AFTER SCTV - THE LAST POLKA

John Candy | Eugene Levy with Rick Moranis | Robin Duke | Mary Margaret O'Hara | Catherine O'Hara | John McAndrew | Dave Thomas

The Last Polka

The Last Polka video A 60 minute HBO documentary special, filmed in Toronto November and December of 1984, aired 14 March 1985 (and 15 April on Superchannel in Canada). The farewell concert was filmed in a small theatre early in December. A documentary about Stan and Yosh's last concert. It's been compared to The Band's 'The Last Waltz.' Written by Eugene Levy and John Candy. Directed by John Blanchard.

Basically an excellent, if extra-long, Shmenge sketch. Worth looking for.

The Happy Wanderers: The Last Polka

The show begins with an overview of their early life in Leutonia and interviews with various relatives and friends who speculate on why they are retiring (they don't have a clue).

The Last Polka Concert

December 14, 1984. The Happy Wanderers theme song and 'Cabbage Rolls and Coffee'. They're really cookin'.

Stan Shmenge - Levy; Yosh Shmenge - Candy; The Happy Wanderers - extras

The Shmenges themselves don't really have a good reason for retiring. They talk about their early years in Leutonian vaudeville playing jars. The war and an accident turn the Shmenges to polka. Just off the boat, they get their first big break with Colonel Cohen on his radio show. After the Colonel's mysterious death, the Shmenges start managing themselves.

Clips: Strikes, Spares and Shmenges (1952)

The Shmenges host their early TV show from a bowling alley. 'The Lucky Frame' was a big selling point.

Stan Shmenge - Levy; Yosh Shmenge - Candy; bowlers - extras

Linsk Minyk describes how he got together with the Shmenge brothers.

The Last Polka Concert Part 2

Linsk Minyk comes out to do a medley of famous tunes including 'On the Road Again', 'Touch Me'.

Stan Shmenge - Levy; Yosh Shmenge - Candy; Linsk Minyk - Moranis; The Happy Wanderers - extras

News coverage from 1980 when the Shmenges were grand marshals at Oktoberfest. A phone-in show, the parade.

The Last Polka Concert Part 3

Another song, featuring a monster tuba solo.

Stan Shmenge - Levy; Yosh Shmenge - Candy; The Happy Wanderers - extras

Clip: Polka Variety Hour (1964)

A song from The Lemon Twins.

Stan Shmenge - Levy; Yosh Shmenge - Candy; The Lemon Twins - Catherine O'Hara, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Robin Duke

Interview with The Lemon Twins about their start with the Shmenges, and a clip from the Polka Variety Hour from 1964. The scandal over the Shmenge's possible involvement with the twins.

The Last Polka Concert Part 4

The Lemon Twins come out and do a medley of their hits.

Stan Shmenge - Levy; Yosh Shmenge - Candy; The Lemon Twins - Catherine O'Hara, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Robin Duke; The Happy Wanderers - extras

Their attempt to expand their audience by attracting kids. Footage of the setup and rehearsals ('Beat It') for the disastrous 'The Shmenges Salute Michael Jackson' concert in Plattsburg in 1984, a possible factor in their break-up.

The Last Polka Concert Part 5

Their last song, 'The Last Polka'.

Stan Shmenge - Levy; Yosh Shmenge - Candy; The Happy Wanderers - extras

Stan Shmenge - Levy; Yosh Shmenge - Candy; Papa Shmenge - Candy; Ma Shmenge - Levy; Linsk Minyk - Moranis; The Lemon Twins - Catherine O'Hara, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Robin Duke; Val Babbyit (author) - John McAndrew; Milt Chissik (Leutonian Vice-Consul) - Len Doncheff; Mrs Vicki Mahoney-Cohen - Patricia Hamilton; Moe Koffler (business manager)- Nick Nichols; Michael Colbert (promoter) - Michael Budman; Phil the Record King - Marvin Goldhar; Starmaker Enterprises - Don Dickinson; Gord Martineau; Ted Woloshyn; band - extras; crew, fans - extras; narrator - Thomas

Shmenges on Letterman

To promote The Last Polka, the Shmenges guested on Late Night with David Letterman where they performed 'Cabbage Rolls and Coffee Polka'; the interview touched on topics ranging from their early career, their retirement, the Plattsburg concert, and the Lemon Twins.

Stan Shmenge - Levy; Yosh Shmenge - Candy; David Letterman, Paul Shaffer

The Best of Comic Relief: Cabbage Rolls and Coffee Polka

The Shmenges also performed 'Cabbage Rolls and Coffee Polka' for Comic Relief, a performance that was later released on 'The Best of Comic Relief' LP in 1986.

Stan Shmenge - Levy; Yosh Shmenge - Candy