Kat in the Hall: 1×15

Episode 15: Airdate: Tuesday April 10, 1990

The Sketches

Recurring Characters

Buddy Cole

Buddy Cole

Mississippi Gary

Mississippi Gary


The episode leads off with Death Row, a sketch that earned itself a fan favourites commentary on the special features of the first season DVD. It’s not a very long commentary but it does mention the fact that Mark is playing Melanie with braces for the first time. As far as I could tell she is the only named character in this sketch, Kevin may be playing a version of one of his later characters but I couldn’t find a name for her. Scott is in the sketch too, a picture of him behind bars is held up by Bruce, described as the guy “with the unpredictable smile.” The whole sketch reminds me the slumber party from the movie Grease, if smaller and more high school production. It’s shot from only a couple angles and this works well for it. It also makes the characters seem younger, given Dave (the youngest) is 27 in this sketch and he still seems so much younger.

Remember how I talked about Mississippi Gary, blackface and my dislike of the sketch and the character? Well “White Guy” is sort of his origin story. The character is no longer in blackface and switches between his normal way of speaking, a rather rich sounding American accent and the put on accent of a Southern blues musician. In the stage production Vermont will be changed to Ontario. I love the lighting, atmosphere and the music in this sketch and the way the character gets into the music. I’m not the biggest Blues fan but I like a bit of it and when Joe Cocker died in 2014 I saw a few articles (like this one) remembering him. In these articles talk eventually shifting to appropriation and appreciation and looking at the differences. Ten years after this sketch aired the Onion hit the nail on the head with this article: Affluent White Man Enjoys the Blues and Causes the Blues. The Kids in the Hall have brought up topics that are still just as topical now as they were in 1990.

To rejection!

To rejection!

Speaking of topical… Bruce and Dave are two rich suave guys straight out of a film noir that probably get coated in more alcohol than they drink. It’s a simple sketch, made simpler by the PITCHER of martinis the woman pours (yes, I know it’s water doubling for gin/vodka but in a pitcher? Where is this mysterious place I can buy martinis by the pitcher?!) Simple and a good example of a comedy duo switching the straight man role back and forth as necessary between themselves. In my opinion, Dave and Bruce are the best of the Kids when it comes to making talking funny so this whole thing plays to their strengths. When Dave asks rhetorically if it’s a crime to love all women and Bruce says, rather deadpan, that yes it is in some places, Dave’s surprised and slightly worried expression is great. I think because they are both a bit pitiful it makes sense to have a woman bartender, which neither of them even look at the entire sketch. When Dave’s martini is poured at the beginning, keep an eye at how he doesn’t even acknowledge her as he sticks the glass backward for her to put the olive in. They “love” all women except the ones pouring drinks, eh? Splashing each other with drinks in a great closer perhaps indicating they’re both horrible people. Watch the end of the sketch as the audience is applauding, you can see Bruce say “I was a little high wasn’t I?” referring to his drink throw and Dave grins and nods with, “a little high.”

Buddy’s back! Have you missed him?

This time he’s only momentarily in his bar setting before being whisked away. This sketch we’re treated to some desert island Buddy, complete with fake seaweed on his head with Oscar Wilde. I encourage you to read up on kith25Oscar Wilde and why this sketch works so well and how they wouldn’t be able to stand each other for more than ten minutes. While you’re at it, find a copy of Stephen Fry playing Wilde in the movie “Wilde”, it has Jude Law and Orlando Bloom in it. (Have a trailer.) Otherwise this sketch is Buddy being sassy with a historical character and not much more is necessary.

Captain Alan, aka Mark pretending to be a cop shows Scott as an actual police officer and Kevin as a lady’s man. One of these things doesn’t happen often in Kids in the Hall. I like the little twist at the end following the long and drawn-out “secret handshake” as it would have been a lot easier to just have the cop apologize, maybe salute and fall for his trick.

Seeing a sketch title like “The Mechanic” should bring about any number of comedic thoughts. Seeing that Kevin is the lead in this sketch, all those thoughts should go out the window because you can be pretty sure that whatever you’ve thought is tame comparatively. In truth, however, the tough, manly mechanic with the golden locks isn’t THAT weird. What’s weird is how normal it’s treated by the other guys in the shop. This sketch shoves aside all the typical stereotypes of a car shop and turns them on their head. This is the way we would want our fellow employees to treat our decisions. kith23Clearly he’s given the go ahead in the combing decision, as he refers to his hair as the “shops” hair but he’s not treated any differently. Why is that funny? His decision to turn down Vogue magazine is also funny, but why is it funny? Is this another sketch that is just funny on the surface, and as you dig into it you realize there’s a serious message there as well? How dare they make comments about society?

Additional things to point out:
1. Dave isn’t in this sketch, maybe because he is the cute/young/pretty one?
2. Kevin’s choice in accents for this is great.
3. I love the polaroid-style glamour shots at the end.

