SCTV:  The Edmonton Years

 

    Sometime around 1979 my favorite show, SCTV, went off the air (at least as far as new programming was concerned).  In a convoluted series of events, owner and producer Andrew Alexander and Allarcom-ITV Edmonton owner Dr. Charles Allard (among many others) struck a deal to keep SCTV afloat - so long as it was produced in Edmonton.  This must have been a shock to the cast and production staff that had to move away from familiar Toronto to a smaller and seemingly dinky city to work insane hours away from friends and family.  Thanks to them for doing it.  It eventually produced some of the best television comedy ever.

    

    Why do this website?  It’s a good question.  A few years ago when my wife was expecting we both needed a little alone time.  Do not get me wrong this was by mutual consent.  So on the odd Saturday or Sunday when I was off work I created a hobby for myself.  The SCTV DVD sets released by Shout! Factory were starting to come out and I had several interesting discussions with an ex-pat’ and ex-Edmontonian about the locations in Edmonton that were most obvious in our collective memories, and those which were still relatively intact.  So, I began what became a two-years-plus expedition to find as many of the Edmonton SCTV locations that are still recognizable circa 2004 - 2006.

    

    Since I began I took well over 200 pictures and took two separate ITV studio (Global Studios Edmonton) tours.  I’ve tried to document these in this website to not only promote what I believe is the best sketch-comedy show ever, but also to highlight some of the interesting and beautiful sites of my hometown.  Due to ISP space limitations (20 GB) and other reasons I’ve tried my best to limit myself to documenting the most recognizable and most interesting Edmonton locations that were used in SCTV from about 1980 to 1982, but I had to cut-down a lot of locations and cut out a lot of pictures as well.

    

    Maybe that is a good thing.  Everyone needs an editor:  internal or external.

    

    I’ve taken these shots, as best as possible, from public areas and tried not to include recognizable people in my pictures.  In addition, when I did take sites from private property, I received permission to take photos so long as they did not have identifiable employees in them.  I have used as much research as possible to garner accurate pictures.  That is to say, I’ve tried not to use representative-shots or unverifiable-shots as much as possible.  I have excluded a few interesting pictures for those reasons, although some remain.  

    

    If you feel I’ve used research or pictures that are beyond what is known as Fair Use, then  please inform me and I’ll evaluate them and remove or alter them as best I can if I’ve really encroached on anyone’s copyright.  Keep in mind though, that I’ve tried to use this site to promote SCTV, the DVD sets and Edmonton.  I’m hoping that all concerned will enjoy the free promotion.

    

    In addition, if you see errors both in my evaluation of the pictures and my interpretations of the locations please contact me and I’ll try to make the site more accurate.  Moreover, if you know of any locations that I’ve missed or have any suggestions on this website feel free to send them to me.  Most importantly, if you want to place a banner advertisement on my site (at reasonable rates so I can afford a proper domain name and an larger website) please feel free to contact me.  

 

    Those Reds really burn my britches!

 

    This site is dedicated to the cast and crew of SCTV during the Edmonton years, and of course those years before and after.  The list of those people is too long to mention at this point, although I may construct a page dedicated primarily to the Edmonton contributors that saved the show from oblivion after its brief hiatus.

    

    I do have to mention a few names, some abbreviated, that I’d like to dub the honor role (in Hunter S. Thompson fashion): Second City, Shout! Factory, Mr. P.M. (who took at least one of these pictures - including the cover shot), Jody (my wife), Mr. S.D. for his encouragement and indulgence, and both Dave Thomas for his SCTV book (SCTV: Behind the Scenes) and the SCTV guide (www.sctvguide.ca) for their provision of invaluable research resources.

 

Cheers,

 

T.S.

 

First posted:  July 15, 2006

Last updated:  July 09, 2009


I have finally posted my blog/review of the “The Benefit of Laughter” here.


News Flash:  An historic – and possibly once in a lifetime – reunion of the majority of the SCTV cast is going to take place at Second City Toronto stage during the 1st annual “The Benefit of Laughter” event on May 5th, 2008.  Best of all, it is being done for a worthy new charity:  “100% of the proceeds from the event benefit The Alumni Fund – helping the people that helped us make you laugh. The Alumni Fund raises funds to help veteran artistic and support personnel from SCTV and The Second City that are facing health or financial hardship”.  To be redirected to Second City for details of the event and the charity fund, please click on their banner advertisement:













Hey all you Hosers (i.e. Bob & Doug fans).  The deluxe-widescreen version of Strange Brew has been released!  Not only does it have an enhanced remastered edition of the movie, but it contains almost an hour of extras, including the Two-Four Anniversary Special.  After 24-years the package is available as of Nov. 20, 2007, and is available wherever quality DVDs are sold.  Mouse and Beer not included in package as of this posting

          

 













Acorn Media have released the 3-part documentary “The Second City - First Family of Comedy” on DVD.  This documentary chronicles the history of Second City and SCTV, and gives insight on the current workings of this comedy institution.  This single DVD is reasonably priced and a must for fans of Second City, SCTV, Saturday Night Live and anyone else with a keen interest in sketch comedy.  It is available through Second City and other online vendors.    

  

 

 

The latest SCTV DVD set, The Best Of The Early Years, is available for purchase along with the previously released SCTV Network sets.  The the contents are, of course, hilarious and the extras are most excellent!  These DVDs should be on everyone’s shopping list!  And remember to spread the word as the better these sets sell, the sooner more of SCTV’s golden archives will be released.





A SCTV book, Second City Television:  A History and Episode Guide is available for order through the publisher, McFarland, as well as other online vendors.  As described by the author:  “It is a review, episode by episode, of SCTV's 135 programs with additional commentary on compilations and the DVDs.  It traces the first appearances of and the evolution of the notable characters and impersonations . . .  It compares the show's film and television parodies with the original films/shows being parodied.  It is a more ‘scholarly’ look at SCTV without . . . being dry.”  Although you may not agree with every opinion expressed, this detailed episode guide and critical analysis is a must read for any fan of SCTV or sketch comedy.