|Second City Television character|
Prickley on the cover of an SCTV DVD, with Guy Caballero.
|Portrayed by||Andrea Martin|
|Occupation||Television station manager|
Edith Prickley was a character in all six seasons of the Canadian sketch comedy series SCTV. Created and played by Andrea Martin, the character took over as the station manager for the fictional television station Second City Television, based out of a city called Melonville, and serving the "tri-city area". Her character, visibly distinct by her leopard-print clothing and hat, and rhinestone studded glasses, served the station's president and owner, Guy Caballero.
The character of Edith Prickley was created for and played by comedian Andrea Martin, when the series debuted in 1976. Along with Caballero, Prickley was one of the few characters to appear throughout the entire run of the series, which ended in 1984. The character perhaps remains Martin's best known; she was a relative unknown performer before the series debut.
Martin was nominated in 1982 for the "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series" Emmy Award.
According to the book "Women in Comedy", one writer described Edith as "an amalgam of Rona Barrett, Joan of Arc, and Auntie Mame". The "oversexed" Prickley was convinced that every male around had "lustful intention towards her." Prickley snorted at her own jokes; her laugh has been described as a cackle.
History of the character
According to the Prickley character in the comedy special Andrea Martin: Together Again, she was married to Mr. Prickley in 1969. Prickley's sister was Edna Boil (also played by Andrea Martin) proprietor of Edna's Prairie Warehouse and Curio Emporium, an advertiser on SCTV. Though she was routinely addressed as "Mrs. Prickley", her husband was never seen and infrequently referenced; his name was Ken, but few (if any) other details were ever revealed about him. Though she stayed married throughout her run on SCTV, Edith also openly and unrepentantly dated outside of her marriage, including a couple of dates with Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (portrayed by Martin Short).
Prickley first appeared on SCTV in a Sunrise Semester sketch aired as part of the first season episode 17, Galaxy 66. Prickley appears in regards to "Elevator Conversation". Later in the episode, she appears to advertise Mrs. Prickley's Jams Jellies and Preserves, stating: "I hope you choke on it." Aside from a repeat of the ad in episode 23, she wouldn't officially appear again until season 2. Martin's one-off character in episode 25, Princess Carlotta, was essentially Edith Prickley, without her name or leopard print. The character appeared in the two part "Morning Facial with Princess Carlotta", credited as "A Johnny LaRue Production".
In episode 10 of season 2, which aired November 18, 1978, station owner Guy Caballero chooses to promote Edith Prickley to SCTV station manager, replacing the kidnapped Moe Green. She announces her programming intentions as "boobs, bums, good-looking hunky guys, and no more sports."
The character appeared in various movies throughout the series run, including Gangway for Miracles and Give 'Em Hell, Bess.
As of 1989, Prickley was a bartender, serving Andrea Martin in the comedy special Andrea Martin: Together Again.
Appearances off SCTV
Prickley appeared on occasion on programs aside from SCTV, ranging from a run of appearances on Sesame Street (including as an animated character), to various stage appearances.
- 1987: Prickley appears on the CBC broadcast Canadian Sesame Street, later known as Sesame Park.
- 1989: Martin's Showtime comedy special Andrea Martin... Together Again features her as herself, and as various characters. The special is presented as Andrea Martin talks to Edith, about her just finished special.
- November 14, 1989: Martin appears as Edith Prickley on Sesame Street. Prickley is a shoe salesperson, who attempts to sell to Grundgetta and Maria Figueroa. The character also appeared in a celebrity-filled version of the song "Put Down the Duckie". SCTV characters Yosh Shmenge (John Candy) and Ed Grimley (Martin Short) also appeared on Sesame Street.
- 1996: Martin appears in a one-woman show in the East Village, at the Papp Public Theater. Along with appearing as herself, she appears as various characters, including Prickley.
- 1998: The Elmo's World segment of Sesame Street debuts. An animated version of Edith Prickley (voiced by Martin) appears as a personality on numerous narrow-themed channels seen on the TV, but isn't named as Prickley. The character would later evolve in appearance.
