We interrupt your regularly scheduled Kat in the Hall to bring you something different and far closer to home. The Kids in the Hall came to Edmonton, Alberta (May 19, 2015) to play in the Northern Jubilee Auditorium. I would have loved to have more pictures of the sketches especially with how close I was (first row) but I got caught up in watching the show which is infinitely more important. Pictures are courtesy of their respective owners. Thanks folks!
Although the live show was a mixture of old and new sketches we did get a few sketches we’ve already covered on this blog:
The new sketches were brilliant and up to the high quality we saw in the five years of the show.
After the cut there will be discussion of the show including details about the new sketches, if you’re going to be seeing the show or don’t want spoilers then it’s best to skip it until that’s not an issue. The videos I’ve linked to are all from other cities performances and will be replaced if I find Edmonton ones.
You can still get tickets and I highly encourage you to do so. Check out KITHtour2015.com for the remaining tour dates and ticket information.
Monday, we’re back on track with episode 1×17: vampire fags, mass murderers and the Head Crusher returns.
Big thank you to my beloved Chris ❤ for everything, especially pictures when I had no idea he was taking them and Amanda Tonnessen who is awesome and uploaded so many live sketches to youtube and reassured me that I would be ok and meeting Bruce would be awesome.
Photo: Ian Kucerak/Edmonton Sun
The show opened with Guys in Wedding Dresses and it set the tone for the entire evening. There was a LOT of “corpsing” going on in this live show which delighted me beyond all else. The term “Corpsing” comes from breaking character when you’re playing a corpse but expands into grinning or laughing when you aren’t supposed to. Another term that means the same, that I’ll use interchangeably is “breaking”. Dave was the first to break as the five of them stood in Wedding Dresses explaining why they wear wedding dresses. This only briefly paused the action though and they continued on to wild applause and whistles of approval. Edmonton loves Kids in the Hall (after all we have a bistro with the same name and a gay club called Buddy’s which could be a coincidence; probably isn’t.)
Next up, with virtually no pause (since he was wearing a shirt under his wedding dress) was Kevin, back on stage to tell everyone all about the Kids in the Hall through song and dance!
From here the show starts to mingle together and there’s no way I can go sketch by sketch like I would a normal episode.
So, instead, highlights of sketches!
Gordon & Fran (Bruce and Scott) do a stage version of Salty Ham. I’ve read critics say that Bruce is doing a more aggressive Gordon and if that’s true I’m not sure what he was playing in the televised version. Bruce broke multiple times and as the sketch switches from Gordon being the aggressor to Fran taking the role Bruce was sitting there almost full-out laughing. Even the burping at the end was funny, something I usually wouldn’t find funny but it worked just because Bruce was treating the Gordon character as a big child by the end.
Next, a new sketch that revolved around a mother (Bruce) and a father (Mark) of a new baby and their friends Dave and Kevin coming to visit. Dave plays the most baby-crazy person I’ve ever seen until he actually holds the baby and it’s not at all what he was hoping for. The sketch I’ve linked to doesn’t end the same way we saw it. How we saw it: The interaction between couples escalates and escalates, each group trying to make the other laugh to the point where Mark finally pulls his shirt off and throws it to the floor. This action will be brought back to my attention later on.
References to food culture, tweeting and other things that didn’t exist in 1990 popped up in a few sketches but one moreso than the others. It reminded me of the “dipping pools” sketch but modernized. If I was forced to choose one sketch that I didn’t like as much as all the others it would be this one, a restaurant tart/pie sketch where the server (Mark) would rather set himself on fire than allow a patron to call a tart, a pie. It was still very funny, though.
Buddy was there as one of the few regular characters from the TV show (Gavin being the other) and Scott did, in my opinion, probably his best Buddy sketch and it revolved around bullying. It was a play off the “it gets better” message and his advice was to eroticize pain and that it gets bitter. It was great seeing the audience react when the stage hands brought out two stools and the martini glass. Even in the dark we all knew who would be appearing when the lights came back up.
The Gavin sketch was great although I’m starting to suspect that someone does some black magic for Bruce to STILL look like an 8 year old kid. The jokes about what Gavin was were numerous and there was mention of him being “on the spectrum,” something else modern. My only complaint was that the blocking for this sketch was either poor to begin with or off completely because it was hard to see Bruce or most of Dave from the right side of the stage (stage left) because of where Kevin was standing. That was the only sketch that suffered from that particular issue though.
Country Doctor sketch which I talked about previously benefited greatly by being on stage. They were able to light up each side of the stage separately to represent two different rooms. While Scott and Kevin kept very similar characters to the televised sketch Death was jazzed up considerably (there was jazz music) and there was a strange, yet awesome homoerotic subtext between Bruce’s character and Dave’s doctor character.
Special mentions for Dave reiterating his positive attitude towards menstruation and a new sketch that involved Dave having an imaginary girlfriend who he believes is cheating on him. Kevin then imagines this imaginary girl is in love with him. For a sketch that consisted of only two guys and two chairs it was excellent; very imaginative. Then there was the Comfortable sketch, the original linked here on the Nerdist network. Just pretend it’s on a stage and Scott is putting WAY MORE into his action. It was fun cheering for the table to break. It didn’t in Edmonton, it jumped forward a foot or so but it did break in past cities.
