In the Great White North, we’re known for producing some funny people, and in the late 1980s, five guys went from being sketch comedy club faves to tv stars with The Kids in the Hall.
Forming as a sketch comedy group in 1985 with Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, Scott Thompson and Dave Foley, the group were lured to the US for various tv opportunities as individuals.
In 1988, the group created a tv special on CBC and HBO and its success led to the television series The Kids in the Hall on CBC TV and HBO in 1989, a quirky and surreal series of sketches, produced by Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels.
Similar to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Kids in the Hall had many reccuring characters, often portrayed women and openly discussed sexuality, fetishes, sports, oddities of life, regional differences and society’s norms through monologues.
Scott Thompson’s Buddy Cole became a fan fave, as well as rebellious teen Bobby Terrence, stoner Bauer, The Chicken Lady and precocious Gavin. Other regular sketches were 30 Helens Agree, It’s a Fact!, Headcrusher, Police Department, Sizzler Sisters and The Daves I Know.
The series spawned many obsessions and certainly was a cult fave for those who watched late night tv and HBO. In the US, in the 1990s the series started airing on CBS TV late night, which increased the group’s fan base. This led to the film Brain Candy, which didn’t have much success at the box office but became a cult fave.
In recent years, the group has reformed, but its the early days of The Kids in the Hall that is quintessentially funny and oh so Canadian.