Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Inductee: Strange Brew

Rick Moranis (left) and Dave Thomas, as the characters Bob and Doug McKenzie. (CP PHOTO).
Rick Moranis (left) and Dave Thomas as Bob and Doug McKenzie. (CP Photo).

Reason for Induction:
For taking the piss out of CanCon, putting the beer (back) in Shakespeare — and being a beauty movie, eh.

Citation:
Somewhere, behind granite battlements, beyond impenetrable gates — indoors — something evil is brewing. And it isn’t Elsinore beer. Here, an unsuspecting heiress has become the innocent pawn of a diabolical genius. At his command: space-age super-lasers that can incinerate an entire metropolis, [and] an army of deadly hockey warriors. At his fingertips, lots of beer. What fool dares stand in his way?

Actually, fools. The Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew (1983) tells the story of two beer-addled brothers (Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis) who thwart a sinister plot to rule the world via mind-controlling lager. The movie’s theatrical trailer, cited above, did little to tip viewers that it’s a loose — very loose — remake of Hamlet: The McKenzies (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern) take jobs at Elsinore Brewery (Elsinore Castle), where they befriend Pam (Hamlet), the brewery’s new majority owner following the suspicious death of her father, John Elsinore (Hamlet’s dad). Pamlet’s mother Gertrude (Queen Gertrude) has already been remarried, to her dead husband’s bumbling brother Claude (Claudius, played by classic character actor Paul Dooley). The only piece that doesn’t fit the Hamlet homage is “diabolical genius” Brewmeister Smith, gleefully overacted by a slumming Max von Sydow (The Exorcist, Three Days of the Condor, a big heap of Bergman).

But enough intellectualism — Strange Brew was made by and for hosers. Moranis (Bob) and Thomas (Doug) had invented the McKenzies during their days at SCTV. The characters came in response to federal government requirements to include “identifiable Canadian content” in homegrown television programming. To that end, the brothers embody every negative Canadian stereotype. In the film they dress in tuques, plaid shirts and parkas, talk funny (“Take off, eh”), drink too much (“My brother and I used to say that drownin’ in beer was like heaven, eh? Now he’s not here, and I’ve got two soakers.... This isn’t heaven, this sucks!”) and generally carry on like, well, hosers (“Gimme a toasted back bacon, and hold the toast”). The trailer’s promised “super-lasers” never show up, but why quibble with so much to love in their stead: like, say, Mel “Bugs Bunny” Blanc as the voice of the McKenzies’ dad.

Needless to say, Bob and Doug were wildly popular with SCTV’s audience. The boys’ recurring skit, “The Great White North” (a.k.a. “Kanadian Korner”), debuted in 1980 as a two-minute bit only intended for Canadian audiences, but was soon included in American versions of the show. The act snowballed to a comedy album, 1981’s Great White North (reportedly recorded in one four-hour session, with the assistance of a great many beers), and then Strange Brew, which claimed the Golden Reel Award, for Canada’s highest-grossing domestic film, at the 1984 Genies.

Strange Brew fits nobody’s definition of perfect, but, to be perfectly frank, any Canuck who doesn’t bond with Bob and Doug is asking — no, begging — for a steamroller.

Matthew McKinnon writes about the arts for CBC.ca.

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

CBC IN MEXICO Attack on prosecutor further erodes Cancun's reputation for safety
A violent attack in Cancun, Mexico, has further undermined the area's reputation as an island of peace amid the turbulence of Mexico's drug war.
CBC IN IRAN How Tehran sees Trump: Get-rich guru gets another look as antagonistic U.S. president-elect
A short drive from Tehran's imposing "Down with the U.S.A." mural, a small bookstore is doing a brisk business selling books by Donald Trump. As Nahlah Ayed reports, some Iranians eager to learn more about the president-elect are having to start with his get-rich books.
Live Trump administration will press Canada, Mexico to reopen NAFTA video
The man U.S. president-elect Donald Trump has tapped to reshape the country's trade policy will soon send a letter to Canadian and Mexican officials urging them to reopen NAFTA talks, according to a report.
more »

