Eugene Levy, as one of the first members at The Second City Toronto branch, has made a career of playing oddball characters and playing to the height of his intelligence. After his time at The Second City Toronto, he joined the cast of Second City Television (SCTV) alongside past fellow cast members. He has performed in many films and television shows, written for a variety of shows, and created two: Maniac Mansion and Schitt’s Creek.
In 1973, The Second City expanded into Toronto after the success of the Chicago branch. Some of the original cast was recruited through “Godspell”, a show that featured Gilda Radner, Martin Short, and Andrea Martin, as well as Levy. The Toronto shows featured more of a focus on short form versus long form improv, and Levy performed with his “Godspell” co-stars and others. His graduating class included Dan Aykroyd, Radner, and Catherine O’Hara.
After his stage time on the Toronto stage, he starred alongside past cast members O’Hara, Martin, and Short in SCTV. Additional cast members included John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Harold Ramis, and more. The show ran from 1976 to 1984, where Levy created a variety of characters, and impersonated many celebrities. Original characters included a dimwitted newscaster, a dream interpreter, a used car salesman, and many more. Celebrity impersonations included Alex Trebek, Sean Connery, Henry Kissinger, Milton Berle, James Caan, Neil Sedaka, and more. For his work on SCTV, he won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in 1982 and 1983. In 2002, SCTV was inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame.
Since the end of SCTV, Levy has remained busy in supporting roles across both television and film. He has had film roles in Armed and Dangerous, The Man, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Splash, Father of the Bride, American Pie, Finding Dory, and more, along with writing and performing in Waiting For Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. For A Mighty Wind, Levy won a Grammy Award and a New York Film Critics Choice Award. His television roles are abundant, and he has been involved in a number of variety specials with Martin Short, along with Billy Crystal’s Don’t Get Me Started. He also co-created, writes, and stars in Schitt’s Creek with Catherine O’Hara.