Picks and Pans Review: Great White North
The McKenzies, of course, are none other than Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, who appear regularly on the NBC satirical show SCTV Network 90. Great White North, improvised on the program, is a talk show hosted by two bumpkin brothers who apparently have just wandered in from the Yukon. It was originated in 1980, after Canadian broadcast authorities strongly urged that the Edmonton-based SCTV, then in syndication, include more domestic material on the show. The bits, in which the McKenzies snort, swig beer, insult each other and struggle in vain to find a topic to discuss, are hardly the answer to a Canadian chauvinist's prayer. Still, Great White North is one of the show's most popular features. This LP contains mostly new, but typical, material. There are few real jokes. A representative exchange goes: "Remember the time we went to the provincial park?" "Yeah." "Okay." "Then there's no need to talk about it, eh?" Something is inevitably lost from TV—notably the wonderfully dumb looks Moranis and Thomas are capable of. But this is still a deftly managed transition from visual to nonvisual humor. Included is what Moranis and Thomas describe as "our hit single," Take Off, which features a caterwauling vocal by Geddy Lee of the rock group Rush. As the McKenzies say, this LP is a beauty.