The Kids in the Hall return and I couldn’t be happier. They were what I was watching when some of you all were forming life-long obsessions with the Disney Afternoon and pop rap. Such is the early stages of a comedy nerd. You spend your time hunting down fan groups, VHS rips and someone’s cam of a Q&A where a joke landed. All the while building to the time when your favorite groups return. By the grace of Jim Biederman, The Kids in the Hall return this Friday.
Let’s be honest…the first episode of the Kids in the Hall return was a little off
Returning to your comedic roots after a 27 year absence meant that The Kids in the Hall were due one shaky episode. Honestly, Episode 1 wasn’t that bad. It just felt closer to the ‘off’ sense that fans felt with Death Comes to Town and other projects. It’s that same feeling when you don’t hear Jim Henson’s voice coming out of Kermit the Frog. It just felt wrong.
You have Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald showing dong, the corporate guys padding out the framing device and not enough Mark McKinney as our lord Satan. From there, the tone just started matching up to what we know. Jokes landed, fan favorite characters naturally returned and we got to hear Shadowy Men playing the theme again. Suddenly, it was like the economy wasn’t that badly on fire and there weren’t product shortages everywhere.
By the time you start hearing Brand New Key, it sinks in…
There was a time somewhere near the end of the third season and start of the fourth season where The Kids up’d their game. The production value was going insane and nearly bankrupting everyone to make a mini-movie about sausages. But, in between the peak comedy, there were these character moments that allowed the troupe’s writing to match with their best acting abilities.
When you fire up Episode 3, they lure you in with the framing device of Dave Foley playing Brand New Key on a loop in a bunker. You don’t know what’s going on, what year it is or even the context. But, he’s doing this morning DJ routine and then syncing back into the reality of this Apocalyptic nightmare. The rest of the troupe gets to slip into their comedy, but somehow everytime we visit Foley, it just keeps getting worse.
The only thing that brings him out of the terrible funk that might be the last few hours of his life is the Melanie record skipping. Foley is playing a guy who has grown accustomed to the grim shadow of death and is using memories of Morning Drive Time DJs just to pass the time until the power goes out and it’s over. The way he positions his face and the way the show jumps back to him in between comedy bits is why The Kids in the Hall return matters so damn much.
Dave Foley is the MVP of the Kids in the Hall return
Everyone has a favorite Kid. I like all of them. Honestly, Scott is the best actor. Dave has the best timing and screen presence. Bruce has vision and can play kids super well. Kevin is the straight man and Mark excels at the weird. But, between the Shakespeare bust coming to life, the Doomsday bunker stuff, Bar Man and literally everything else…you can feel in your bones how natural it was to return.
From what was presented to AndersonVision to watch of The Kids in the Hall return, I found myself wanting to see more Scott Thompson. Buddy Cole, Francesca Fiore and so many characters are just as important as the other guys. Plus, we get a great scene where Buddy meets the Queen. It just didn’t feel like it had the same hook as the others.
Also, if you enjoyed the Brain Candy references after watching the Kids in the Hall return, make sure to watch Comedy Punks. That’s a documentary about the Kids in the Hall that will start streaming on the same day the show makes its return. Divided into two parts, it’s pure golden catnip with some new information for fans.