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5 Ways Strange Brew Predicted the Future

July 13, 2017


Take off, you hosers! I recently caught a screening of Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas’ 1983 cult classic Strange Brew as part of Quad Cinemas’ “Cool Movies” series in NYC, and I was surprised how well its surrealist humor held up — and how eerily prescient it was. Let me count the ways it predicted the pop-cultural future.

1. Bob and Doug McKenzie begat Wayne and Garth. Spun off from a late-night sketch show into a movie, the perpetual adolescents played by Moranis and Thomas lived in their parents’ house and co-hosted a public-access-style TV show (“The Great White North”). Plus, they did movie reviews — in this case, of their own film, over the closing credits. And like the latter-day kings of “Schwing!” Bob and Doug spoke in catchphrases, most notably “Take off, you hoser!” Beauty, eh


2. The comedic force was with them. Four years before he donned comically oversized Darth Vader headgear as “Dark Helmet” in Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs, Moranis dressed in Imperial Stormtrooper gear for an absurdist hockey game against a team sporting the black gear made famous by Luke Skywalker’s dad. To paraphrase Yogurt—er, Yoda— “A coincidence I think this is not.”

3. The McKenzie boys went Gaga. Three decades prior to Lady Gaga’ wore her infamous “meat dress” to the 2010 Grammys, Moranis and Thomas donned gigantic raw steak costumes in a fantasy sequence depicting how they looked to their starving dog, Hosehead. Those little monsters!

4. Beat the Press! After they’re arrested for allegedly kidnapping a brewery heiress, Bob and Doug get bailed out by their thuggish lawyer. He confronts a bunch of nosy reporters and proceeds to karate-chop and body-slam them. “That’s how you handle the press!” he tells them. GOP Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte couldn’t have said it better — and done it worse — himself.

5. They were Canadian before Canadian was cool. Back when no one noticed our mild-mannered Neighbor to the North, the McKenzies made no secret of their national pride — Bob even wears a maple-leaf flag on his ski cap. Now that Justin Trudeau has trumped our Prez, everyone wants to take off for the Great White North.

Oh, Canada!

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