Season 1, Episode 4
Airdate: Tuesday November 14th, 1989
Watch along on youtube: HERE.
- Deja Vu!
- Apollo the Rude (Asshole)
- Daves I Know – on the Nerdist Channel with Bruce and Mark
- Menstruation – on the Nerdist Channel with Dave and Kevin
- House Rules
- The Dinner
- Sick of the Swiss
- Country Doctor
The cold open is the strangest yet with Bruce and Scott fighting in a back alley with not bad choreography since I assume they didn’t have that much professional help with it. The fight goes on to end with a look to camera and “Deja vu, eh?” I love how the audience is silent through the fight and doesn’t laugh until the punchline is delivered. Even four episodes in the Kids in the Hall are willing to take the risk of an opening skit that is so off the wall that it garners silence until BAM! the punchline hits. In fact this episode is a good example of how the audience even four episodes into their first season seems to roll with the punches of the strange skits. It’s interesting to note that the audience is laughing in interesting spots throughout this episode, but when they laugh it’s loud, hearty laughter.
The next sketch sometimes called “Apollo the Rude” and other times called “Asshole” features Kevin, Scott and Mark and focuses on how Apollo, Mark’s character, is coming across to Kevin’s character as a complete jerk. Scott’s character is oblivious. It’s interesting how the audience quickly takes Kevin’s character’s side. We’ve all met guys like Mark’s character that seem to us, to be complete jerks but everyone else just ignores or isn’t offended by what they say. When Kevin finally loses it, the audience goes nuts cheering. There’s also some interesting little easter eggs in these episodes in the form of the picture with “Kids in the Hall” written above it on the back wall over Apollo’s shoulder and a green poster for “Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet” next to it. Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet provided the theme tune for the show and acted as the house band during recordings.
When the KITH were playing the Rivoli, one of the things that some of the members felt was important was not reusing material or characters. This meant that even if only five people came to see the show, the material from that week was scrapped and new material was put out the next week. Obviously this is silly and unrealistic for a television show and that’s what makes recurring characters so important. This is the first episode that doesn’t feature recurring characters. This episode does, however, feature the first Bruce song with his trademark repetitive and catchy style. “Daves We Know” also features on his first album Shame Based Man (1995). As Bruce says in the Nerdist interview linked above and repeats it in many other interviews, he thought less of comedy growing up and preferred music. Blending the two seemed the natural progression.
The Country Doctor sketch, a long sketch at almost 7 minutes, is a full cast ensemble (Mark is in the grim reaper outfit) and has a Doctor Who connection! Martha, Kevin’s character says the doctor will arrive after “All Creatures Great and Small” is over and of course Peter Davison played Tristan in that show. As a Whovian I can’t help but play “seven degrees of Doctor Who” whenever possible. Between Dave’s amazingly weird country doctor character and Scott’s great lines as an ill Frank at the beginning “I need to go out and plant the sheep Martha!” we see a properly strange Twilight Zone twist on Little House on the Prairie. Although planting sheep just makes sense, how else do you get a crop of wool if you don’t plant the sheep first? It’s only appropriate to end the sketch with a grim reaper eating the apple pie. Does this mean he got his ‘just desserts’?
Fashion isn’t usually important to me but let’s take a moment to look at what Bruce is wearing. I completely understand this is the 90s, a bit of forgiveness is in order, but when did pants THAT high exist? Recently, Bruce did a Reddit AMA (Ask me Anything) and I couldn’t resist asking a fashion question based mostly on this outfit, what was he thinking?
The screenshot speaks for itself and as an aside, the more I research the Kids in the Hall the more I realize how approachable they all are. With the exception of Kevin, they all have twitter* and regularly interact with fans. Kevin does multiple comedy workshops and works with up-and-coming comedians on writing sketches. In addition, the twitter account @KithOnline offers updates on all the Kids as individuals and as a troupe.
As we didn’t have any recurring characters this episode, what character would you like to see from these sketches in a future Kids in the Hall project? Apollo? Martha and Frank? Leave a comment.