SCTV is one of the most influential sketch shows in the history of comedy. You may not have seen it, but you know its cast members and it developed an outsized influence as the cast went to Hollywood. And now it’s getting a documentary from Netflix and an unlikely director: Martin Scorsese.
If you’re not familiar with SCTV, it’s short for Second City Television. It started filming in 1976 and drew from Toronto’s legendary comedy theater troupe, Second City. The show was based around the idea of showing a programming day from “the world’s smallest television station,” and it helped launch a surprising number of careers, including those of John Candy, Rick Moranis, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Joe Flaherty, Harold Ramis, Martin Short, and Dave Thomas. The show only wrapped up in 1984 because the cast was just too busy to keep it going. It’s been beloved by comedy fans ever since.
Scorsese’s special will, at least in part, revolve around a reunion of Flaherty, Levy, Martin, O’Hara, Short and Thomas, in a panel moderated by Jimmy Kimmel being filmed in May. Scorsese is a surprising choice, to some degree. While he has a diverse oeuvre, his ventures into comedy have mostly been limited to darker movies like The King Of Comedy and After Hours (which has O’Hara in a small role). That said, it’ll be interesting to see just what he and the SCTV crew might be up to: Netflix is calling this a “comedy special,” not a “documentary,” after all. We’ll find out sometime later this year.