How’s it goin’ eh?! Liona Boyd … John Allan Cameron … The Irish Rovers … many great musical acts have come from Canada, but none was more respected than Bob and Doug McKenzie. The story of our unofficial ambassadors to the rest of the world is a twisted tale from day one. They’re actually the love childs of John Diefenbaker and Margaret Trudeau.
Secretly Margaret was a beautiful mermaid who played the harp before she was duped into kissing the ugly frog while he was on a fishing trip. Little did she know he would NEVER change. She on the other hand was transformed into a land-lubbing first-wife. Diefenbaker wasn’t allowed near the house due to a restraining order in Kangaroo Court, and because Pierre was always out earning Christmas cards and gaining the love of westerners for his oil-policies, Bob and Doug were left pretty much unattended.
Growing up in Toronto was tough on Bob and Doug. Their only escapes from reality were music and school, where both excelled in practically every subject. After sending out the high school graduation announcements, Bob went on to earn a master’s in Beer and Backbacon at the University of Toronto while Doug attended Hoser Tech on a scholarship for public speaking. Both were involved in several anti-drinking campaigns while in school and also gained the respect of their classmates for Bob’s incredible musicianship and Doug’s unmatched vocal prowess.
After catching the eye of SCTV owner Guy Caballero while playing at a Johnny LaRue Oscar-win, Bob and Doug were invited to do recurring appearances on Canada’s top-rated network. Recognizing the brothers’ immense and diverse talents, Caballero allowed them the freedom to also discuss matters of great Canadian importance in an open forum called “The Great White North”. Though still delighting television audiences coast to coast with such classics as the opening credits (“Take Off”), their open-forum time allowed such artists as John Cougar, Ian Thomas, Roy Orbison and The Tubes their “big break”.
By 1981 stock in beer and backbacon were both at an alltime high and Bob & Doug were asked to do a feature documentary for the National Film Board of Canada. THE INUIT AND BACKBACON – A Canadian Heritage – was simply a masterpiece, garnering critical reviews for their ‘pull no punches’ journalist abilities. Public demand forced Bob and Doug to release their first record on Attic, entitled appropriately, THE GREAT WHITE NORTH. Filled with searing guitar licks complimented by an array of outstanding studio musicians, TGWN was more than just a classic masterpiece. With thoughtful lyrics engulfed in serious topics of the day, tracks like “The Beerhunter” (a nightmare common among Canadians where we travel back in time to the days of prohibition) and “Peter’s Donuts”, TGWN was certified gold before it even hit the shelves … it was just that popular … Other noteable tracks included a beautiful rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, complete with orchestral arrangements and choral group and “Take Off”. Noteable about “Take Off” was the vocal accompaniment by some nobody named Geddy Lee and Doug’s absolutely breathtaking drum solo.
In 1982: Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley declared Jan 18th as “Bob & Doug McKenzie Day,” in honour of our hosers, where back bacon sandwiches and Moson Ale are served at the celebration. The brothers returned to the SCTV sets but our friends to the south were finally catching up to Bob and Doug’s style of musicianship. In 1983 the brothers were starring in their own feature film, “Strange Brew”. With the theme song penned by Ian Thomas, rumoured to be Dave Thomas’ brother since birth), the movie had it all. Political commentary, a fine script, outstanding character development, … and Bob had to take a really long “p” after drinking an entire vat of beer.
Unfortunately by the mid 80’s people all over the US, mostly Americans, were ending sentences with “eh?”, wearing toques and eating backbacon. An emergency meeting of Congress approved the bill to abduct Bob and Doug and take back their culture … y’all reckon?
Thinking us Canadians might notice such a tragic thing, The Men In Black created this scheme to replace them with actors. A carefully made-up Honduran illegal immigrant is currently posing as Doug on televisions’s “Grace Under Pressure” while skillful editing has Bob “featuring” in such lame movies as “Honey I Shrunk The Brats” and “The Flintstones”. Gone are the true Canadianisms that … is that a word? … oh well … it is now …showed the world the true side of our country, and its people. Bob and Doug captured the true essence of what it means to be Canadian. Its culture, fashion and social fabric were all meticulously recreated every time they took to the stage or appeared on tv.
A great tragedy was committed when Bob and Doug were kidnapped that fateful day. Being the good sports we are, we haven’t kicked up a big fuss. I mean hell, we even let them beat us at hockey once in awhile just to humour them. We know Bob and Doug will somehow … someday … maybe in the year 2000 in a new movie, but THEY WILL RETURN. Rumoured to be held up in Hanger 13 right now, there’s probably some little green man right now listening to stories of Margaret Trudeau and Mick Jagger … wondering what kind of a sick, perverse society we really are.