The last sketch is, I’m sure, every parent’s nightmare as curious stranger becomes crazy stranger. I struggle with what to write about this sketch because it’s good and there aren’t any huge failings that I can exploit for words. The wigs are okay, Dave’s is particularly good and one that I believe is reused for a couple of his characters later on. I’m unsure who the driving force behind the sketch is, it’s an absurd idea grounded in reality so it could be anyone’s idea or a group effort. The normal idea behind it has always bugged me. I’ve always felt people stopping to look at other babies is weird, only slightly weirder than people who feel the need to stop someone walking a dog and ask to pet it. Dave’s character is good enough to keep her purse in a way that lessens the chances of it being taken but she lets just anyone poke around her baby? Strange world. The best parts are the dry lines at the end between Mark and Bruce:

Bruce: I don’t think we’ll ever have a baby.
Mark: It’s God’s will.
Bruce: I feel empty.
Mark: You are.

It’s not really funny at all, it’s sad but we laugh. It’s a nice contrast to the silliness of asking how many miles are on a baby or if it leaks or anything.

Next episode the Helens are back and we also check in with the Secretaries and the new guy in the office.


Watch on youtube? Please purchase the box set when you are able. (amazon.com/amazon.ca/amazon.co.uk [NTSC])

Kat in the Hall: 1×14

Episode 14: Airdate: Tuesday April 3, 1990

The Sketches

Recurring Characters

Bobby & Laura

Bobby's Parents

Bobby’s Parents


Episode 14 is a Kevin heavy episode, which seems fitting given the Kids finally convinced him to join twitter (@kevinthekith) and as of the publishing of this he’s almost up to 4K followers! The Kids regularly call Kevin “the funny one” because he’s accidentally funny and in this episode he shows both his comedy chops and his flexibility working with the other Kids. He plays against Scott and Dave in two very different sketches. Dave and Kevin play off each other by bouncing back and forth. Dull Death is the perfect contrast of Dave taking no nonsense and giving no sympathy to a friend who clearly has died multiple times before, to Kevin who is experiencing something that any other person would find immensely interesting and getting no reaction in return.

For those that know of Jack Harkness and his secret, are his recountings of death boring? Once someone has died and come back a couple times would you want to still hear about it?

While Dave and Kevin bounce off each other, Kevin and Scott compliment and contrast each other. They never conflict but I don’t feel the same give and take as you do with Dave and Kevin. Nothing wrong with their style it’s just different. At times it almost seems like Scott is acting more like Kevin who is then playing a character, rather than creating something from scratch.

If my memory is correct, this is the first time we see Kevin and Scott paired up in a sketch without a third Kid. The editors are parodies but, (and I’m sure my editor friends will correct me if I’m wrong) editors this tyrannical do exist to some degree in real life. Maybe they can’t actually rip up fire hydrants in here but they can do so in books if the story calls for it. The names are clever, a play on the words will and won’t, and their outfits are entirely opposite each other except for the wigs. I should also point out that the wigs are horrible in this sketch, almost to the point of dragging me away from enjoying it.

From editors to teenage love, we’re back with Bobby and his parents only to find out that Laura broke up with him! Oh, young love! Bruce does over dramatic teenager almost too well, if his book is any indication I’m sure he’s drawing from his childhood at some point. I admire his acting ability to not corpse (break out of character) when he’s going off the rails each time his parents mention Laura’s name. The Kid with the most songs gets another one and it’s right up there with the poetry song we heard when Bobby and Laura first met.

kith20 copy

As an aside, does Laura look familiar to you? That’s Nicole de Boer aka Ezri Dax on Deep Space Nine and Sarah Bannerman on The Dead Zone!

I love Dave’s mother character, she’s so quiet without being a pushover. Contrast that with Mark’s father character with his minimal lines saying so much just by standing up and then sitting back down when the mother gestures for him to do so. His monotone, “I don’t like anybody” could have been met a number of ways and instead it’s just acceptance. this is a wife who has dealt with this quite sometime. Without over-analyzing the family dynamic too much it’s easy to see that Bobby isn’t scared of his father; this is a family where Mom reigns supreme both in discipline and support. Knowing the Kids didn’t have the best experiences with their dads I wonder if this is on purpose?

The Editors come in to break the scene and tote away the parents, this is my favourite kind of linking sketch.

Both the “I lied” sketch and the “I’m a Cat” sketch show Mark monologuing in different ways. Although we see the rest of the troupe at the end they’re only there to bring about a “Cats-esque” vibe to the whole thing. This is one sketch I’m completely fine with not seeing during the live show. The cat sketch is good and Mark’s hair is excellent but now in the age of the cat meme seems all the more relevant. Now I just need to see a cat doing this sketch as a human. I would have never placed Mark as a cat person, he seems too bouncy to be a cat. Maybe Scott as the cat, given Scott has always owned cats.

