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SCTV through the years.

SCTV Timeline

The histories of The Second City's Toronto theatre and SCTV are of course inextricably linked. In late 1973, Andrew Alexander and his partners Len Stuart and Scott Baker purchased the Toronto branch of the Second City from Bernie Sahlins and managed to get it back on its feet. In 1976 they would found their own production company to produce Second City Television. The original SCTV cast was taken straight from the theatre company, and in the early days some of the performers were doing both the TV and stage show simultaneously. Later in the run, bit players and replacement cast were also brought in from the theatre. The timeline highlights major events in the life of both the theatre (left) and the show (right).

Photo Gallery: 50 Years of Second City comedy

Second City
1974
SCTV
Second City Toronto (mark II) first revue: Hello Dali
Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, John Candy,
Gilda Radner, Rosemary Radcliffe
directed by Joe Flaherty
March 13
 
Revue: Anyone For Kelp?
Eugene Levy, John Candy, Catherine O'Hara, Rosemary Radcliffe, Dan Aykroyd
directed by Sheldon Patinkin
October 24
 
1975
Revue: Alterations While You Wait
Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, John Candy,
Catherine O'Hara, Andrea Martin, Dan Aykroyd
directed by Joe Flaherty
March 17
 
Flaherty, Candy, Levy leave for Pasadena and are replaced by Dave Thomas, John Monteith,
Ben Gordon
Summer
 
Revue: Also Available In Paperback
Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Dave Thomas,
Ben Gordon, John Monteith
directed by Sheldon Patinkin
September
 
1976
Revue: Best Of Second City
Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Dave Thomas,
Ben Gordon, John Monteith
directed by Joe Flaherty
January
 
Spring
Joe Flaherty, Harold Ramis, Eugene Levy, Andrew Alexander, Bernie Sahlins, Sheldon Patinkin, Del Close and Dave Thomas brainstorm a new TV show. By accounts, it was Del, Del and Sheldon, or Sheldon and Del who had the idea for a TV station.
Revue: For a Good Time Call 363-1674
Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Dave Thomas, John Candy,
Ben Gordon, John Monteith
directed by Joe Flaherty
May 3
 
August 22
First Second City Television show of an initial block of seven shows is recorded.
September 18
Shooting schedule: Captain Combat (1-2), English for Beginners (1-2), Gus Gustofferson Security Guard (1-2), Sermonette: Father John Duffy (1-5), Dialing for Dollars: Changing Partners (1-7), Sammy Maudlin Show (1-3), Amanda 2 Microwave Oven (1-5), Backstage (1-4), Interpol (?), Sermonette: UN (?).
September 21
First show broadcast on Global Television. The first six shows are shown one per month into February 1977.
Revue: Wizard of Ossington
Catherine O'Hara, Dave Thomas, John Candy
Peter Aykroyd, Brenda Donohue
directed by Joe Flaherty
November 16
 
1977
February 24
Second batch of six shows begins airing, now twice per month, to 19 May 1977.
Revue: East of Eaton's
Catherine O'Hara, Dave Thomas, Peter Aykroyd, Martin Short, Robin Duke, Peter Torokvei
May 24
 
Summer
Writing the next batch of shows for Series 1 in LA ("wrote 16 shows in 7 weeks").
September 17
Debut of syndication of Series 1 in US; episode 1-1 broadcast on WMAQ in Chicago.
September 19
First show of second set of 13 shows for Series 1 airs on Global. The show runs weekly to 12 December 1977.
Best of revue: Once More With Fooling
Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Robin Duke,
Peter Aykroyd, Peter Torokvei, Steve Kampmann
directed by Joe Flaherty
December 7
 
December 19
Reruns of Series 1 begin airing (in order) on Global and run right through the summer.
1978
Revue: Saturday Night Beaver
Martin Short, Robin Duke, Peter Torokvei,
Steve Kampmann, Cathy Gallant
directed by Eugene Levy
May 10
 
Pilot: Laugh Track
Written by Steve Kampmann and Peter Torokvei
featuring Kampmann, Torokvei, Martin Short,
Don Dickinson
Unaired, later used for The Cisco Kid in Series 3
Summer (?)
 
