The Kids in the Hall
Looking back, I don’t know why I fell in love with The Kids in the Hall.
It was goofy. It was funny. It was the best television I had ever watched, and it’s still in the top three, with The Office and Deadwood.
Deconstructing the love, I find a few basic high points. First, I love sketch comedy. I remember watching Saturday Night Live way before anyone else I knew was watching it, I had built a love of all things British through Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and I embraced the short lived but highly funny The State on MTV.
Second, it was Canadian, which fit along with a personal joke of mine: I used to tell people who didn’t know me that I was Canadian, from the fictitious town of Three Sisters, Manitoba. It wasn’t funny in its own right, but the reactions were pretty humorous. It seems silly now. Trust me, it was awesome back in high school.
With these two simple factors, I’m surprised I didn’t find the show sooner.
It took me until my freshman year of college to start watching The Kids in the Hall. It turns out that, from 1998 through 2000, The Kids in the Hall was experiencing its high point – a renaissance of Canadian sketch comedy that resulted in a heavy rotation of Comedy Central syndication – an hour every weekday with occasional shows in the evening – and a reunion tour.
There was something edgy, something incredibly brilliant, about The Kids in the Hall. This wasn’t the typical sketch comedy – in the vein of SNL or Mad TV. There was no reliance upon current events or recurring characters. The characters that did recur were more fleshed out, not dependent upon a silly catch-phrase or a marketable image. This was smart television writing.
Today’s The Kids in the Hall fans are also Mr. Show fans. They fondly remember the weird, yet beyond funny sketches from The State. They miss what The Upright Citizens Brigade could have become. They latched onto Dave Foley’s News Radio and wondered aloud how the rest of the group could disappear so quickly.
These days, there wouldn’t be a reunion. The Kids in the Hall has passed its peak. But, for those of us who missed the original run, we were alive during the best era for The Kids in the Hall – an era where everyone realized what they had missed the first time around and sought out the show wherever they could. Those of us who saw the live show, who still have the t-shirt, who would buy the The Kids in the Hall DVD Box Set if it wasn’t so damned expensive, we have memories to tide us over.
Oh yeah, and this – the reason I wrote this post in the first place: The Kids in the Hall on YouTube. And lots of it.
(Thanks to Jess at HeatEatReview.com for making a quick mention of it during her review of Amy’s Kitchen Cheese Lasagna. Within seconds, I was frantically wasting my day.)