A new sketch comes in, probably my favourite new sketch called Super Drunk! A superhero parody with Bruce playing the Superhero Super Drunk! with his trusty sidekick the Bartender (Dave). Scott played the damsel in distress, Mark was the bad guy and Kevin did a great job as the narrator. Super Drunk’s catch phrase: “Hey, what are you lookin’ at?” I could watch this sketch over and over again. Setting: Spring break. Tequila + the worm + astroglide = super powers.
Running Faggot ended it, if I remember correctly and was the knockdown best musical piece. It began as a combination of “Oh-dee-doh” guys Mark and Bruce (who are feeding their tapeworms). This turned to “These are the Daves I Know,” complete with “Dave Foley, I hardly know him” and finally trickling into Running Free. This time the Rednecks did all they could break Scott with overly long noises and being as close as they could to his face. It was the same fabulous sketch with the added bonus of Scott acting angry each time the word “Faggot” was said.
The show seemed to end there, then Bruce came back on stage to thunderous applause. Bruce is originally from Edmonton even if he spent a good amount of time growing up in Calgary and the love showed. He said a few words and told a little anecdote about arriving back. Throughout the sketches there were local mentions, all of them said by Bruce. Then he said they wanted to do one more sketch for us.
Now, I knew just from reading about the tour that Head Crusher was the encore. Dave even shot the encore with his phone and played it live on Periscope. The newest Head Crusher sketch is made up of some basic parts. Introduction to the audience with his camera, crushing some heads, crushing all the heads of those in the “shitty seats” and then picking out some people here and there for laughs. There were a group of bald people in the audience only a few rows away from the stage and he pointed them out, proclaiming them perfecting crushing heads! He crushed their heads and started to walk across the stage towards the right side where I was sitting. Then it got really awesomely awkward for me. I know on at least one other tour (Tour of Duty, which is on Youtube here) that Mark picks someone and does a line of “Stop it! Stop it! Stop falling in love with me” while pointing the camera at someone. He pointed it at me.
I didn’t freeze up, somehow! I would really, really love to see video of it but for now take my meager description. He (this is where the line between Tyzic and Mark erodes away) was all self-deprecating including the line, I’m paraphrasing, “did you see me take my shirt off earlier? Why would you fall for that? What is wrong with you?!” I hope I was at least a tiny bit funny in my reactions. I do remember he said something about sparing me, not crushing my head and I acted all sad and hung my head. When I looked up, yay head-crushing! Then the rest of the Kids were marched on stage and each had to pay for their crimes. This gives you an idea:
The Meet and Greet
One of the interesting things in this tour was the inclusion of Meet & Greet VIP tickets. The tickets were roughly double the price but you were guaranteed a very good seat and the opportunity to meet Bruce, Dave, Kevin, Mark and Scott. This option wasn’t available every stop along the tour but it was in Edmonton. When the encore ended we waiting behind; roughly two rows of people waiting. Now here’s the thing, Meet and Greets are great and they can be fun and worth the money. It was worth the money, don’t get me wrong, but I wish I had taken the chance of waiting outside the stage door to meet them all there. There was a formality to the meet and greet that reminded me of big media convention: stand here, line up here, one camera per group. I know why they do this, it’s to make sure everyone has their turn and that’s fine, it’s efficient but it’s not the atmosphere I necessarily want to meet them in. It kind of forces people to move at a certain pace. That said, I got to meet all five of the Kids in the Hall and the last thing I want to seem is ungrateful for that opportunity.
First thing I learned: Bruce is the sweetest guy.
I try really hard when I’m reviewing episodes to not play favourites but Bruce is definitely my favourite. I was worried about meeting him. I shouldn’t have been. Since Chris, my partner (the tall guy in the background) is so well, tall, he immediately was pulled to the back with Mark, Scott and Kevin. I was whisked between Bruce and Dave. Yay! I was nervous enough that I didn’t even remember to introduce myself until I heard introductions going on behind me. I squeaked out, “I’m Kat” and got “Hi Kat” from both sides back and a little hug from Bruce who had his arm around me for the picture.
We stuck around after our photo to get my messenger bag (Bag of Inspiration) signed after everyone had pictures taken. I call it my Bag of Inspiration because it serves as a tangible reminder to keep going, to stay inspired to keep being weird. All the bands on it have shown that to me as well as the Mark Sheppard autograph and now all the Kids.
It well well, despite being less awkward this time I still forgot to mention this blog to any of them. I really appreciate my friend Andre telling them and I can only hope that word of mouth keeps the blog going.
It was a perfect experience even with my little criticisms about myself. After the show they gave I would have completely understood any of the guys being tired or cranky; but they weren’t. They were all amazing. They’ve been Kids in the Hall for a long time (thirty years at least!) and as time goes on stuff changes, that’s how life works. Things are changing for the better, and if the interviews are to be believed the guys have a better relationship now than they did in the past.
They even seemed to notice our enthusiasm:
I hope if you want to meet them, you get the chance and they are as fabulous to you as they were to me.