The Kids in the Hall reunion show...
They were good together. They were like the Spice Girls of comedy, except they had more talent in their pinkie finger than the Spices ever did as a whole. Then they broke up, and Canada's funniest comedy troupe became a legend our generation planned to talk about to our children. Each member pursued individual careers, popping up every so often on shows like "News Radio," "That 70's Show," "Saturday Night Live," and occasionally performing off-broadway, one-man extravaganzas. They were Canada's best-kept secret (we opted to out Tom Green to the States so they could take him off our hands), and suddenly they were gone, off to bigger and better things.
WHICH KID IS WHICH?
But before I had a chance to truly mourn the loss of The Kids in the Hall, they were back together again, performing in a reunion tour of sorts, going back to sketch comedy, where it all began. And luckily, they had two shows scheduled in Toronto, and even luckier for me, a friend was able to get tickets to their second show. So off I went, to watch the legendary The Kids in the Hall perform the skits that put them on the map. Also, I wasn't about to pass up a chance to ogle Dave Foley live.
The Kids formed in Toronto in 1984, but it wasn't until 1988 that their first pilot was filmed by Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels. The name originated from comedian Jack Benney, who would sometimes take jokes from young writers that stood outside of the studio, whom he referred to as "the kids in the hall." The original troupe did include women, but they kept leaving the show to pursue other interests. Eventually, the Kids began to play the role of women themselves, and as the years progressed so did the elaborate drag costumes. Their show lasted from 1989 to 1994, and aired on HBO, Comedy Central, CBC and CBS. Reruns can be caught on Comedy Central and the Canadian Comedy Network. Later, the group made a movie, Brain Candy (1996), and is rumoured to be planning a second.
The group consists of Scott Thompson, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, Kevin McDonald, and my personal favourite, Dave Foley. When the group disbanded, the Kids went their separate ways. Scott Thompson appeared on "The Larry Sanders Show," Mickey Blue Eyes, and recently performed a one-man show. Bruce McCulloch directed Superstar and Dog Park, and also appeared in Dog Park and Dick. Mark McKinney also had a role in Dog Park, and a brief stint on "Saturday Night Live." Kevin McDonald had small roles in The Ladies Man and Galaxy Quest. And my Dave Foley starred on "News Radio," did voice work on A Bug's Life, and appeared in On the Line. So even though they pursued solo careers, no one was exactly hurting for a job (although no Kid ever achieved absolute success).
The show was at the Canon Theatre, and after a brief confusion about where the theatre was located (on my part, no doubt), we managed to get there with fifteen minutes to spare. The actual show began almost on time, only a couple of minutes late by my watch (yes, I do take notice of such trivial things).
The Kids performed many of their famous skits, although at the time I only recognized a few, including the crowd-pleasing "chicken lady" and "I will squish your head" guy. The funniest, by far, was a skit which involved Dave Foley as Hecubus, faithful manservant to Kevin McDonald's Sir Simon Milligan. The two have great chemistry, and Dave Foley has said as much in numerous interviews. The skit itself was funny, but only became better when McDonald screwed up a line and Foley picked up the slack by improvising. It was very obvious, and very deliberate in eliciting a response from the audience. The crowd, comprised of faithful followers of the group (and recent devotees, such as myself), ate the whole thing up.
Three criticisms about the night:
Well, four criticisms if you count not enough Dave Foley, but that would just be a biased observation.
- The improvisations were often more funny than the planned script;
- Scott Thompson is not very funny and added little humour to any of the skits he was in; and
- With my bad luck, we were seated in front of the two most annoying guys in the world, and they reeked of alcohol and ruined the show for all of us who obviously angered fate and made us have to sit in their vicinity.
In a middle of a skit, the two knuckleheads decided to scream out the punch line, repeatedly. I thought perhaps they were just eager fans enjoying the show, and didn't realize how loud they were speaking. Well, during the next skit it was more of the same. By the time the show was over, I was ready to fight them. If they ever stumble upon Happygrrls, (not that it's likely because they didn't strike me as the literate type), I hope they realize what a stupid thing they did and I hope they feel really, really bad about it. How would they like it if I went to see the same movie they did, and having seen it already, screamed out the ending in the middle of it? I'm no mind reader, but that would probably anger them. So if I'm not ruining their hypothetical movie, they shouldn't be ruining my Kids in the Hall, right? Right!
Okay, now that that's off my chest, I can continue. Where was I? Talking about Dave Foley? No, just kidding about that. The show was great, the Kids are probably in their finest form, and Dave Foley is just as sexy as ever. I didn't realize that most of the skits were, in fact, taken from their old show. I don't think anyone in the audience minded though. Even if the Kids had spent the hour and a half show reading newspapers, the tickets would've still sold. At the end of it all, the Kids received a standing ovation, and came out to grace us with an encore skit. It was truly a worthwhile experience.
Afterwards, I wanted to sneak backstage to spy on Dave Foley, but the security guards were blocking the whole stage area. Well, they looked like they were sixty and pretty out of shape, but I didn't think I could outrun them. ¤ C.Ho.