An inside look at Canadian comedy ‘outsiders’
Kids in the Hall widely praised in new biography, but two say they’ve never been big stars
When you sit down to interview members of Kids in the Hall, the Canadian sketch comedy troupe known for its inventive, subversive oeuvre, you can’t expect the usual focused question-and-answer session.
So a chat in the atrium of CBC headquarters with Bruce Mcculloch and Scott Thompson starts off with them musing that fellow troupe member Dave Foley now looks like “a hockey dad” with his whitish-blond hair, an assertion that they’re all wearing wigs, an assessment of the merits of the iphone voice recorder the reporter is using, a query about whether OMNI TV, Johnny Lombardi and the CHIN Picnic are still around (yes; no, he died in 2002 and yes, but not its bikini contest) and a mention of Ed the Sock Paul Myers, centre, explores how the members of Canadian comedy troupe Kids in the Hall, which includes Scott Thompson, right, and Bruce Mcculloch, got their individual starts in comedy in The Kids in the Hall: One Dumb Guy.
… until their biographer, Paul Myers, reins them in.
“Let her do her job,” urges Myers, a musician, journalist, author and brother to another
Canadian comedy legend, Mike Myers.
“Can I say, I’ve only been with these guys 30 minutes and I’m already exhausted?”
The trio were in Toronto to promote Paul’s new book, The Kids in the Hall: One Dumb Guy, which explores how the five Kids — including Mark Mckinney and Kevin Mcdonald — got their individual starts in comedy before joining up in Toronto; and their sometimes rocky tenure as the Kids, from their early days playing the Rivoli through their CBC TV series (both the eponymous sketch comedy show and Death Comes to Town), to their film Brain Candy and their latter-day touring.
It was the Kids’ 2015 North American tour that inspired Myers to pitch the biography to them.
“I’ve always wanted to write their story,” said Myers, a self-described “comedy nerd” who has also written biographies of the Barenaked Ladies, Todd Rundgren and Long John Baldry. Seeing the audience’s enthusiastic response to their San Francisco tour stop made him feel the timing was right.