An Hour with /SCTV/'s Rick Moranis Page 3

Commentaries and Brother Bear

Were you asked to participate in the commentaries for the SCTV box set?Yeah, I'm not a commentary guy, other than the one Dave [Thomas] and I did for Brother Bear. You know about that? moranis 2 Golden throats: 5 Neat Guys harmonize for one and all (from left, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, Moranis)

Yeah. I saw the TV commercials, and I remember thinking, "That really sounds like those guys are doing it!" So I had to buy it and check it out.It goes further than that. But to answer your question first: I was asked to do commentary for Little Shop of Horrors [1986], Spaceballs [1987], and other movies, and I just didn't like the idea of sitting around and talking about stuff we did years ago. It just didn't make sense to me, didn't really appeal to me.

Then Dave and I played these moose characters [Rutt and Tuke] in this Disney movie, Brother Bear, who were very similar to the McKenzies - although we don't call them that - and we did a total of about a half-dozen scenes in the movie. And it came out really well. It was very easy for me to do: no makeup, no hair, no lighting; just me in a radio studio. We were linked up by satellite, because Dave lives in L.A., 3,000 miles away. We just got on the mike and improvised, and we had a great time.

The producer of the movie, Chuck Williams, had an idea for the DVD that, instead of doing a commentary, he wanted us to improvise while watching the movie. So we went and did this Mystery Science Theater 3000 type of thing - we watched the movie three or four times together over two days in Los Angeles on a big plasma screen, sitting in barcaloungers. They taped everything we did, and some of it got pretty raunchy; they cut out the worst parts. They wound up cutting it down to an original, 85-minute comedy album, basically. And the reviews have been amazing.

Would you consider doing commentaries like that in the future, then? Maybe when the next SCTV box set comes out, you do a commentary as Gerry Todd?Well, I don't think we would take potshots at SCTV. But as the McKenzie brothers, I'd love to do The Godfather or Taxi Driver: "Geez, eh, is he talkin' to us? Is he talkin' to us?"

I could see you doing Dick Cavett commenting on one of the Merv Griffin sketches, for example.Yeah, yeah. It's hard to improvise that kind of stuff, whereas the McKenzies are easy to improvise, because it's the two of us, and the material is pretty basic. When you get into more challenging stuff, I'm more comfortable writing it. But that takes time, and no one is going to pay for that . . . yet.

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