September 16
First show of Series 2 airs on Global.
1979
Revue: For Whom the Bell Hops
Robin Duke, Tony Rosato, Ben Gordon,
Don Dickinson, Derek McGrath, Mary Wilcox
February 22
 
March 3
Last show of Series 2 airs on Global.
July 16
Global cancels Second City TV.
Revue: Freud Slipped Here
Tony Rosato, Mary Wilcox, Don Dickinson, Derek McGrath, Maggie Butterfield, Don DePollo
November 16
 
November 23
Alexander announces that SCTV has been picked up by CBC for 26 episodes.
1980
April
Flaherty, Thomas, Martin, Levy and O'Hara shoot "From Cleveland" in Cleveland for CBS.
Summer
Writing Series 3 in Toronto.
July 1
Due to the deal Alexander has worked out with Charles Allard to get the show back on the air after a year-long hiatus, Series 3 starts shooting at Allard's studio in Edmonton.
Freud Slipped Here continues with
Derek McGrath, John Hemphill, Don Lamont, Kathy Laskey, Denise Pigeon
June
Revue: Best of Second City 2
Martin Short returns to join the regular cast during an actor's strike in Hollywood (Steve Kampman, Catherine O'Hara and Mary Wilcox also do some shows)
August
Big City Comedy begins taping at CFTO-TV.
September 9
CBC airs "The Best of SCTV".
September 19
Series 3 debuts on CBC.
September 26
Big City Comedy debuts on CTV, with guests Billy Crystal and Margaret Trudeau.
1981
Revue: Two Minutes For High Schticking
Robin Duke, Tony Rosato, Mary Wilcox,
John Hemphill, Derek McGrath
January 30
 
March 13
Final episode of Series 3 airs on CBC. Repeats continue through July.
April 11
Robin Duke and Tony Rosato debut on Saturday Night Live.
May 15
First Network/90 Show of Cycle 1 aired on NBC as a mid-season replacement for 'Midnight Special'.
July 31
Last show of Cycle 1 airs on NBC.
Summer
Dave and Rick record Bob and Doug McKenzie album.
Revue: Little Hostile On the Prairie
John Hemphill, Kathy Laskey, Derek McGrath,
Ken Innes, Deborah Kimmett
directed by Del Close
September 16
 
October 16
First episode of Cycle 2 starts the new season on NBC. A 60 minute version of Series 4 debuts on CBC.
November 24
Bob and Doug McKenzie album released; the album and single 'Take Off' go straight to number 1 in Canada.
December 12
Take Off single tops the CHUM FM singles chart in its second week.
December
Production of Cycle 2 wraps in Edmonton.
1982
March 22
Production of Cycle 3 begins at Magder Studios in Toronto.
March 27
Bob and Doug McKenzie album is Number 9 with a bullet on Billboard Top 200 chart, while Take Off peaks at number 16.
April
Norman Seeff conducts a week-long photo shoot at Magder for Life magazine.
April 16
First episode of Cycle 3 airs on NBC.
Revue: To Mock a Kilogram
John Hemphill, Kathy Laskey, Don Lake,
Derek McGrath, Ken Innes, Deborah Kimmett
directed by Michael Gellman
May 18
 
June
Martin Short joins the cast.
July 16
The last new episode (show 7 of Cycle 3) of the 1981-82 NBC season airs.
October 15
The new season begins on NBC with show 8 of Cycle 3.
November
Count Floyd EP released on RCA Records.
November 5
First episode of Cycle 4 airs on NBC.
Benefit: United We Fall
All eight SCTV cast members reunite for a benefit show.
November 14
 
1983
Revue: I've Got a Sequel Part II
John Hemphill, Kathy Laskey, Don Lake,
Debra McGrath, Ron James, Bruce Pirrie
January
 
January 28
First episode of Cycle 5 airs on NBC.
February 25
Taping of Cycle 5 finishes.
March 18
Final episode on NBC.
August 19
Strange Brew opens in Canada (seven days later in the U.S.).
Revue: No Man Is a Centre Island
John Hemphill, Kathy Laskey, Don Lake,
Debra McGrath, Ron James, Bruce Pirrie
directed by Sheldon Patinkin
September 16
 
November 22
Series 6 debut on Cinemax.
1984
April
Final Cinemax episodes recorded.
Revue: Waiting For John Doe
John Hemphill, Kathy Laskey, Don Lake,
Debra McGrath, Ron James, Bruce Pirrie, Sandra Balcovske
directed by Bernard Sahlins
May 31
 
