammy Maudlin Show'' leading up to the film's debut, Simon makes a quip about something being "an uplifting experience, not unlike Dolly Parton's Cross-Your-Heart Bra" that has trouble getting laughs from the host and sidekick, much less the audience. In the film itself, the main character -- a Simon {{Expy}} -- makes much the same quip while trying to check into an overbooked hotel, and the staff thinks it's so funny that they find a room for him and his wife on the spot.
* TheIgor: Recurring character Woody Tobias, Jr. is an actual hunchback who aspires to be a serious actor but usually plays this character type to MadScientist Dr. Tongue in his 3-D epics. Not only that, but he is [[HiddenDepths far more capable then he would seem]].
* JugglingLoadedGuns: In a parody of ''Series/CaptainKangaroo'' called "Captain Combat", Gunny Rabbit is shot by an accidental discharge. (Captain Combat's lesson to the kiddies at the end of the sketch: "Never be in a room with a loaded gun unless you're holding it.")
* {{Kaiju}}: Grogan on ''The Tim Ishimuni Show'' and Johnny Nucleo (and Franchise/{{Godzilla}} (!)) on "Towering Inferno."
* LaughTrack: The show never taped before an audience, so most episodes used a sprinkling of very polite canned laughter. According to Dave Thomas, the man responsible for adding the laugh track was a sound technician notable for his lack of any discernible sense of humor, so not only was the existence of the laugh track annoying in itself, it was also poorly executed.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters
* LoadsAndLoadsOfRoles: The whole cast of course, but some of the recurring ''characters'' played more than one role for the station:
** Newsman Floyd Robertson also portrayed "Count Floyd" on ''Monster Chiller Horror Theater'' (a not-uncommon practice at RealLife stations in the heyday of locally-produced kiddie shows and [[HorrorHost Horror Hosts]].)
** Cleaning woman Perini Scleroso had several star turns in SCTV productions including ''My Fair Lady'', earning her the coveted People's Global Golden Choice Award for "Best Foreign Personality."
** Bill Needle not only hosted a variety of "critic" shows, but turned up once or twice as an ''actor'' in SCTV productions.
** Goes beyond even that- the cast would sometimes play impressionists playing famous actors in movies (think Frank Caliendo's bit as Robin Williams as all the characters in ''TheWizardOfOz'').
* MindScrew: "Walter Cronkite's Brain".
* Music/MinskyPickup: A lot of the Schmenge Brothers' polkas ended with one. The "Cabbage Rolls and Coffee Polka" ended with variants on the theme that went on for half a minute.
* TheMovie: ''StrangeBrew'', which continues the stories of Bob and Doug [=McKenzie=].
* NightmareFetishist: Lin Ye Tang, as he demonstrates, not only on ''Doorway To Hell'', but even on ''Chinese Fairy Tales'' ("Happy endings! I don' believe in them!").
* NightmareRetardant:[[invoked]] Count Floyd is often frustrated by the tendency of the movies featured on ''Monster Chiller Horror Theatre'' to have this... if the films are even horror films at all, as opposed to old RatPack movies or Creator/IngmarBergman films.
* NoFourthWall
* NotAllowedToGrowUp: Bittersweet parody in the sketch about the show ''Oh That Rusty!''
* ObfuscatingDisability: Used by Guy Caballero, the owner of the TV station, who used a wheelchair even though he could walk, apparently "for respect".
* OnlySaneMan: The male secretary in "The Millionaire".
* OverlyNarrowSuperlative: Count Floyd claims that ''The Blood-Sucking Monkeys From West Mifflin, Pennsylvania'' won the "Western Pennsylvania Fright Award" in 1978.
* ParodyCommercial
* ParodyEpisode: Once the longer formats came into play, the wraparound storylines of several episodes were examples of this.
** "Zontar" (''Zontar: The Thing from Venus'', Larry Buchanan's remake of ''Film/ItConqueredTheWorld'')
** "Film/TheGodfather" (Though it only takes up about 2/3rds of the episode)
** "Towering Inferno" (''Film/TheToweringInferno'')
** "Sweeps Week" (''Film/{{Poltergeist}}'')
** "Garth and Gord and Fiona and Alice" (''Goin' Down the Road'')
** "Maudlin's 11" (''Ocean's 11'')
* PostModernism
* PsychopathicManChild: Pepi Longsocks (played by Candy).
* PunnyName: Many of the character names were puns:
** Tommy Shanks, mayor of Melonville, was named after musician Tommy Banks.
** Floyd Robertson and Earl Camembert after Canadian newsreaders Lloyd Robertson and Earl Cameron.
** Guy Caballero after the movie ''The Gay Caballero''.
** Groundbreaking proto-VJ Gerry Todd's name came from two radio [=DJs=] Rick Moranis once worked with, whose first names were Gerry and Todd.
** "[[NeilYoung Neil Jung]], Psychiatrist".
** Billy Sol Hurok is a double pun, referencing [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billie_Sol_Estes Billie Sol Estes]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Hurok Sol Hurok]].
