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Oh Canada, You Gave Us Your Laughter!

SCTV: The Best of the Early Years Shout Factory, $40

How sad for today's youth. They do not know what SCTV is! Young people, now you can learn. Before Eugene Levy was American Pie dad, before Catherine O'Hara was Home Alone mom, before John Candy sold out and made dull movies, they were part an exceedingly strange TV comedy skit show. SCTV (it stands for Second City TV) was a fictional television network somewhere in the wilds of Canada, managed by Edith Prickley (who never met a leopard skin she didn't want to wear) and starring such talentless hacks as Sammy Maudlin, Earl Camembert and Lola "I want to bear your children" Heatherton. The beer-buzzed McKenzie Brothers paid tribute to "the Great White North." Count Floyd could never find truly frightening movies for Monster Chiller Horror Theater. Sorry, Ingmar Bergman just isn't that scary.

They were all so bad. But also hilarious. The three-disc set will encourage viewers to waste many hours laughing like a loon at the Emmy-winning show from the late '70s and early '80s. In case you are wondering, how a loon laughs, here is the way that Bob and Doug McKenzie put it: "Coo roo coo coo coo coo coo coo."

Marc Silver, an editor at NPR.org, likes movies in which things get blowed up real good.

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