The last episode of the cult Canadian sketch comedy show The Kids in the Hall aired in 1995. News came yesterday that the group is getting back together 25 years later to relaunch the show on Amazon Prime. That’s right, Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson have reunited to get some of that sweet, sweet Jeff Bezos money.
That sound you just heard was a bunch of oddballs in their late 30s and early 40s quoting their favorite Kids in the Hall line.
The new Kids in the Hall will run for eight episodes, with original producer Lorne Michaels (also of SNL fame) attached as an executive producer. Dave Foley mentioned on Twitter that the group is “already busy writing our uniquely horrible brand of sketch comedy.”
The Kids in the Hall collaborated on multiple projects since the show’s demise, including the 1996 feature film Brain Candy and the 2010 miniseries Death Comes to Town. The group also put on numerous stage tours, harkening back to their origins as a live sketch show in Toronto. In those original live shows, the Kids would come out to “Circus” by The Jam. For their TV show, they used “Having an Average Weekend” by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet.
I have a deep attachment to The Kids in the Hall. It’s one of the shows helped mold my sense of humor, along with Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Mr. Show, In Living Color, The Simpsons, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, and Sledge Hammer. Here were a bunch of Canadian weirdos who crossdressed and acted like my friends in high school art class. The 90s were probably the last decade for this basic-cable sensibility to flourish.
I can’t do an exhaustive list of my favorite Kids in the Hall sketches, be here is a sampling of some memorable bits, starting with the “Daves I Know” song.
Bruce also sang about terriers. Chances are he’ll have another song for the Amazon show. McCulloch’s song about David Lynch’s Erasherhead from his 1995 album Shame-Based Man is a fond memory from my teenage years.
On the note of songs, here’s a fun use of “Alouette.”
Many pre-taped Kids in the Hall sketches had a cinematic flair, sometimes veering into Lynchian territory. It’ll be interesting if there are new filmic comedy bits in the works.
One of my favorite pre-tapes is this absurd spin on a police chase.
The police seen above were one of many recurring characters on the show. I expect to see several of the recurring characters like the Head Crusher, Chicken Lady, Gavin, and Cabbage Head.
Here I want to highlight Buddy, who was one of the gay characters on the show portrayed by Scott Thompson, the cast’s openly gay member. It’s remarkable how transgressive and brave it was to be openly gay in the early 90s. Around the time I was watching Kids in the Hall, Clive Barker, my favorite author as a teenager, came out.
Maybe Buddy helped gay kids and adults in the 90s feel a bit more seen.
(CW: gay slurs)
There is so much more to Kids in the Hall I could go into. Maybe I’m due for an exhaustive binge of the original five seasons of the show. Not everything has aged well (Buddy’s casual use of the f-slur and the “Running F***ot” sketch springs immediately to mind), but that’s the mark of the times.
And, since we’re a movie site, I’ll end this Kids in the Hall mix-tape with a sketch about a movie.