As a long-time SCTV fan (that word barely scratches the surface of my love for and veneration of that long-gone show) I thought I’d seen every last drop of every last SCTV sketch. Somehow though I seem to have missed the above clip, which is quite simply the greatest Martin Short as Jerry Lewis sketch ever. In it, Jerry is performing in France for an adoring audience. Short covers every facet of Lewis–the opening act shtick, the spazzy dancing, the self-pitying misunderstood artist, the abusive boss etc. In the midst of things his cosutme–a Tux, natch–suddenly turns into a French sailor outfit (with no explanation of course). That joke is the essence of SCTV. The show, which aired on network TV at 12:30 AM on Saturdays felt as though it had been taped very late at night, when the oddest things can seem hilarious for no rational reason. The fact that it then aired very late at night created a symbiotic bond between show and watcher. You, the audience, were dementedly receptive to their demented humor at a demented hour in the demented early 1980s. Prendre Plaisir!


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