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I bet this FPP is even scarier inside!
May 20, 2014 8:04 AM   Subscribe

"Looking back on it, one of the things that's crazy is I don't think I even realized that first of all, Joe Flaherty is supposed to be a vampire but he's howling like a werewolf. [laughs] I just took that for granted, and it must've been years until I saw it and was like "Wait a minute, that's a joke!" Furthermore, Count Floyd's always wearing a turtleneck which is the least vampire thing ever." "Splitsider kicks off its new column, Sketch Anatomy, with television writer Bill Oakley breaking down SCTV’s "Dr. Tongue’s Evil House of Pancakes" (previously). Oww owww oowoooooo!!!
posted by Room 641-A (73 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Scaaaary, boys and girls! Especially that Woody Tobias Junior!
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:06 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Joe Flaherty is supposed to be a vampire but he's howling like a werewolf . . . it must've been years until I saw it and was like "Wait a minute, that's a joke!"

.
.
.

They weren't playing twister.
 
posted by Herodios at 8:11 AM on May 20


joe flaherty? irish vampires take their blood with whisky.
posted by bruce at 8:11 AM on May 20


Ah, the classics.
posted by briank at 8:15 AM on May 20


Dr. Tongue and Bruno have an extended part in what is probably the best episode of them all, the "CCCP1 Russian TV" episode.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:18 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Joe Flaherty is supposed to be a vampire but he's howling like a werewolf.

Dracula howls with the wolves and delightedly refers to them as the "children of the night" in the book and old movies.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:19 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Count Floyd [Joe Flaherty] was also Floyd Robertson, the newscaster on SCTV, and this was apparently his night job — hosting these crappy horror movies.

This was a tribute to Pittsburgh broadcasting legend Bill Cardille, who was both the weatherman on the evening news and the late night horror host.

God I love SCTV.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:21 AM on May 20 [8 favorites]


Earl Camembert also did double duty on a kiddie show as Uncle Earl.
posted by Herodios at 8:23 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Johnny LaRue's Street Beef.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:24 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


I was always reminded of Commander Tom and Rocketship 7, both from Buffalo and featuring newscasters as kiddie show hosts.
posted by stevil at 8:25 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]


This was a tribute to Pittsburgh broadcasting legend Bill Cardille

Though the name, of course, is a nod to Lloyd Robertson.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:25 AM on May 20 [5 favorites]


If you're not wearing the 3D glasses, you can't see the back up band.

Superhost was another monster movie host cut from the same cloth.

I loved that SCTV appeared to have created these whole back stories behind the shows within the show. Loved Mrs. Falbo's Tiny Town - Mrs. Falbo always shut her dress in the car door. Imagine my cognitive dissonance when I saw my kids watching Wanda Falbo on Sesame Street.

It always made me sad that Dave Thomas never really found the same level of fame as the other cast members post SCTV.
posted by plinth at 8:28 AM on May 20 [3 favorites]


What does FPP stand for?
posted by GallonOfAlan at 8:29 AM on May 20


Count Floyd [Joe Flaherty] was also Floyd Robertson, the newscaster on SCTV, and this was apparently his night job — hosting these crappy horror movies.

How in the hell did I never pick up on the fact that Floyd Robertson and Count Floyd were supposed to be the same guy? In my defense I was very very young when I watched this.

Seeing or hearing the word "dignity" will always trigger a memory for me of the Dr. Tongue Midnight Cowboy parody when Bruno (in the Ratso Rizzo part) keeps mispronouncing "dignity" as "dingitny". Also I saw that parody years before I saw the actual Midnight Cowboy, so it exists as the original in my mind.
posted by doctornecessiter at 8:29 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]


How in the hell did I never pick up on the fact that Floyd Robertson and Count Floyd were supposed to be the same guy?

