The Shmenge Polka [A Tribute to John Candy][Instrumental] (2:08)

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The Shmenge Brothers’ Last Polka

Let’s face it — certain aspects of polka culture are ripe for parody. And when it comes to polka parodies, nobody did it better than SCTV’s Shmenge Brothers.

Hailing from the mythical country of Leutonia (”on the dark side of the Balkans”), Stan and Yosh Shmenge (portrayed by Eugene Levy and John Candy) came to America and conquered the polka charts before their abrupt retirement in 1984. Along with their band, the Happy Wanderers, they appeared frequently on SCTV playing everything from covers of new-wave hits to original tunes like “There’s Rhythm In My Lederhosen.”

Shmenge-mania reached its height with The Last Polka, a 1985 HBO “mockumentary” about the duo’s final concert. If you haven’t seen it, it’s basically the polka version of Spinal Tap. Unfortunately, it isn’t available on DVD, but you can now watch the whole thing on YouTube (albeit divided into seven parts). Watch the first eight minutes and sing along to the Shmenge Brothers classic, “Cabbage Rolls and Coffee”:

Yosh Shmenge (John Candy) and Stan Shmenge (Eugene Levy) are the finest Leutonian polka stars in the history of the world. Whether serving up delicious “Cabbage Rolls and Coffee” (mmm, mmm, good!), or saluting the songs of John Williams in full Superman regalia, Yosh and Stan reigned supreme until their Last Polka.

If you like John Candy and Eugene Levy, and you think polka music ain’t too bad, you’ll enjoy “The Last Polka.” The film is well written and Candy and Levy turn in great performances.

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  • rob_tonus

    If you like John Candy and Eugene Levy, and you think polka music ain't too bad, you'll enjoy "The Last Polka." The film is well written and Candy and Levy turn in great performances.

    23 Aug 2008 Reply