- 1999: Prickley appears in a television special called Just for Laughs: Montreal Comedy Festival, taped at the Just for Laughs festival.
- May 2008: Martin appears as Edith Prickley in the SCTV-reunion two performance stage show "The Benefit of Laughter".
- April 2017: Appearing on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Martin performed a rap (as Edith Prickley) from her one-woman show Final Days, Everything Must Go, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
- Cocks, Jay (1981-11-09). "Messages from Melonville". TIME. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
SCTV Station Manager Edith Prickley, who favors rhinestone-studded glasses and a leopard-skin coat to match her rakish chapeau.
- Intini, John (2005-03-16). "Andrea Martin finishes the sentences". Maclean's. Toronto, ON: Rogers Media. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
Andrea Martin has played dozens of roles since her run on SCTV ended in 1983 -- but, like it or not, it's her portrayal of Edith Prickley, the station manager in leopard print, that's still stuck in our heads.
- Linda Martin; Kerry Segrave (1986). Women in Comedy. Citadel Press. p. 387. ISBN 0-8065-1000-5. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- Dunne, Michael (1992). Metapop: self-referentiality in contemporary American popular culture. University Press of Mississippi. p. 31. ISBN 0-87805-548-7. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- Unterbrink, Mary (1987). Funny women: American comediennes, 1860-1985. McFarland. p. 170. ISBN 0-89950-226-1. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- Dezell, Maureen (2004-05-14). "Funny lady, serious role". The Boston Globe. Boston, MA. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
She also created such signature characters as the leopard-coated TV station manager Edith Prickley, who snorts at her own jokes.
- "History & SCTV". The Second City. Chicago, IL: The Second City. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- "I've had 9 good years with Mr. Prickley, and 9 out of 22 ain't so bad." O'Connor, John J. (1989-07-19). "Review/Television; Laughs a Serious Business for Cable". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. p. C20, New York edition. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- Meisler, Andy (1994-04-17). "TELEVISION; The Satirist Who Landed in a Sitcom". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. pp. 2, 31, New York edition. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
Fondly remembered as the spunky, leopard-skin-hatted station manager, Edith Prickley, and her sister Edna Boil, proprietor of "Edna's Prairie Warehouse and Curio Emporium."
- "SERIES 1 - SECOND CITY TELEVISION: 1-17 Galaxy 66". SCTV Guide. SCTVGuide. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
- "SERIES 1 - SECOND CITY TELEVISION: 1-23 The Grapes of Mud". SCTV Guide. SCTVGuide. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
- "SERIES 1 - SECOND CITY TELEVISION: 1-25 The Man Who Would Be King of the Popes". SCTV Guide. SCTVGuide. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
- "SERIES 2 - SECOND CITY TELEVISION: 2-10 Edith Prickley Station Manager". SCTV Guide. SCTVGuide. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
- O'Connor, John (1988-09-21). "Review/Television; Pitting 'SCTV' Against the Olympics". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. p. C22, the New York edition. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- O'Connor, John J. (1989-07-19). "Review/Television; Laughs a Serious Business for Cable". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. p. C20, New York edition. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- "AFTER SCTV - ANDREA MARTIN...TOGETHER AGAIN", SCTV Guide, accessed 2009-04-11.
- Brantley, Ben (1996-04-05). "THEATER REVIEW;Overly Fond of Food and Doris Day, for Starters". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. p. C3, New York edition. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
...and, of course, Ms. Martin's signature character, the ribald, leopard-fur-sporting Edith Prickley.
- Ouzounian, Richard (2008-05-06). "All the hits, as good as we remember". The Toronto Star. Toronto, ON: Torstar. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
All was going fine and then suddenly, a door flung open and there was Martin, a.k.a. Edith Prickley, in her leopard-clothed glory.
- Andrea Martin biography, The New York Times.