One of my favourite group “Vox pop” sketches is My Routine. It reminds me of A Bit of Fry and Laurie sketches and all the wonderful things British comedy can provide. Just the perfect amount of strangeness mixed with their own individual personalities and all finished by them all ending the same way. You could argue that they’re all successful in their own ways, except maybe Bruce’s character who seems more hobo than actual golfer. Kevin is the most successful and of all routines his is the most normal. The only odd thing about his is that he goes down to the morgue to read his newspaper. Otherwise he’s successful and stays in shape and helps Mark’s pyromaniac character.

Mark, however, should get an award for happiest burn ward patient. How many painkillers did they give him?

Schoolroom rounds the episode off nicely and with an appearance from Bellini! Bellini makes an appearance in this episode playing a student, one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” lines at the end.

“I can make it four, Mr. Bellini!”

Dave and Scott are playing “teacher” and “his girlfriend” but I like to think these two characters sparked or were the foundation for Francesca Fiore and Bruno Puntz Jones, lovers that will be introduced later on in season 2 also played by Scott and Dave.


It’s hard to tell when this is set, presumably around the Cold War given the references and the ‘accent’ that Scott is putting on, but despite knowing nothing about the time period or place we can really engage in the story. The sketch is very quotable and shows a twist to Dave’s acting ability, his ability to switch back and forth with and without a stutter. The stutter isn’t played for laughs but his boring voice and topic is and it’s done well. So well in fact that Kevin’s student character falls asleep with his hand up and then slowly brings it down later in the sketch. We can always rely on Scott to bring in the drama and this has great melodramatic lines to play with, like this one after Dave tries to keep going comparing their love and the Cold War and fails:

“Darling! Don’t talk to me of thermodynamics, talk to me only of love.”


The Editors quickly come in to edit themselves out (how very tidy!) and episode 14 comes to an end. I’m curious whether or not this was meant to be a Kevin-centric episode or if it just happened that way. The past few episodes have been relatively balanced, with the exception of Bruce, and now we have Kevin in almost every scene. I’m probably created conspiracy where there is none… thoughts? As always leave them in the comments!


Watch on youtube? Please purchase the box set when you are able. (amazon.com/amazon.ca/amazon.co.uk [NTSC])

Kat in the Hall: 1×13

Episode 13: Airdate: Tuesday January 30, 1990

The Sketches

Recurring Characters

Gerald and Gerald


I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been lonely at one point or another in our lives. Episode 13 begins with “Signs of Loneliness” a sketch that seeks to be informative while delivering a whopping, weird punchline at the end. If you missed the signs you might honestly believe that it wasn’t a comedy sketch. Although the set-up is a little silly and the audience is laughing (they know what’s coming) it’s not until the baby arrives that we get a good laugh. That’s a sentence I never thought I would write in my life, ever. Mark is narrating, something he does exceptionally well and Dave is playing that soft-spoken gentle guy that I believe is his best persona. The rude, sneering driver we’ll see later in Fat Hitch-hiker is the other one he plays well but this is just so darn, cute. Dave’s cute in this if a little bit whiny and quietly pleading with whomever is on the other end of the phone.

Cut to the reappearance of the Geralds and this time they’re networking! It’s worth noting that although Bruce gives his name as “Nick” he’s referred to as Gerald as well. Mark’s Gerald has apparently done this before and Bruce’s Gerald is new to the business side of things. He plays the role well, as we’ve seen his negotiating tactics in a previous episode and he seems like a fish out of water. How he doesn’t know what a business card is, is beyond me. Their love of professional sports is also legendary.

Dave: I cheer for all the local teams!
Bruce: Really? They’re not as good as they *used* to be, I hear.

(Reminds me of Sportsball)

The Kids are known for their love-to-taunt feelings towards businessmen and that is plastered all over this sketch like cheap hair product. The “overdoing it” guy, the “merger” guys and the dry line Scott delivers: “I’m going to go stand a few feet over there now” all succinctly hits how foolish networking parties are. Between this and the bird-like businessmen in the Mr. Stevenson sketch we are starting to get an idea that no one in the business world is safe from multiple angles of mocking.

Our linking sketch is Mark playing weird plausibly. One of the reasons I think Bruce and Mark work together so well is they each love big, weird characters and while Mark can play a character that is strange he can also play a normal character like the guy in this sketch in a way that you laugh, but you aren’t really sure why. He’s not doing anything funny, persay, but the repetition and persistence makes you chuckle. While researching for some of the sketches in this episode I found a great article about the Lopez sketch from TV Geek Army called, “The Kids in the hall Seek Out Lopez.” Give a read and let me know if you agree with their thoughts.

I’m of two minds about Fat Hitch-hiker. One, I like the premise but two I don’t like the content. It’s structurally funny but I know if I have to preface the word funny with anything except not or very, it’s not very funny. I’m guessing it’s a Kevin and Dave sketch and I admire Kevin playing a guy getting taunted like this. Kevin used to be the “fat kid” as a teenager and during the 1980s he lost a lot of weight. It was to the point where people were worried he was becoming anorexic, he wasn’t (as he explains on an episode commentary). I know I would have issues playing Kevin’s role in this or even jokingly playing Dave’s role when a very good friend was playing the role next to me. Maybe it’s just not my cup of comedy tea. I do love the face Dave pulls at the end though, a weird kind of non-committed sneer. There’s a great article about Kevin and running that runningmagazine.ca published May 5, 2013 where this sketch was mentioned.

