The Shmenge Brothers’ Last Polka

John Candy and Eugene Levy as the Shmenge BrothersLet’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”:


  1. There is a great version of Cabbage Rolls and Coffee on “Dogs Playing Polka” by Big Lou’s Polka Casserole. You can download it from itunes or buy it at

  2. That’s right! I love the Polka Casserole version — I can almost taste the cabbage rolls when I hear it.

  3. delightful clip! thx