Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Moranissance is nigh: Rick Moranis confirmed for Netflix’s Martin Scorsese-directed SCTV special

Moranis and Dave Thomas in 2017
Moranis and Dave Thomas in 2017
Photo: George Pimentel (Getty Images)

Earlier this week, it was reported that Little Shop Of Horrors and Ghostbusters star Rick Moranis was returning to TV to reprise his role as Spaceballs’ villainous Dark Helmet on The Goldbergs. Now, less 12 hours after that episode aired, it appears, clear as the morning, that a Moranissance is dawning: The actor will join his fellow cast members Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Dave Thomas, and Joe Flaherty in a Netflix retrospective of their influential sketch-comedy series, SCTV, which is set to premiere in 2019.

Martin Scorsese is on board to direct, which hopefully gives the SCTV alums an excuse to produce some follow-ups to these classic interstitials:

Arguably the series with the highest wig and makeup budget in the history of sketch comedy, SCTV specialized in extremely specific, deadly accurate, and allusion-packed pop-culture homages, like The Merv Griffith Show, in which Moranis’ impression of fawning talk-show impresario Merv Griffin takes Sheriff Taylor’s spot on The Andy Griffith Show. These segments were presented within the framework of the fictional Second City Television network, broadcasting from the equally fictional small town of Melonville, the numerous colorful residents of which set the pace for The Simpsons’ vast cast of supporting players (Matt Groening has long cited the show as an influence) and Portlandia’s exaggerated version of its Pacific Northwestern digs.


Prior to his Goldbergs cameo, Moranis’ last onscreen credit was alongside Dave Thomas in Bob & Doug McKenzie’s Two-Four Anniversary, a reprise of the beer-swilling Melonville hosers who rode their SCTV breakout to a movie spin-off and a hit musical collaboration with Rush’s Geddy Lee. Following the 1997 death of his wife, Ann, Moranis largely stepped back from acting in order to raise the couple’s two children. In 2015, Moranis told The Hollywood Reporter he wasn’t retired, just picky about what roles he takes. “Yes, I am picky, and I’ll continue to be picky,” he said at the time. “Picky has worked for me.”

Managing editor, The A.V. Club

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