The Donut Shop, whose proper title is No Regrets is a quick little sketch with a pretty simple message. Kevin wants all the donuts, Bruce thinks everyone is a pig, Mark tells him off (in a very absurd way) and Bruce for some strange reason agrees and goes back to his video game. Let’s be honest here, the best part of this sketch is Dave in the background with the strange hair and a small little teacup in his hand. Whoever decided that he should don that wig is a comedic genius.



Amongst the Lopez sketches with solo Mark comes solo Kevin with the Lamp. I’ve said before I don’t really like to say something is very typical of one of the Kids but this is Kevin’s forte. I admire his ability to do this whole monologue as though he’s talking on the phone, first to a woman and then to a child. It’s great to see how his mannerisms change depending on who he’s talking to. As ludacris as the premise is (the guy with only three fingers reached up to pull down a SEVEN FOOT, TWO HUNDRED POUND LAMP?) it’s really about a guy that no one likes and who leans on people too much. When a six year old, incredibly smart child, puts you on hold and then hangs up on you, maybe you have a problem? The fact that this guy is the boss of any group of people is astonishing to me since I can’t picture him moving up the corporate ladder at all.

“Oh, mom, by the way, I’m becoming an Indian woman.”

Indian Woman puts Scott in the spotlight and I watch it and find myself going back and forth between laughing (Johnny and Hadji? Really? I wonder where they got those names from…) and thinking how it reflects on culture today. I’m sure people feel like they grew up in the wrong culture, choosing to adopt the culture of somewhere else instead of what they may have been raised in but that is a choice. Being transgender is not a choice. Does this sketch offend people? Is it mocking being transgender in any way or the ease in which John becomes a woman? This whole sketch is a step beyond drag and into something else. I can’t comment beyond that but I welcome your thoughts. Even if I often don’t find Scott’s sketches as funny as the others they always, without fail, make me think. I applaud that in any performer.

Then we wrap with Lopez, who arrives home to see his house on fire. This is why I’m glad cellphones exist as now it’s easier to just call your friend when you arrive at his home and he doesn’t seem to be there. I do wonder if Mark’s character lost his job though, since he didn’t go to work. A perfect place for fanfiction…

We’ve now finished Disc 2 if you’re playing along at home on your mega-set. Favourite sketch? Opinions or comments? Have a favourite character that still hasn’t been introduced? Leave a comment!


Watch on youtube? Please purchase the box set when you are able. (amazon.com/amazon.ca/amazon.co.uk [NTSC])

Kat in the Hall: 1×12

Episode 12: Airdate: Tuesday January 23, 1990

The Sketches

Recurring Characters

Gordon and Fran

Gordon and Fran

Weston Esterhazy & Virgil

Kathie, Cathy and Tanya


First off, something awesome happened a few days ago that I’m still over the moon about. A friend of mine, Andre, went to see the taping of “Unmasked” a show hosted on SiriusXM at the Village Underground in New York and featured all five Kids. Andre offered one of his tickets to me. Obviously, flying out to New York for a taping isn’t realistic (even if I wish it WAS!) so I thanked him, told him how jealous I was but declined. Interrobang! ran an article about it and there’s a few clips to listen to on their page. Otherwise it looks like you need SiriusXM to listen. From everything I’ve heard and read, it was a fantastic show and all the guys were on top form. After the show they had time for pictures with the audience. A few days after Andre sends me a link to this picture:


Click to embiggen

It’s a bit hard to read even if you enlarge the picture but that sign says “Read The Kat in the Hall blog!” He originally wanted the guys to hold the sign but they told him he had to be in the picture. More importantly he explained what the blog was. He told the Kids in the Hall about my blog! From what he told me when I asked what they said in response, they were pleased and especially so because I’m Canadian. He also told them I’d be at the Edmonton show (May 19th) and would be doing the Meet & Greet. I know it isn’t realistic and I know it won’t happen, but it would be so nice for them to remember the blog when I meet them later this month. Regardless, thank you Andre!

Now onto episode 12!

We have a lot of recurring characters this episode and the first appearance of a future recurring character Ms. Ferguson played by Dave. She’s a strong, independent and snarky higher management type person for A.T.&Love who wants little to do with the other women that work for her. That said she seems to have a slightly softer side in this episode, reassuring Kathie about when she too “turned over”. As someone who’s worked as an admin assistant/type-all-the-things person I wish we had something to show how many words you’ve typed, I would have turned over a long time ago. It’s funny to see the parallels to a car turning over, being so excited and then after it happens there’s nothing. It seems like a huge moment for that brief second and then it’s just a number. Really like the sets for this sketch too, it’s a shame they downgraded for later “Secretary” sketches into a more cubicle style.