June
Martin Short announces he will be joining Saturday Night Live in the fall.
July 3
Executive Producer Andrew Alexander announces that SCTV has wrapped for good, and 156 half-hour shows (later expanded to 185) have been sold into syndication in markets across the States.
July 17
Final show airs on Cinemax.
October 6
Martin Short debut on Saturday Night Live.
Second City Chicago 25th Anniversary
attended by Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Tony Rosato, Robin Duke, Catherine O'Hara, Dave Thomas, included a private show as well as the taped show
December 15-17
 
1985
March 14
The Last Polka airs on HBO.
November 20
The Concert For the North Americas airs on Showtime.
1988
April 16
Biographies: The Enigma of Bobby Bittman airs on Cinemax.
Second City Toronto 15th Anniversary
featuring Joe Flaherty, Robin Duke, Dave Thomas, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara and John Hemphill
August 28
September 10
The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley debuts on NBC.
September 21
The Best of SCTV airs on ABC during the writer's strike.
1989
June 3
I, Martin Short Goes Hollywood airs on HBO.
July 1
Andrea Martin...Together Again airs on Showtime.
1992
Benefit: Friends of Gilda
featuring Joe Flaherty, Robin Duke, Dave Thomas, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, John Candy, Jayne Eastwood
September 26
1993
October 9
Cast reunion: Vancouver International Film Festival with Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Harold Ramis, Martin Short and Dave Thomas. SCTV was honored at an evening of screening SCTV sketches, hosted by Brent Bambury.
1994
March 4
John Candy passes.
1995
May 20
The Show Formerly Known as the Martin Short Show airs on NBC as a summer replacement for SNL.
1996
November 9
SCTV: Behind the Scenes by Dave Thomas is published.
1997
Winter
SCTV Guide goes on air.
March 4
Cast reunion: William S. Paley Television Festival with Robin Duke, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Rick Moranis, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Dave Thomas, and Andrew Alexander, Del Close and Bernard Sahlins. (Included as an extra on DVD Volume 3.)
1998
The Second City 25 Years
featuring Joe Flaherty, Robin Duke, Dave Thomas, Eugene Levy, Martin Short
June
1999
March
Cast reunion: U.S. Comedy Arts Festival with Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Harold Ramis, Martin Short, Dave Thomas, hosted by Conan O'Brien. (Included as an extra on DVD Volume 1)
July
Bob and Doug sequel Home Brew cancelled at the last minute when financing falls through.
2000
Second City: Backstage At The World's Greatest Comedy Theater by Sheldon Patinkin is published
April
2001
June 20
Primetime Glick debuts on Comedy Central, and runs for three series.
2004
June 8
SCTV DVD Volume 1 released.
September 18
Jiminy Glick in Lalawood premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival.
October 19
SCTV DVD Volume 2 released.
2005
March 1
SCTV DVD Volume 3 released.
September 13
SCTV DVD Volume 4 released.
2006
October 24
SCTV DVD Best of the Early Years released.
2007
May 20
Bob and Doug McKenzie's Two-Four Anniversary special airs on CBC.
August 30
Second City Television: A History and Episode Guide by Jeff Robbins is published.
2008
Benefit: The Benefit Of Laughter
SCTV reunion show in Toronto with
Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short;
also featuring Women Fully Clothed with Robin Duke
May 5, 6
2009
April 19
First episode of Bob & Doug, the animated McKenzie brothers show airs in Canada, voiced by Dave Thomas and Dave Coulier
Benefit: The Benefits Of Laughter
SCTV reunion in Chicago for the Second City 50th Festival (two shows)
Harold Ramis, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Dave Thomas
December 11
2010
January 27
The Official SCTV YouTube channel goes on air.
September 2
SCTV joins Facebook.
2011
October 11
After another 30 year absence, Molly Earl returns to the air with a new show Craft Break.
2012
April 3
I, Martin Short, Goes Home airs on CBC.
2013
February 7
The Second City Network begins posting classic SCTV sketches.
Second City co-founder and Series 1 producer Bernie Sahlins dies
June 16
2014
February 24
Harold Ramis dies.
2016
February 22
SCTV executive producer and Second City co-owner Len Stuart dies.
2017
January 11
Tony Rosato dies.