I feel like they never explicitly reference it on the show (which is a brilliant move), but I could be wrong. It was certainly years before I made the connection.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:32 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]


If you loved SCTV, you might also appreciate Viva Variety (a spin-off of The State featuring Thomas Lennon, Kerry Kennedy, and Michael Ian Black). It's got that same show-about-a-comically-bad-TV-show thing with characters who themselves are playing a variety of different characters. Very fun stuff.
posted by Naberius at 8:37 AM on May 20 [4 favorites]


In the article he forgets to mention Rick Moranis, whose post-SCTV acting career was stronger than any of them save perhaps Candy.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:39 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


If you loved SCTV, you might also appreciate Viva Variety (a spin-off of The State featuring Thomas Lennon, Kerry Kennedy, and Michael Ian Black). It's got that same show-about-a-comically-bad-TV-show thing with characters who themselves are playing a variety of different characters. Very fun stuff.

Great show! Hard to find though. Never got an official home video release, and I've never found a torrent that was active.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:46 AM on May 20


My husband can (and does!) recite whole skits from SCTV from memory. And he cracks himself up doing it - it's like he's watching it again for the first time. Everything reminds him of some piece from an SCTV skit.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 8:46 AM on May 20 [6 favorites]


In the article he forgets to mention Rick Moranis, whose post-SCTV acting career was stronger than any of them save perhaps Candy.

And Martin Short!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:47 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]



What does FPP stand for?


Front page post. It's sort of a self-referential joke.
posted by jessamyn at 8:49 AM on May 20


Can I just say that if Splitsider had simply published a post that said, Look at this B&W still from Monster Chiller Horror Theatre, I would have been tempted to make that into an FPP.

If you loved SCTV, you might also appreciate Viva Variety (a spin-off of The State featuring Thomas Lennon, Kerry Kennedy, and Michael Ian Black)

Ahh, and also Ben Garrant! I love Reno911 so, so much. I'll have to try to find this, thanks.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:51 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]


I was always reminded of Commander Tom and Rocketship 7, both from Buffalo and featuring newscasters as kiddie show hosts.

Yes! I grew up with Commander Tom. and his rival weatherman from another Buffalo station was Barry Lillis, who hosted late-night B-movies on Barry's Cat's Pajamas.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:53 AM on May 20


This was a tribute to Pittsburgh broadcasting legend Bill Cardille, who was both the weatherman on the evening news and the late night horror host.

Chilly Billy Cardille!
posted by GrapeApiary at 8:55 AM on May 20 [3 favorites]


And Martin Short!

Well, he was a late addition to the Network 90 era, so missed the well-kept-secret (in the U.S.) era completely and had very little overlap with much of the rest of the cast.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:56 AM on May 20


Monster Chiller Horror Theater was one of my favorite recurring bits. As stevil brought up, I have fond memories of newsmen hosting cheap local TV, and I'm such a sucker for a Vincent Price impression. House of Wax is a great movie, but some of the 3-D gags are SO obviously tacked on that that the parody of Dr. Tongue and Bruno shoving pancakes into the camera is too spot-on to resist.

But, I think my favorite MCHT is the one where they lose the film canister, and Count Floyd has to describe the movie instead of showing it. His summary of The Blood-Sucking Monkeys from West Mifflin, Pennsylvania brings me to tears of laughter.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:01 AM on May 20 [5 favorites]


Any SCTV post should contain a happytrigger warning. I'm suppressing giggles here.
posted by whuppy at 9:07 AM on May 20


I love all Count Floyd, but I slightly prefer Doctor Tongue's 3-D House of Stewardesses.
posted by murphy slaw at 9:12 AM on May 20 [3 favorites]


This was a tribute to Pittsburgh broadcasting legend Bill Cardille, who was both the weatherman on the evening news and the late night horror host.

And that's a story in and of itself. Chilly Billy's show was "Chiller Theater," which Pittsburgh-born Joe Flaherty watched when young and influenced "Monster Chiller Horror Theatre."

Chilly Billy is also a bit of a horror legend for another reason. He's the news announcer in Night of the Living Dead (and its remake!) and his daughter Lori Cardille was the star of Day of the Dead.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:15 AM on May 20 [5 favorites]


It always made me sad that Dave Thomas never really found the same level of fame as the other cast members post SCTV.

