Last evening I turned on the free preview of Comedy Gold (aka the Wings Channel- it seriously showed nothing but Wings for three straight days over the holiday weekend. What programmer anywhere thought THAT was a good idea?) just in time to catch a Viewer Discretion advisory. The tv guide said that an episode of Kids in the Hall was up next.
I love Kids in the Hall.
As the warning was being recited (those Kids- gotta watch out for the ‘Adult Content’, tsk tsk tsk), ‘I’ve lost my Indian drum’ popped into my head. So, of course, this was the first sketch:
Man, how I love the Kids. And, for some reason that sketch- from their first season- tickles my funny bone in a bigbig way.
It isn’t the only one. Not by a long shot. The Kids provide a trip down the Old Lane called Memory that is at once the same and completely different than the music and music television that I wrote about the other day.
They are uniquely Canadian and representative of our uniquely Canadian sense of humour- and the freedom that was permitted on our airways waaaaaay back in the late 80s-early 90s, at least on the CBC.
When the Americans imported our Kids, they
censored edited a whole bunch of stuff that obviously didn’t play as well down there. Especially this one:
I love that sketch. CBS did NOT.
The Kids didn’t pull punches in the name of political correctness or religious sensitivity and never shied away from telling it like it is. Scott Thompson has always been openly gay, and his characters played with stereotypes in a comfortable way that was pretty far ahead of its time.
They were sublime AND ridiculous.
Some sketches were more memorable than others, but I know a whole crowd of people who can quote sketches the way aficionados of other great comedy troupes like Monty Python can cite their greatest hits.
I personally know at least one ‘Girl Drink Drunk’ (no names mentioned to protect his professional reputation), and years ago, on one memorable Hallowe’en, another friend dressed up like a box of Tampax with “I’m a guy with a good attitude toward menstruation” written across the front (picture not included to protect his professional reputation and because someone seems to have stolen it from the photo album….).
Since they didn’t rely on political themes, current events or topical discourse for their comedy, the sketches truly transcend time and generations.
A couple of years ago, while waiting for a friend outside Betty’s on King Street, I overheard a conversation between a couple of early-20-somethings who were out for a smoke. They had obviously just discovered the Kids, and listening to them run through favourite characters and sketches was like flashing back two decades.
We called it ‘the fastest half hour on television’ and waited for Thursday nights to come around. It was a time in which we all stopped, had a meal and spent some time together (usually followed by my having to witness Blue Angel competitions. Boys are weird).
The Kids helped nurture a bond and brought a sense of home in a foreign town (the sketches were unabashedly ‘Toronto’- and the locations provoke a nostalgia all their own- the Canary on Cherry Street, long gone to make way for ‘development’ was a part of my personal landscape for as long as I can remember, and was often where Mark McKinney and Bruce McCulloch, as the OPP officers on ‘Police Department’, spent their coffee breaks).
That picture at the top of the post ^^^ immediately gets the theme song, ‘Having an Average Weekend’ by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, running through my brain. Individual lines and catch-phrases can bring back the entirety of the sketch and prompt a smile in an instant.
“Mind if I swoop?”
“Evil!” (as exclaimed by Sir Simon Milligan)
“Neutral Ninnies!” (“He’s sick of the Swiss!”)
It’s always good to end a working week with a laugh.
“30 Helens Agree” that some time spent with the Kids in the Hall is always a great way to start the weekend.