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: The cast wrote a few episodes based on what's happening behind the scenes. Some episodes include:
** "Lunchtime Street Beef"
** "Moral Majority"
** "The Great White North Palace"
* RidiculousFutureSequelisation: "Jaws 23"
* RidingTheBomb: Red Rooster in the ''CCCP 1'' episode.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines:
** "The People's Global Golden Choice Awards"'s wraparound story is based on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_globes#Controversy Golden Globes/Pia Zadora scandal]].
** The titular segment of "3D Stake from the Heart" sends up Francis Ford Coppola's ''One from the Heart'' debacle.
** The episode where Guy writes a bad check to Fred Willard is based on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Begelman David Begelman/Cliff Robertson incident]], which had been the subject of the recent nonfiction bestseller ''Indecent Exposure''.
** The CBC episode was inspired by NBC's decision to show Canadian Football League games during the 1982 NFL players' strike.
* ShownTheirWork: The writers generally display a lot of knowledge about what they're parodying, but the "Three-C-P-One" parodies of Soviet television (where CCCP-1 takes over the SCTV satellite) are particularly spot-on and informed by good research.
** Especially evident in the 30 minute episodes, which would often do [[ANSIStandardBroadcastTVSchedule a full day's worth of shows]] in 30 minutes (and in the proper order, at that). See [[http://www.sctvguide.ca/programs/ here]] for a list of the most common programs.
* ShowWithinAShow
* SingleTear: David Brinkley sheds one as he watches over the infant Walter Cronkite on [[Franchise/{{Superman}} the planet Krypton]] in "Walter Cronkite's Brain".
* SketchComedy
* SoapWithinAShow: ''The Days of the Week''.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: While many of the parodies were straightforward, others placed already established recurring characters in the key roles; ''Ocean's 11'' became ''Maudlin's 11'' by incorporating the ''Sammy Maudlin Show'' gang, for instance.
* SpringtimeForHitler: Bob and Doug [=McKenzie=] were a TakeThat (see below) that backfired, creating the most popular characters in the show's history.
* StrawFeminist: "I'm Taking My Own Head, Screwing It On Right, And No Guy's Gonna Tell Me It Ain't", a short-lived play created by the feminist character Libby Wolfson, pushes the envelope on this trope.
* StuffBlowingUp: The ''Farm Film Report'' critics like movies with this trope the best. ([[CatchPhrase "Blowed up real good!"]]) Even when reviewing art-house fare. They love Michelangelo Antonioni's ''ZabriskiePoint'' (where everything blows up at the end), but are sadly and ironically disappointed by ''{{Blowup}}'' -- in which nothing blows up! But they '''loved''' ''Film/{{Scanners}}''.
* SubvertedKidsShow: ''Mrs. Falbo's Tiny Town'', ''Pre-Teen World'', ''Happy Hour'', and ''Muley's Roundhouse''. And ''Mister Science'' with Johnny La Rue.
** Officer Friendly's segment was a very specific one, a parody of MisterRogersNeighborhood. Like the other show, it featured interviews with special guests and cartoon segments. Unlike Mr. Rogers, however, Officer Friendly was a real police officer, and his guests were in jail. When they didn't want to talk to him right away, he'd smile, and introduce the cartoon. [[ViolenceDiscretionShot After the cartoon ended, the guest had bruises and cut lips, and whimpered]], but were much more forthcoming.
* SubvertedTrope: Generally portrayed any "show" with all the worst hallmarks, flipped on their end and sprayed with graffiti.
* TakeThat: Bob and Doug [=McKenzie=] were created to mock a CBC requirement that the show contain at least two minutes of "distinctively Canadian content." And yes, the StylisticSuck was also intentional, the thinking being that this is what the CBC deserved for making such a demand. To use the absolute minimum effort and resources, all the bits for a season were improvised and recorded late in a single night with only a camera operator for a crew. The segments were always exactly 2 minutes long, the minimum required by CBC.
* ViolentGlaswegian: Angus Crock, in such segments as "Sunrise Semester: Conversational Scottish."
* VitriolicBestBuds: Guy Caballero and Bill Needle, [[InsistentTerminology critic at large]].
* WhatTheHellIsThatAccent: Andrea Martin's Perini Scleroso and Mojo each had bizarre and unplaceable foreign accents (but different ones!)
** Supposedly Perini Scleroso was Turkish according to one sketch, but who knows?
* WhiteDwarfStarlet: Lola Heatherton.
* WidgetSeries
* WorldOfHam
* YouSayTomato: JohnCandy and Creator/EugeneLevy as Yosh and Stan Schmenge each pronounced their last name slightly different (which was part of the joke). Candy pronounced it "''Shmen''-gee", while Levy's pronunciation sounded more like "''Schman''-gee."
** Earl Camembert always pronounced his last name "Cannonbear", the subtle joke being that he's so dense he doesn't know how to say ''his own name''!
* [[{{Zoom}} Zoom In Zoom Out]]: A method of simulating "3-D" effects on the cheap. Averted by the makers of the "Dr. Tongue" series, who were apparently too cheap or incompetent even for ''that''. Instead, the actors simply thrust objects toward the camera, then pulled them back again, to the tune of zoom-in-zoom-out music.
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