The Kids in the Hall are back and getting along great. “This time we’re not lying”

TORONTO – It looks like the kids are doing well.

The infighting between members of Canadian sketch comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall has been well documented over the years, but as they promote their new Amazon Prime Video reboot of their original series, Dave Foley insists on the fact that they “get along”.

“We’d say that anyway, but this time we’re not lying,” cast member Kevin McDonald added in a video interview with Foley.

“We’re still fighting and we’re still backstabbing, but that’s how we work,” Foley agreed.

“I always say when I’m on set, ‘Stab in the back, don’t tell me. Never tell me. And it’s all good,” McDonald joked.

Debuting May 13, the new Toronto-shot series is named after the original sketch comedy series “The Kids in the Hall,” which aired from 1989 to 1995 on CBC. It also aired on CBS and HBO in the United States.

“The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks,” a two-part documentary about the past, present and future of the troupe, will join it on the streaming service on May 20 and after its own premiere Tuesday this week at the festival. Toronto Hot Docs. directed by Reg Harkema.

The doc includes archival footage, behind-the-scenes clips and interviews with comedy legends who all drew inspiration from the beloved Canadian troupe.

As Harkema noted at a Hot Docs press conference in March, he felt “proud” to examine the group’s impact on other well-known comic books that have long seen The Kids in the Hall as “personalities who opened a window to the (comedy) world for them.

The quintet, which also includes Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson, originally scheduled the return for their 30th anniversary in 2019.

“But then another pandemic called The Kids in the Hall’s Inability to Take a Decision happened, so it took a little longer,” Foley said, citing delays, including a desire to reunite with the production company founded by Lorne Michaels, Broadway Video, and finding a global platform.

McDonald said they started writing the series before the COVID-19 pandemic and had to take a year off before resuming due to the lockdowns.

Bringing the gang together again was like fighting over cats, they said.

“Cats that all have individual representation,” Foley said.

“And ex-wives,” McDonald added.

“Several ex-wives,” Foley joked.

“The Kids in the Hall” began in 1984 and pushed the boundaries of television comedy, with cast members in drag and sketches that tackled heavy topics including religion and sexuality.

“I always feel like a better person when I play a woman,” said Montreal-born McDonald, whose other credits include the Fox sitcom “That ’70s Show.”

“I’m smarter, I’m nicer to people. So it’s still fun – on top of the three-hour makeup process.

Memorable Kids in the Hall characters have included McKinney’s Headcrusher and Chicken Lady, Thompson as the Queen, McCulloch’s Cabbage Head, and Foley and McDonald as the Sizzler Sisters.

The new series will have a “very low nostalgia quotient,” Foley said, noting that they were “essentially chasing new ideas and new content.”

“Do we have the right to say characters? I don’t know if we’re allowed to say,” McDonald said, to which Foley joked, “Allowed? We don’t follow any stinky rules.

McDonald then blurted out the likely return of Thompson’s gay socialite character Buddy Cole, as did the Toronto police officers played by McCulloch and McKinney.

The new eight-episode series was shot in studio and on location.

The proliferation of short comedy skits on social media platforms, including TikTok, has not influenced the length of their material, they said, noting that a comedy skit should be short anyway.

“This will shock you: I’ve never watched TikTok,” Foley said, to which McDonald told he hadn’t either.

The Kids continued to collaborate after the original series ended, reuniting for the 1996 comedy film “Brain Candy,” multiple tours, and the 2010 CBC miniseries “Death Comes to Town.”

But, as Paul Myers wrote in his 2018 book The Kids in the Hall: One Dumb Guy, it wasn’t always friendly.

Myers said Foley and McDonald sometimes argued with McKinney and McCulloch, while Thompson was something of a mediator. Foley quit the troupe once, which caused tension on the set of “Brain Candy.”

But since 2000, they’ve come together every three or four years to do something, McDonald says, likening their run now to “a B-movie version of Monty Python’s career.”

“I don’t refer to it as a reunion but as a relapse,” joked Foley, raised in Toronto, whose other credits include the “NewsRadio” series, “Hot in Cleveland” and “Celebrity Poker Showdown.”

” Yes. It’s a relapse. In a way, we’re drinking again and it feels good,” McDonald added.

“Between those three or four years, I look forward to it all the time. And I’m never disappointed. I always think ‘Oh, we’re funny. Oh, we love each other and get mad at each other the same way we always do. ‘”

As long as there are no mirrors in the room, they always feel like they are still “angry 20-something comedians,” Foley said.

McDonald’s agreed.

“Even when we’re about to watch the edit and I’m about to see a scene with Dave and I, I imagine I’m going to see skinny crazy-haired Kevin and young Dave – and I’m still shocked ,” McDonald added. “I’m always shocked when I see pictures of us and we don’t look like we did. »

Says Foley: “Because we still act like we did. »

-With files from Sadaf Ahsan

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 3, 2022.

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