Mood Swing brings back Gordon and Fran, the Salty Ham family and this time we get to see somewhat of a playful side of Gordon. I refuse to believe he doesn’t know exactly what he’s doing the moment he starts bothering Fran while she’s in a good mood. At the end when he gets her to call his sister I see it as a little bit of an apology for what he did. Yes, Fran’s sister is the one on the short end of the stick but at least Fran isn’t in the bad mood anymore.

It’s a very real dynamic they’re playing with here and very likely something everyone who has been in a relationship with someone else would have encountered in their day-to-day lives. As an aside, I love that Gordon is eating crackers and Cheez Whiz. I wonder if the pickle was going to be incorporated somehow. Cheese and pickle, while being very British and to some degree very Canadian is more importantly, very tasty.

Billy Dreamer parts 1 & 2 seems so very Kevin and Dave. I don’t really like to label something as being “very so and so-esque” but I’ve done it quite a few times already. This is weird with a side order of, what was that? Have you ever daydreamed about something slightly better than what you already have? What’s the point of daydreaming if you don’t go big? The sky isn’t even the limit; there is no limit! I will admit Kevin plays the character well and his ability to pull funny faces is given it’s time to shine. On one of the commentaries Kevin remarks how one of the directors didn’t like him and told him to “stop pulling funny faces all the time,” Kevin gets upset and replies, “but that’s what I do!” He does do it well though.

It should be known that of all the Kids, Dave is the one that actually knows how to play guitar. Bruce learned how to play a bit of bass when he got older and I believe Mark can play piano but Dave is the guitar played. Knowing this, the sketch is a lot funnier especially as he tunes the string tighter and tighter until it snaps. I wince every time the string snaps, partially because of the sound and partially because thanks to horror movies I have a fear of one of those strings snapping and whipping someone in the eye. I’ll give Dave credit, he doesn’t flinch when they snap.

“Nope, for me, rock’n’roll music, and excuse me if this is corny, just gives off too many bad vibes.”

There’s elements of the Country Doctor character in this “Dave” character and I like it. I also like that the transcript for this sketch says that he: [breaks the guitar a la Pete Townshend.] Very specific.

From Pete Townshend to “Who’s Gay in Hollywood?” Weston Esterhazy & Virgil are back and this time they are discussing the celebs of the time who might, maybe, could be gay. I bounce around whether I like these two characters and it might just be the physical representation rather than the premise of the character that makes me uncomfortable. Mark and Scott do a wonderful job portraying them, especially because they look very different from their normal selves. I’ve never really thought of either of them as geeky at all (not compared to Dave, Kevin and Bruce at least, who seem to have their geekness about certain things very evidently on their sleeves.) It’s a very well put together sketch and one that includes all those little liability lines to make sure that no one sues for slander.

Then there Skoora the gentle shark who doesn’t want to maim you, but has to because she’s a shark. It’s in her nature! This was clearly a play on Jaws and the hysteria surrounding it and the fact that people honestly seem surprised that wild animals hunt humans when the humans tread on their turf. Why is that shocking? Hunters hunt! You can’t blame a wild animal for trying to get food or protecting its territory. It does a great job of dancing on the line of parody and just another good sketch. As another layer the guys are all playing themselves, or rather a version of themselves, using their own names.


Bruce and Scott as the two marine biologists who each lost an arm and an eye are great, how they keep helping each other as though they were one person. The gruesome newlywed couple also gets a mention if only for the make-up and special effects. I’ll also point out that the “special effects” ie. water and fake blood when Dave was being maimed by Skoora behind the bar were just cheap and crude enough that they worked really well. We don’t need to see Skoora, we gather all the information we need and imagine her in our minds.


Watch on youtube? Please purchase the box set when you are able. (amazon.com/amazon.ca/amazon.co.uk [NTSC])

Kat in the Hall: 1×11

Episode 11: Airdate: Tuesday January 16, 1990

The Sketches

Recurring Characters

Thirty Helens Return!

Thirty Helens Return!

Danny Husk

Pickings are slim on the internet today when it comes to videos from this episode. Therefore my gif of Danny Husk (who appears in about a dozen episodes) is still only an image.

Speaking of Attila the Gay German Lover, Mark first had this role in Brian’s Bombshell a little piece performed in the pilot. Not the pilot I reviewed, the full-length pilot. Attila is seen groping Brian (Gordon and Fran’s son) and Brian is rather enjoying it. I’ve always felt bad for Attila in this sketch because let’s be honest Scott’s character is jerk to him. The crying didn’t help either. Excellent dream/flashback sequence that seem to follow Scott wherever he goes. I just assume if there are flashbacks it’s probably Scott having them or it was his idea to have them. Just like the dream linked at the end of this post for #KITHursday.

