Bob and Doug McKenzie were the comic creations of Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, a pair of Canadian performers who first rose to fame as members of the SCTV troupe. Bob and Doug initially emerged in an SCTV sketch as the sibling hosts of a Canadian show called The Great White North; portraying the McKenzie brothers as beer-swilling imbeciles, the skit took a friendly swipe at Canuck stereotypes -- dressed in parkas and touques (i.e., knit stocking-caps), extoling the virtues of back bacon and donuts, and peppering their goofy dialogue with catch phrases like "You hoser!," "Take off!" and the ubiquitous "Eh," the McKenzies embodied the image of the drunken, dim-witted Canadian widely accepted by Americans as gospel truth.
After earning a strong following among SCTV viewers, Moranis and Thomas recorded a McKenzie Brothers album, 1982's Grammy-nominated The Great White North. The record proved highly successful, reaching the Top Ten thanks to the novelty hit "Take Off," a duet with Rush's Geddy Lee. A film offer soon followed, and Strange Brew, written and directed by Moranis and Thomas, appeared in 1984; a surreal retelling of Hamlet set largely inside a fictitious Canadian brewery, the film fared poorly at the box office during its theatrical release, but grew in stature to become a perennial cult favorite. Still, the movie's initial failure brought an abrupt end to the McKenzies' existence; while Moranis went on to star in films like Little Shop of Horrors and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Thomas kept a lower profile, later joining the cast of the sitcom Grace Under Fire. Unexpectedly, the duo donned their old Bob and Doug costumes in 1997 to reunite for a television spot hawking Molson beer. ~ Jason Ankeny