I've linked it before recently, but his Max von Sydow as a barber sketch from his five-week summer replacement series is well up to the SCTV standard. [80s hair warning.]
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:16 AM on May 20 [3 favorites]


Yes! I grew up with Commander Tom. and his rival weatherman from another Buffalo station was Barry Lillis, who hosted late-night B-movies on Barry's Cat's Pajamas.

In the morning Rocketship 7/Commander Tom dichotomy, Tom's opposite number was Dave Roberts, whose namesake son went into showbiz but took up the actual family name again: he is David Boreanaz.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:17 AM on May 20


A previous roundup of Monster Chiller Horror Theatre. I miss SCTV.
posted by nubs at 9:24 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Also, Thomas tore reality TV (as it was in 1992) to hilarious shreds with his special Inside America's Totally Unsolved Lifestyles. There appears to be no trace of it on the intarwebs, which is a damn shame. I particularly recall that the actual Robin Leach performed a superbly written segment, "Lifestyles of America's Most Wanted", in which he brought his signature style to an expose of the boltholes of criminals on the lam. It included such lines as "Pee-yew! You could take a urine sample from the air in here!" And the display of a T-shirt that read "Guns Don't Kill People: I Do".
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:24 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


plinth: "It always made me sad that Dave Thomas never really found the same level of fame as the other cast members post SCTV."

I don't know, was he really notably less visible than Andrea Martin or Joe Flaherty? Candy and Moranis obviously did very well, but it seems like the other folks all fall into the "manage to keep busy" level.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:27 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


I've linked it before recently, but his Max von Sydow as a barber sketch from his five-week summer replacement series is well up to the SCTV standard. [80s hair warning.]

My brother and I still quote one particular sketch from the Dave Thomas Comedy Show, where it's a group of sharks (including Thomas, Martin Short and Chevy Chase) just standing around chatting...Until they find out that Short is actually a dolphin that's infiltrated the group.

"You know where you can get the best Italian food? Right around the coast of Italy."
posted by doctornecessiter at 9:30 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]



I loved that SCTV appeared to have created these whole back stories behind the shows within the show.

How in the hell did I never pick up on the fact that Floyd Robertson and Count Floyd were supposed to be the same guy? . . . they never explicitly reference it on the show (which is a brilliant move), but I could be wrong.


Floyd the newcaster and Floyd the horor host are the same character, but were from different eras of SCTV.

There was in fact a bit of a story arc there. Here's how I remember it:

The SCTV news bit arose out of a pre-TV SC bit called "Big News, Little News" with Floyd getting all the important stuff and Earle getting all the puff pieces. Floyd was the professional, rising star and Earl the bumbling goat. Gradually, Earle's antics caused Floyd to blow a gasket and he -- had to take a little "vacation".

When Floyd retuned to the station, Earle Camembert was the solo news-anchor and that's how station management wanted it. The only gig Floyd could get at the station was the horror show host and he became Count Floyd. IRL, it was around this time that Flaherty started playing the role of station manager Guy Caballero (in the white suit and panama hat and riding in a wheelchair, even though he didn't need one), and Earl continued on the news without a straight-man.

Here's one of my favourite bits from the early days: Earl's wardrobe causes recurring technical difficulties with the broadcast technology of the day. I thought I remembered there being an additional iteration where Earle's plaid suit caused distracting moire patterns, but I guess my brain made that one up. Being a tv/radio geek in those days, I loved the idea of SCTV playing around with the technical stuff.

"You look like Cosmo Topper!"

Here's the original SCTV opening (seasons 1 & 2) from 1977, with Spike Jones' recording of Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours" as theme music, and the original SCTV logo -- based presumably on the conceit that they're so amateurish and underfunded that they simply wrote "Second City Television" and "Channel 109" (hint: there never was a Teevy Channel 109) on a test-pattern card.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:32 AM on May 20 [14 favorites]


to this day i still do the 3-D thing to my son. it never gets old.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:39 AM on May 20 [9 favorites]


Floyd the newcaster and Floyd the horor host are the same character, but were from different eras of SCTV.