If you want even more comedy, watch the sketch on Youtube with the auto-generated captions turned on. If you thought Attila couldn’t speak English before…

The first sketch of the episode “Night of the Living Dead” or “Zombies sketch” I’ve seen elsewhere (pretty sure I’ve seen that first title somewhere else) shows the hilarious side of zombies before Shaun of the Dead ever graced our screens. They just keep coming and the people being chased do an awful job at trying to stop them or kill them. This either comes from a deep love of zombie flicks or it’s poking fun at a favourite genre of mine. The makeup/costumes are really good, I wouldn’t say high production value but it’s a step above zombie parody of the time. It’s nice to see the Kids making sure they branch out into all the genres, nothing is safe from humour!

Thirty Helens Agree again, this time they have decreed that coleslaw deserves another chance. Personally, I’m not a fan of the overly mayo’d stuff but a nice vinegar-based coleslaw and we may have a winner. The Helens also turn their collective wisdom to travel and tourism and agree that Hawaii was better before. According to Helen Bryant it’s become very commercial. Good to know.

Dave and Bruce each get monologues in this episode, Dave’s a short and quippy little piece from the Gunslinger and Bruce’s sketch is… well, Bruce-like. If you’ve had a chance to listen to any of Shame Based Man or Drunk Baby Project (his two albums) you know his style and this is a dictionary definition of his style.

“Karen came over to my house and she was drunk. Drunk on love? NO! Drunk on gin! Which is quite different but sorta the same I guess; and, she announced that my job at the student employment center was all hokum and she said that she couldn’t see me anymore because her father had once been mean to her mum.”

The last two sketches are the meaty ones, in my opinion, and they introduce characters we will be seeing again: Danny Husk of A.T. & Love and Idiot Boy. Now, as far as I can remember, Idiot Boy is in one more sketch but Danny is in tons. I would dare say he’s right up there with Buddy for number of appearances. The only difference is Danny Husk can play well with others where Buddy can’t really. The whole “Under Control” Sketch is a good taunting of businessmen and their rigid ways like finishing a business meeting, which clearly is more important than leaving. Few lines speak better to the wordplay in this episode than these ones:

Kevin: “Gentlemen, let’s not panic. There is a bit of an incident a few floors down. The elevators are down and the stairs are… let’s call it ‘inaccessible’. Though I could just as easily say permanently destroyed.”
Everyone else: *panic*
Kevin: “Okay! Okay I’ll keep them inaccessible.”

Lastly, there’s the Barbershop sketch which is a sweet, weird and funny sketch. It’s like homemade apple pie that someone puts a ridiculously fake rubber snake it. You kinda start at it but you know right away it’s fake and instead of beating someone mercilessly because of it, you laugh and plot to get them back. That’s this sketch. Apple pie and rubber snakes.

This episode marks beyond the half-way point for this season and as I rewatch this season I can’t help but marvel at how much the guys haven’t changed. There’s been quite a bit of annoying, rude talk from people lately with KITH all over the news in response to their North American tour, saying how they’ve aged (that’s what people do) and how they don’t look the same as they did as kids. Ignoring the obvious that people do age, no matter what you try to do to avoid it, the guys’ wit is the same here in season 1 as it is now in 2015; 25 years after these shows aired.

Take a minute and let that sink in, then watch this interview with Dave, Bruce and Scott recorded April 24, 2015 on CBC – Studio Q. They haven’t aged a bit.

Every Thursday is #KITHursday – put on by the wonderful @rmiriam on twitter.


Watch on youtube? Please purchase the box set when you are able. (amazon.com/amazon.ca/amazon.co.uk [NTSC])

Kat in the Hall: 1×10

Episode 10: Airdate: Tuesday January 9, 1990

The Sketches

Recurring Characters

Nobody Likes Us Guys

Nobody Likes Us Guys


It seems episode nine is a popular episode for TV re-runs and episode ten seems to be popular for Youtube and the Nerdist channel who have three of the sketches from this episode up on their feed with interviews. As always I encourage you to watch the interviews if you’re at all interested in behind the scenes stuff.

Like episode nine, this episode features another technical sketch in two parts with McGuillicutty and Green, then McGuillicutty and Kurosawa. The sketch takes apart the parts of the double act, the ‘straight man’ and the ‘comic’. Often a double act differs in some way, gender or personality, sometimes even social status. Often during one sketch and another the two roles may switch if necessary. The straight man is often humourless and often sets up jokes for his partner to take and run with. This sketch shows what happens if one of those parts (in this case the straight man) doesn’t work on stage or better yet is too humourless. IT also shows how easy it is to switch the roles. Dave plays the straight man and he’s great at it for all the same reasons he was fantastic as the guy who wanted to die in the house he was born in the last episode. This time instead of normal with an edge of twisted, we see a guy who doesn’t quite understand how jokes work or perhaps knows how they work all too well. The twist is we start to laugh at the comic (Kevin) because of his frustrations with, what could be called the “straightest straight man ever.” They also twist and mangle the “Who’s on First” joke by Abbott and Costello in a very Dave way with such an innocent and understanding voice.