Canada »

Updated Kevin O'Leary makes late entry into Conservative leadership race
It's finally official: Kevin O'Leary will run to become leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. After months of flirting with the idea, he picked the morning after the French leadership debate and used a video on his Facebook page to declare his candidacy.
Alzheimer's patient allowed to leave secure unit with man once accused of defrauding her
Secure units at nursing homes are meant to keep patients with dementia in, but a family is now questioning who is responsible for keeping others out.
The linguistic winners and losers of the French language Conservative leadership debate video
With only two Francophones in the running to be the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, establishing verbal credibility during the French Language debate in Quebec City Tuesday for the rest of the field was always going to be about staying well clear of last place.
more »

Politics »

New Criminal cases, public and police safety put at risk by IT failures, RCMP documents say
Internal reports detailing critical IT failures at the RCMP suggest that in spite of promises to improve tech support for the national police force, gaffes and poor service at Shared Services Canada continue to jeopardize police work as well as officer and public safety.
New Justin Trudeau faces heat over decision to speak French only at town hall video
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says in retrospect, maybe he should have answered in English when asked questions in that language at last night's town hall meeting in Sherbrooke, Que.
Updated Kevin O'Leary makes late entry into Conservative leadership race
It's finally official: Kevin O'Leary will run to become leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. After months of flirting with the idea, he picked the morning after the French leadership debate and used a video on his Facebook page to declare his candidacy.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, comedy specials headed to Netflix
Jerry Seinfeld and Netflix have announced a deal that will bring the star's web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee to the streaming service later this year.
Buffy Sainte-Marie to be recognized for humanitarian efforts
Buffy Sainte-Marie will be awarded the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award this year at the JUNO Awards.
Bollywood's Salman Khan cleared in illegal arms case
Top Bollywood star Salman Khan was acquitted Wednesday of the charge of using unlicenced arms while hunting for rare blackbucks in a wildlife preserve 18 years ago.
more »

Technology & Science »

Pioneering AI researcher to advise RBC's machine learning lab
University of Alberta professor Richard Sutton literally wrote the book on a branch of machine learning called reinforcement learning, and will collaborate with the bank on future work.
New Climate change means more 'mild days' ahead for Canada, study suggests
Research suggests climate change could increase the number of nice days with mild weather for Canadians.
Contaminated mine 'an embarrassment to Canada', says Yukon judge
Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale has delivered a strongly-worded 'wake up call' to Canadian taxpayers, who are now on the hook for another expensive mine cleanup in Yukon - the abandoned Mount Nansen site.
more »

Money »

Live Trump administration will press Canada, Mexico to reopen NAFTA video
The man U.S. president-elect Donald Trump has tapped to reshape the country's trade policy will soon send a letter to Canadian and Mexican officials urging them to reopen NAFTA talks, according to a report.
Bank of Canada holds rates steady as focus shifts to U.S.
The Bank of Canada keeps its benchmark interest rate steady, but says it expects the U.S. economy to perform slightly better than previously thought this year — a development that is likely to spill over into Canada's prospects.
IMF's Lagarde echoes Biden's call for international cooperation in Davos speech
Outgoing U.S. vice-president Joe Biden called on the international community to defend the "liberal" world order against those who seek isolationism and to "build walls" — a veiled reference of the Trump administration that will succeed him in the White House in less than 48 hours.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
In Depth Motherhood forced Silken Laumann to deal with her mental illness — and her family's
Becoming a mom not only showed Canadian rowing great Silken Laumann that she needed to cope with her mental illness, but her family’s as well. In her first-person story to CBC Sports, Laumann takes readers through the big, messy, wacky and joyful journey that is her family unit.
Opinion Top 10 Canadian figure skating champions video
As the country's best do battle this week in Ottawa, figure skating analyst Pj Kwong makes her picks for the greatest Canadian champions of all time.
Ferguson Jenkins: A life of wins and loss video
The record shows that Ferguson Jenkins' brilliant pitching career ended with 284 wins and 226 defeats. But Canada's only baseball Hall of Famer suffered his most crushing losses away from the mound.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »