SCTV Volume Two

This five disc set revisits the 1981 season of SCTV, which was broadcast on both NBC and CBC. SCTV's premise of a low budget imaginary TV network with a regular line-up of personalities appearing both "on" and "off" screen was the platform for a barrage of character-driven sketch comedy. Most of the cast went on to become household names. John Candy, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy and later Martin Short are the most notable. That this Canadian show would regularly kick U.S. ass in the laughs department was an unexpected source of national pride. Twenty-three years later, the gems remain bright and the filler feels a little empty, but filler was inevitable given the demands of a weekly 90-minute show. Many of the references will be lost on people under the age of 30 and this may lessen the comedic effect. Is Walter Cronkite nudging David Brinkley in the nuts with a driver on the golf course funny if you don't know who they are? But I suspect the bauble-laden Liberace and Elton John having a gay piano contest will always be funny. Other landmark characters, such as Johnny LaRue, Dusty Towne, Count Floyd and the legendary Bob and Doug, all put in appearances. Extras consist mainly of interviews with cast and writers, which are a lot like listening to old people tell stories. Oh, they are old people telling stories. (Sony Music)