Roughly the same is demonstrated in the second sketch with McKinney as Kurosawa, this time playing off ethnicity. I’m not sure the second part was needed and could have just ended with Kevin pulling Dave off-stage in the first one.

Hoopla, aside from being a sorely under used word, brings us back to a whole troupe sketch and Bruce playing the aggressor as the supposed security guard. This sketch isn’t memorable, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. I would never say that “Hoopla” is a favourite sketch but when it comes on screen at the beginning of the episode I’m very happy to watch it. It’s quick, it’s clever and shows a more low-key attitude from the Kids (minus Bruce). The guys all look very young here, maybe amplified by the fact that they’re wearing normal clothes and they’re in a sedate setting. The only thing that seems strange to me is that it’s Mark, Kevin and Scott sitting at the table. For some reason I always think Scott is in the getaway car and Dave is at his spot at the table in the diner. It’s an interesting spin on a heist and the fact that it’s salt instead of money he’s stealing just makes it.

The drunk brothers come over at three in the morning and Theresa their sister is the perfect welcome mat for them to walk all over. People like this really exist and maybe that lends to the humour and maybe it’s funny because it’s easy to relate to. This is the sketch that really made me want to jump through the screen and demand better wigs, because the wigs are awful. It’s a strange thing to nitpick about but even for outcasts like the ones Scott and Bruce are playing, that hair just doesn’t suit them. Mark, however, playing Theresa has a fine wig and it’s just the right amount of disheveled for someone who just got woken up early in the morning.

I mean, should we abandon this food, just ’cause it’s fallen through the cracks of so-called, “normal society”?

They make us question what is garbage, maybe even asking us to question our own opinions and beliefs about certain classes of people. Mark shows that he doesn’t need to say a word to get meaning across. He doesn’t say a single word through the whole sketch and yet manages to interact with Bruce and Scott quite easily and push the plot along. The whole sketch is a great lesson in “less is more” for actors.

MacIntyre Name is weird comedy at it’s finest but that’s all I have to say on the matter.

One Step at a Time is… a sketch. I’m sorry I really struggled with finding something I like about this sketch but I can’t seem to find anything. The ending is the truly troublesome bit for me, why is Dave’s character crying? The laughing I understand and Scott’s character crying makes perfect sense given he lost his girlfriend but why is Dave crying? It’s lost on me, feel free to enlighten.

From questionable crying we move to the reappearance of the “Nobody Likes Us” guys and an extremely catchy little song. Go ahead and watch this sketch and then tell me you’re not at least humming the tune. It’s no wonder the bus breaks out into song. I must have watched these out of order the first time around because I swore this sketch was their introduction and the Bank sketch was their second. I think the song makes a great introduction, as much of an introduction as can be had with these two. The story behind the Nobody Likes Us characters that I gave a brief explanation about a post or two ago is nicely summarized by Kevin and Dave in the interview post-sketch I’ve linked above.

Lastly we come to a sketch I’ve wrongly called Blue Moon. Oh, Three for the Moon, you are a perfect stage sketch but do you translate very well for television? I’m not quite sure it does. The sketch was conceived at the Loose Moose in Calgary, Alberta (it’s still operating and only three hours from me by car) when Mark and Bruce were a part of the Audience, the troupe they had before they became part of the Kids in the Hall. It was a staple sketch and was enhanced by the available lighting setup where they could achieve a blue wash. I’m not sure TV can replicate that and it looks nice but it’s lacking some of that theatrical charm. The sketch is focused around first Mark and then Bruce’s poetry about the moon, landing on Dave who somehow, in a very “Dave way” as Mark says, squeaks through with a comment about who owns the moon. Heavy, man. Mark really shines in this sketch taking on a French poet-esque character with rather impressive ear jewelry to boot. I like the contrast between each character, romantic and free spirit to aggressive and political to Dave who doesn’t seem to fit in at all with his normal clothes. Whether they meant to or not it’s a nice message about uniting under the same thing.

This is the first episode so far that has had some highs and lows in it for me. Let me know what you think!

Next post on Thursday brings us episode 11 and to the halfway mark of season 1! We’ll meet more of the staff at A.T & Love, Danny Husk returns and more Helens!


Watch on youtube? Please purchase the box set when you are able. (amazon.com/amazon.ca/amazon.co.uk [NTSC])

Kat in the Hall: 1×09

Episode 9: Airdate: Tuesday January 2, 1990

The Sketches

Recurring Characters

Kathie, Cathy and Tanya

Preacher Character

Weston Esterhazy & Virgil


So long 1989, hello 1990! Let’s celebrate by dying in the house we were born in, talk behind co-workers backs, explore our inner preacher characters and talk about some celebrities.

