Eugene Levy on How ‘SCTV’ Grew Out of ‘SNL’

“We did not have New York City during a feet, like a ‘SNL’ kids did,” says a comedian, who, along with ‘Schitt’s Creek’ co-star Catherine O’Hara, will be given a Legacy Award by a Academy of Canadian Cinema Television on Feb. 25.

This story initial seemed in a Mar 4 emanate of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To accept a magazine, click here to subscribe.

Northern Lights will seem Feb. 25 to respect Canadian comic legends Eugene Levy, 69, and Catherine O’Hara, 61, — SCTV alums and co-stars of Pop’s Schitt’s Creek — as they accept Legacy Awards from a Academy of Canadian Cinema Television. An Evening With Canada’s Stars, now in a third year hosted by Telefilm Canada, also will applaud a Canuck talents who contributed to this year’s Oscar-nominated films — from Toronto-born Spotlight ancillary singer hopeful Rachel McAdams, who still calls Toronto home, to strange strain hopeful (for Fifty Shades of Grey‘s “Earned It”) The Weeknd. Levy spoke to THR about a career respect — “It’s approval from a nation that we still have a good connection to,” he says — and anticipating success on both sides of a border.

You and Catherine O’Hara have worked together for some-more than 4 decades, so it contingency feel good to accept a Legacy Awards together?

A garland of us started out in Toronto during a same time in a 1970s. There was Godspell, and we am still operative with — and still unequivocally good friends with — people in that [stage] production: Marty Short and Andrea Martin and Paul Shaffer and Victor Garber. Second City [improv] was a subsequent uncover that came along. That’s when we ran into gifted people like John Candy and Dan Aykroyd and Catherine O’Hara. So to accept this endowment with Catherine, it’s a good feeling.

Looking back, do we remember meditative on Godspell and afterwards on SCTV that a 1970s were a golden age of Canadian entertainment?

The answer is no. That wasn’t unequivocally channel a minds. We were unequivocally advantageous since we had dual vital American shows that strike Toronto around a same time. Godspell, when it opened, incited this expel of nobodies into roughly internal celebrities. Then [Chicago’s] Second City non-stop a Toronto branch. That was pro­bably a best propagandize of improvisational comedy that we could go to. But honestly, behind then, we were immature and a large thing was we got a paycheck any week. That was a good thing about doing museum and comedy revues. The steadiness of removing a check, that meant we could go out to cooking and buy another span of boots — that was great.

How did we all get from Second City onstage to SCTV?

The reason SCTV started was since Saturday Night Live had started a year before. Half a artistic component of SNL came out of Second City and a other half out of National Lampoon. Bernie Sahlens, a owners of Second City then, said, “Hey, they’re holding a Second City and now they have a large strike TV show. We should get a uncover off a belligerent before we remove any some-more people.” So we combined SCTV and that was a good uncover to work on, though we were in Toronto. We did not have New York City during a feet, like a SNL kids did. We were only going in any day, doing a SCTV and afterwards going home to dinner. When SCTV went on NBC [in 1981] and we became a 90-minute show, that’s when a uncover unequivocally took figure and some unequivocally artistic things were happening. We would demeanour during any other and say, “Wow, this is a good show. This is unequivocally funny.” That’s a impulse that we satisfied this uncover can contest with any uncover anywhere in a world, since it’s that good.

Canadians fun that creation it in uncover biz is so hard, we need dual towns to work in, Los Angeles and Toronto.

When my mother was profound with my son, Daniel, we were in Los Angeles, though we motionless to go behind to Toronto to lift a kids. To us, it seemed like a some-more lucid city to lift a family in and have your kids grow adult in a universe of equal footing, not in a uncover biz world. The irony is both my kids finished adult being actors. It’s always a fun to work on both sides of a fence. [Growing up] we were tighten to Buffalo and got programming by a limit stations. We got a ambience of what good American comedies were all about. When we started jum­ping in with both feet, there’s something in a behind of your conduct saying, “I wish to compete.” Getting work in Los Angeles became partial of what we had to do. And it unequivocally has worked out for [Catherine and me], espe­cially now where we’re in a pleasing half-hour comedy, carrying so most fun and now being means to applaud all that.

An Evening With Canada’s Stars
: Feb. 25
Location: Four Seasons, Beverly Hills