Norm Macdonald, Mike Myers and countless other famous comedians and comic actors hail from America’s neighbor in the “Great White North,” Canada. From 1976 to 1984, one of the best showcases of Canadian comedy talent came via SCTV (otherwise known as Second City Television), a Canadian sketch comedy program consisting of former and current members of Toronto’s Second City theatre troupe. Original cast members included John Candy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Harold Ramis and Dave Thomas, and subsequent additions like the great Rick Moranis helped the program produce some of the funniest television ever made.
Most have gone off to make names for themselves or, in Moranis’ case, drop out of the limelight for personal reasons. Yet on Tuesday, July 18th, Moranis and many of SCTV‘s surviving former members will reunite at Second City Toronto for an all-star benefit titled “Take Off, Eh!” The cause: Thomas’ nephew, Jake Thomas, was involved in a severe snowmobile accident in January that left him paralyzed from the waist down, so “Take Off, Eh!” hopes to raise money for his family and the healthcare nonprofit Spinal Cord Injury Ontario.
According to a press release, performances will include Moranis and Thomas’ reprisal of their iconic SCTV characters Bob and Doug McKenzie, whose “Great White North” sketches and subsequent film, Strange Brew became cult favorites in the 1980s. Martin Short will interview a soon-to-be-named celebrity guest as his Jiminy Glick character. In addition, fellow Canadians O’Hara, Levy, Dan Aykroyd and Joe Flaherty will join Dave Foley, Scott Thompson and Kevin McDonald of Kids in the Hall fame for the evening. Former Late Show bandleader Paul Shaffer, along with Ian Thomas and Murray McLauchlan, will accompany surprise musical guests.
Additional information about the benefit show, including ticket prices, can be found here. Everyone who can is encouraged to donate to Jake Thomas’ Road to Recovery and Spinal Cord Injury Ontario here and here, respectively. Otherwise, if you need a McKenzie brothers refresher, check out the pair discussing the ins and outs of Canadian and American brews below.