Stereotypical, over-the-top and weird characters are great sources of humour and the Kids in the Hall do them all very well and with seemingly no effort. Sometimes though, a simple deadpan character doing something persistently strange is always a treat. Dave does ordinary so well. He doesn’t need crazy costumes or funny voices to portray weird. instead he goes from just another guy you might meet on a street to one you could still meet on the street but you really hope you never do. This could be taken as an insult to the other Kids but one of the great qualities about the troupe is they all have their strengths which compliment and contrast the other members. Just as Scott can play overly masculine characters and old ladies extremely well, Dave takes a normal guy and twists him just enough.

The three parts of “A Place to Die” talk about the characters obsession with dying in the house he was born. This obsession logically translates into an obsession with dying soon to make sure the first part occurs. Although the first two links are funny, it’s not until Kevin’s character comes in and amps it up with some good old-fashioned physical comedy (complete with obvious dummy) that I really enjoy the sketch.

Now, “Secretaries” often called “Receptionists” is a whole troupe endeavour, we’re just setting the foundation right now. We’ll see Dave and Kevin’s office characters in later sketches.

More than once I’ve heard Bruce McCulloch say in interviews that Kathie was his favourite female (possibly favourite overall) character. Maybe it’s because she’s such a well-rounded character. Both Kathie and Cathy are strong female characters, even if Kathie is often worried about her weight, and Cathy talks about others behind her back. In fact, those kind of worries and flaws make them more human. There’s a foundation in Kathie based on Bruce’s sister but the flourishes and assertiveness, characteristic of Bruces’ characters, ground her as a solid character that exists in her own reality. Like Mr. Tyzic (Headcrusher) or Buddy she knows who she is and no matter what the world throws at her she’s able to respond to it. Cathy helps pick her up as good friends do even if it’s at Tanya’s expense. Speaking from experience office environments can be extreme and not at all healthy.

I don’t think anyone would argue that there’s unhealthy behaviour in this office but looking past that there’s the fact that it’s supposed to be humourous and not based entirely in reality. Still there are elements of this sketch that are positive both in and out of character. In the interview following this sketch on the Nerdist Channel, Bruce mentions (I’m sure Scott would agree if he was there) enjoying this sketch because he gets to relate to Scott on a lighter level. Unlike Kevin and Dave who have that kind of connection in many sketches we don’t often get to see Scott and Bruce playing against each other.

“All you gotta do is look down to the southern United States, you can see that televangelists and preachers are fast eclipsing rock and roll musicians as the drug-poppin,’ tax-weaselin,’ prostitute-pumpin’ bad boys of pop culture!”

The Preacher character sketch is a fabulous example of exploring a character by explaining a character. Many comedians have a preacher or over the top religious character and they can walk the line of too much; not funny and not enough; not funny. I would be curious to see other Kids do the same sketch with their own preacher character just to see the difference in approaches. Feel free to recommend other sketches that have this kind of approach, related to Kids in the Hall or not.

Weston and Virgil. I have tried so hard to like these characters. I try and I try and understand why they’re funny but it’s a pain for me to watch them. Maybe it’s because I know people like this and maybe it’s because they are such parodies of nerdy dweebs that try to act cool, whatever the case it’s not a sketch I can relate to or watch over and over. As one commenter put on YouTube, he’s still more attractive than Perez Hilton. I think that’s a given. I do like their friendship though and I’m always a sucker for a sketch with Scott and Mark. Like Kevin and Dave they are able to play off each other very well and their similarities make up for a stronger back and forth. Nice to see the sketch dated by the Rob Lowe mention as well as the pictures on the wall behind them both.

Teddy Bears’ Picnic is such a sweet little sketch with actors in roles we haven’t seen them play very much. We don’t often get Scott as the kid, usually he plays the father to Dave or Bruce’s kid role, although he is in bed so that helps with the height factor. He does an amazing job and hits whiny and annoying just enough without going overboard. I love the basic idea of a kid picking a kid’s story apart, (very realistic) and questioning a parent about something they’ve told them. Always question authority, kids. I’ll be the first to admit when I hear the Teddy Bears’ picnic I asked the same question about their bedtime; 6 o’clock, really?

Dave brings his usual attractiveness in a wig and dress to the sketch (he looks down right glamourous) and plays naive wife to Bruce’s stories. I enjoyed the fact that although the wife is naive she’s not a push over in the traditional sense:

“Don’t EVER contradict me in front of the boy.”

Also, if I had my mouth washed out with soup; good soup, not something like Italian Wedding soup, every time I swore I would swear a lot more. Mmm, soup!

KITHfan.org provides a simple, succinct summary for this sketch:

In short- The sloppy narrative, the non-believing son, and the all-too-believing wife.

Last week we had the Ping Pong sketches as linking between longer sketches, which works better?

Monday in episode 10, we’ll see the “Nobody Likes Us” guys and explore farmers with tails, drunk brothers and Vaudeville with a bad straight man.

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Watch on youtube? Please purchase the box set when you are able. (amazon.com/amazon.ca/amazon.co.uk [NTSC])