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A life-size statue of Bob and Doug McKenzie unveiled in Edmonton

A life-size bronze statue of the SCTV legendary comedy duo Bob and Doug McKenzie was unveiled in Edmonton on Tuesday.
Quinn Patrick Montreal, QC

Canada's most notorious hosers, Bob and Doug Mckenzie are finally getting the recoginition they deserve after a life-size bronze statue of the comedy duo was unveiled in Edmonton on Tueday.

The statue of SCTV’s hilarious Bob and Doug McKenzie appeared on 103 Street and 103 Avenue Tuesday night according to the Edmonton Journal. The pair can can be seen donning their toques and jeans in the sculpture. On top of that they're holding open stubbies—the way all beer bottles used to look back in the day.

The statue is in colour-patina and was a collaborative effort of many hands, most notably the famous Edmonton sculptor Ritchie Velthuis. Velthius wasn't alone however as non-profit SCTV Monument Committee and Calgary’s Bronzart Casting were also involved in the process.

The actors who created Bob and Doug, Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, were of course on board for the project as well, giving suggestions and ideas too.

The real Bob & Doug, Rick Moranis (left) Dave Thomas (right)

“The only thing that was stipulated is they wanted to be involved and have a voice,” said sculptor Velthuis, who wisely kept the project a secret right up until the unveiling.

Just in case you've been living under a rock since the 1970's Bob and Doug McKenzie are a duo of loveable dimwit brothers who used to air on the comedy sketch TV show, SCTV from 1976-1984.

SCTV was a show comprised of Toronto's Second City improv perfromers such as Harold Ramis, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Andrea Martin, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy. The show began shooting in 1980 in Toronto before moving to Edmonton for a cheaper shooting location. Eventually the show relocated back to Toronto, after becoming an international success and was aired on NBC, winning several Emmyss.

Bob and Doug were so popular that they went on make a feature length movie, Strange Brew in 1983.

Velthuis was hired by the SCTV committee and began working on the sculpture in 2017, calling the now finished work a "career highlight."

“Because of their costuming, because their stance they’re really identifiable really quickly. I compared it to the first renditions of The Simpsons. You can see them, but they’re not there yet. When I ask for a critique I really want it.” said Velthuis.

"I wanted to tell a story. I really wanted to capture in lovable conflict. There was a request that Doug look forward into ‘the camera.’ But watching this hours and hours, particularly when they’re arguing, he cranks his head, looks down. So I’m capturing a moment in time, not capturing a publicity shot."

Once carved, the sculpture must be sprayed with patina and heat treated, or "baked on" as Velthuis explained. “Every bronze has a patina. Even if it’s just patina of what we call a bronze colour—it’s still a paint, an enamel.”

Wax is applied as the final task. “It has to happen every two years or it will start to erode,” said Velthuis, who refers to this particular work as, “the Boys.”

Actors Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas are pleased with the final product according to the sculptor, “They’ve seen the final product and are super happy.”

Both actors flew into Edmonton for the unveiling however no ceremony was able to take place in lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sculptor described the unveiling as a moment of joy in an otherwise dark time. “I’m super proud of it,” said the 59-year-old artist, “I’m welling up right now.

“That’s the bittersweet, anticlimactic part. It’s such an interactive piece, people are going to want to crawl all over it. I guess they could sit two metres away from each other.

“To be totally honest, it’s like holy crap, I’ve just dedicated four, five years of my life to this, kept it a secret the whole time. And now it can’t really be shared the way I’d like it to be shared.” lamented Velthuis.

"I’m just super honoured to represent the Canadian icons that they truly are. When they were filming I would’ve been 19 years old. I was Bob and Doug. My older brother—there was always that tension, that arguing. It was very relatable. Take off!” he said.

“Bob and Doug spoke to Canadian culture so profoundly, so eloquently in such a relatable way. And there’s folklore about them working here, stories that probably aren’t even half true. But they left a mark.

“I’m an artist creating artists, and that was just awesome.”

Although no ceremony could take place for the unveiling, a box of Kraft dinner was  anonymously left on the 'the boys' laps. Despite everything, hoser humour is alive and well.

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