Oh cool, I still haven't seen all the earlier shows. Both Floyds do show up in the Network 90 shows though. There are both newscast segments with Earl and Floyd (like in the alien takeover episode with Hank Bain, Conrad Bain's brother), and Count Floyd segments (like 3D House of Beef).
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:44 AM on May 20


When I was growing up I was the one with the old -- and old-fashioned -- parents; it was totally mortifying that while my friends' parents were listening to The Beatles, mine were listening to show tunes and Perry Como. The "Perry Como - Still Alive" sketch genuinely gave me a tiny bit of comfort and confirmed in my mind that my parents were indeed the most embarrassing parents in the history of the entire universe.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:47 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Joe Flaherty is one of only two celebrities I've posed for a picture with. He is a comedy legend and a very nice human. Count Floyd was just about my favorite 70's sketch character. I felt bad for him even add I was laughing, which suggests some depth to me.

The other celebrity was Emo Phillips who also turns out to be an absolutely great guy.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:47 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


You know what the horrible thing was growing up in Ontario, while SCTV was on-the-air...?

Constantly confusing Count Floyd with that other Canadian gem, the Hilarious House of Frightenstein....

(Don't get me started about the confusion between the "Friendly Giant" and the "Jolly Green Giant" whenever one of those ads would come on...)
posted by jkaczor at 10:05 AM on May 20 [4 favorites]


There must have been an earlier SCTV opening, from the Global years, other than that linked above. With people throwing their TVs out the window at its end. Seem to recall my youngest sister wanting to see the show only to see the TVs tossed out the windows. During the height of its popularity on late-night NBC, I'd watch it in the common room of university residence. Also watching was a guy whose mother did the makeup on the show. On a couple occasions they did a take-off of his father. Abe the Carpet King, or something like that.
posted by TimTypeZed at 10:05 AM on May 20


Dr. Tongue and Bruno have an extended part in what is probably the best episode of them all, the "CCCP1 Russian TV" episode.


This cannot be emphasized enough. Only an Uzbek would think otherwise.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:07 AM on May 20 [3 favorites]


Well, I did say "here's how I remember it".

According to this site, Count Floyd's first appearance was in the first season (1977); and in the very last episode broadcast (1984, long after I wasn't watching anymore) Floyd shows up for the news broadcast late, drunk, and wearing his Count Floyd costume.

I swear I don't remember Count Floyd at all during the first two 30-minute series, and apparently he appeared only twice each.



It was a long time ago (and I was supposed to be finishing the audit and zeeing-out).
 
posted by Herodios at 10:08 AM on May 20


Yet another SCTV kids show: an earlier one with Harold Ramis as the depressed, harried host of a train-themed show called Muley's Roundhouse. "You kids keep sending in your drawings. I tell you, these have got to be some of the worst ones yet!"
posted by gimonca at 10:09 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


There was also Happy Hour, a children's show filmed in a bar.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:11 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Joe Flaherty/Floyd Robertson's seething on-air indignation at Earl Camembert's incompetence, in general, still makes me chuckle, too.

Oh, and it's pronounced Cannon-bear.
posted by gimonca at 10:12 AM on May 20 [3 favorites]


Then why isn't it spelled like that?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:22 AM on May 20


I will also mention that the sleazy, cut-rate undertaker we used for my mom's funeral looked like Earl Camembert, just with gray hair. After the consultation, I mentioned this to both my brothers and got smiles from them both. From then on, we all referred to him as Earl (except to his face and fortunately, I was the only one who had to deal with him afterwards).
posted by plinth at 10:22 AM on May 20


Judd Apatow and Paul Feig, the creators of the TV show Freaks And Geeks, took great pleasure in making Joe Flaherty (who played the grumpy Dad) dress up as a vampire for the Halloween episode.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 10:31 AM on May 20 [5 favorites]


Re: "Street Beef" ...

SCTV Christmas Party - Guy Caballero - Johnny LaRue - "Street Beat" - snow crusted streets of Melonville - "Just making snow angels officer!" - Crane Shot -

Magic, pure magic.
posted by bc_fred at 10:59 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


I used to watch reruns of The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley on late night Cartoon Network c. 1995/1996 solely because I really enjoyed the live-action Count Floyd segments.

