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This Hour Has 22 Minutes Smash Bits '97 (VHS, 1997)

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The long-running Canadian sketch comedy and news parody show This Hour Has 22 Minutes got its satiric start in 1993, represented here on The Complete First Season. The politically-incorrect program was launched during Canada’s 35th general election, finding lots of fodder for topical humor inadvertently provided by various candidates for Canadian prime minister, as well as glaring inconsistencies in government policies. The show’s original cast, a quartet of sharp, funny performers, includes Mary Walsh, Greg Thomey, Cathy Jones, and Rick Mercer. All are excellent at comic camouflage, playing slick news anchors on the one hand and a variety of eccentrics on the other. The multiple programs on this three-disc set include various ideas that occur and reoccur during the season, including repeat visits by Thomey’s Jerry Boyle character, a perennial activist who doesn’t get why people think of him as a reprobate and loser. (During the election, he runs as a candidate for PM on a program to ignore the country’s deficit.) Walsh’s Marg Delahunty is another curious politico who lounges in bed and threatens to get off the couch if mad enough at Jacques Chretien’s government. Other great bits include Cathy Jones as a 411 operator who fields anxiety attacks by men who didn’t shop for their girlfriends. A succession of guest meteorologists on the faux newscast report the state of the climate in hell as well as the word on drug forecasts. One of the funniest moments concerns a foreign correspondent who has a very difficult time getting to his destinations. A special Christmas show includes a humiliating experience when Greg’s mother ends up caught in a man-on-the-street interview, and Jerry Boyle returns with a holiday commentary that reveals he’s banned from many fine dining establishments . Chretien’s support of a reduction in sin taxes comes under fire when it’s revealed that kids will have an easier time buying cigarettes. Other quick flashes: a skewering of a Reform Party newsletter that actually quotes Hitler; a The Daily Show-like piece about Newfoundland’s boring premier; and a television special called Sikh Like Me, an investigation into discrimination by whites against non-white people. It certainly helps to know something about Canadian politics to get the full impact of the show’s jokes. But it isn’t necessary to enjoy This Hour’s sight gags that show us how silly the likes of then-PM Kim Campbell can be.

Product details
MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ Unrated (Not Rated)
Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.32 x 5.51 x 0.71 inches; 7.05 Ounces
Director ‏ : ‎ Henry Sarwer Foner
Media Format ‏ : ‎ Import, NTSC
Release date ‏ : ‎ December 18, 2007
Actors ‏ : ‎ Mary Walsh, Greg Thomey, Cathy Jones
Language ‏ : ‎ Unqualified (DTS ES 6.1)
Studio ‏ : ‎ KOC
    • UPC 778854107939
    • Brand Salter Films
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