skit with Rick Moranis
and Dave Thomas
as Bob and Doug McKenzie
. It was created as filler
when the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
) requested two minutes of "distinctive Canadian
programming" to make the Canadian show equal the length of the American
syndicated show. Every GWN skit was improv
ised. Moranis and Thomas conceived a Bob and Doug album
but didn't start work on it until 1981
. The album - also improvised - was produced under the PolyGram
label for about five thousand dollars. The song Take Off
was its key to airplay. It became the number-one song in Canada
and broke America's Top Ten charts. The album sold 350,000 records in Canada; 650,000 in the States.
Moranis' and Thomas' success became a burden after they made the cover of Rolling Stone under the headline The McKenzie Brothers - SCTV's Best Joke. The rest of the SCTV cast were displeased. Bob and Doug were also featured in a Playboy article, 1982.
In Canada they were legendary and mobbed wherever they went. Their main audience in the States, according to Thomas, was comprised of drunks, jocks, and heavy-metal rockers. Their lives became a blur of limo rides during the tours of publicity for PolyGram, and they burned out. By the time they made the movie Strange Brew, Thomas began to hate the whole thing. Moranis didn't even stick around for the editing process. MGM did not put effort into publicizing it, and it had a mediocre $2 mill opening in the States. It won Canada's Golden Reel Award as the highest-grossing movie of the year.
trivia: Bob and Doug gave each other smokes for Christmas.