Thursday, May 03, 2007

Grab a Two-Four for the 24th

Today in Music History:

In 1970 American Woman (The Guess Who) was a hit.

May of 2007 marks the 24th anniversary of the film starring every one's favorite hosers Strange Brew Bob and Doug McKenzie. The CBC is set to air a one hour special this month called The Two-Four Anniversary of "Strange Brew". That's right, Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas will be reuniting as Bob & Doug McKenzie for what may be their last show from the Great White North.

Back in 1980 SCTV entered it's third season and moved to the CBC. Bob and Doug McKenzie were conceived when SCTV made the move to the CBC television network. Each episode to be broadcast on that network was two minutes longer than those syndicated to the United States. The CBC network heads asked the show's producers to add specifically and identifiably Canadian content for those two minutes. Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas thought that this was a ridiculous request, since the show had been taped in Canada, with a mostly Canadian cast and crew, for two years. The request inspired them to create a parody that would incorporate every aspect of the humorous stereotype of Canadians.

Thus "The Great White North" (originally known as "Kanadian Korner"), a panel show that played upon Canadian stereotypes, was born. Bob and Doug, two dumb beer-swilling brothers wearing heavy winter clothing and toques, would comment on various elements of Canadian life and culture, frequently employing the interjection "Eh?" and derisively calling each other a "hoser." Among the topics discussed were snow routes, the Canadian-built robot arm on the Space Shuttle, and "why there aren't enough parking spaces at take-out doughnut shops." The segments were videotaped at the end of a day's shooting, with just Thomas and Moranis and a single camera operator. The sketches were for the most part improvised on the set, and after doing several such ad-libbed bits, they would then select the best ones for use on the program. Much to their surprise the bit became highly popular, spawning two albums and a movie. At the height of their popularity, I would say that much of what younger Americans (falsely) knew about Canada came from watching Bob and Doug. Popularity eventually faded, but the act is still fondly remembered by Canadians as an affectionate parody of themselves. Beauty eh? Also it just wouldn't be Christmas in Canada without hearing Bob and Doug's version of the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Welcome Back Bob and Doug.

Take Off by Bob and Doug McKenzie
Buy It


Funny Toon

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