It was a pleasant surprise when Joe Flaherty dressed up as a vampire in Freaks and Geeks.

(Also: Reggae Christmas Eve in Transylvania!)
posted by Redfield at 11:08 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]


plinth: "It always made me sad that Dave Thomas never really found the same level of fame as the other cast members post SCTV."

You should listen to his interview on Kevin Pollak's Chat Show podcast. He sounds like…like a guy who I would meet drinking beer at my older brother's house. It's a riot.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:22 AM on May 20


Guy Caballero (in the white suit and panama hat and riding in a wheelchair, even though he didn't need one)

For respect!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:23 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]


You should listen to his interview on Kevin Pollak's Chat Show podcast.

Thomas is really starting to look like Tom Poston.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:42 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Cornabix!
posted by lagomorphius at 11:47 AM on May 20


There must have been an earlier SCTV opening, from the Global years, other than that linked above. With people throwing their TVs out the window at its end.

The early-episode DVDs have that opening on them.
posted by Flexagon at 12:00 PM on May 20


I always mentally re-title 3D movies for Count Floyd. I never say anything out loud because I know they're dumb jokes, and they're dated and probably nobody's going to get the reference, and if I tried to explain it, the funniest thing about it would be how pathetic that would be.

But let me take this opportunity to just put this out there: Dr. Tongue's 3D House of Forgotten Dreams.

I feel both better and worse now. Thanks.
posted by ernielundquist at 12:10 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


It wasn't until MetaFilter that i had a new meme to replace Dr. Tongue’s Evil House of Pancakes as my pancake-related meme.
posted by jessamyn at 12:22 PM on May 20


Now I have to rip the 3D effect noise from Dr. Tongue and make it my ringtone.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:33 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Cornabix!

You want some Pepsi-Cola with it?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:39 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


I think the most underrated SCTV character is Perini Scleroso.

Back in the 80s, Dave Thomas came into my computer store. I walked up and instead of saying my usual "hi can I help you" I burst into laughter and said "you're so funny." I couldn't help myself. Oh that was embarrassing, probably more for him than me.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:23 PM on May 20


TheWhiteSkull, the first time I saw that Giorgy skit I was laughing so hard I fell off the couch.
posted by sneebler at 6:31 PM on May 20


My shrink is in her late twenties. Very smart, hip, funny young lady.

A while ago I made a reference to something blowing up real good, and found out she had never heard of SCTV.

Sad but true.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:48 PM on May 20


Joe Flaherty brings SCTV’s Count Floyd back from the undead for Edmonton band’s video - warning, Count Floyd is quite old, and as such, can make you feel old.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:19 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


OMG, the bits with the library card and driver's license!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:37 PM on May 20


Did we get to this one yet? Cruuuooounchy!
posted by lagomorphius at 8:43 PM on May 20


"As a kid, I was pretty ignorant..."
posted by lagomorphius at 8:48 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Sure, I watch Gerry Todd.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:48 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


A few years ago, I worked in a place where the CEO would videotape messages to the organization from a comfortable-looking library setting, wearing a sweater. Adding a taxidermied dog and a box of dog biscuits would have made him Tommy Shanks, Mayor of Melonville. Only a couple of people got the reference, sadly.
posted by gimonca at 5:38 AM on May 21 [6 favorites]


"You lose,...

comrade!"
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:13 AM on May 21


Ha ha, "Lone Star State" is only a tiny star in the great sky of Mother Russia!
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:41 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


Just laughing from memories here. I don't remember "The Blood-Sucking Monkeys from West Mifflin, Pennsylvania", but the way it lets the utterly mundane undercut the attempt at grand horror is the epitome of SCTV to me.

The clip I most want to find is Joe Flaherty playing William F. Buckley on Firing Line, verbally abusing a little child to the point of tears. I've googled on and off for years, and have yet to find it. Head tilted back, eyes opened too wide, tongue occasionally darting out like a lizard — it's actually the image I remember when I hear about Buckley, not the man himself.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:35 PM on May 24 [4 favorites]


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