David Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson are five men from Canada make up a sketch comedy troupe specializing in an irreverant, off-beat, sometimes dark, sometimes ridiculous brand of humor also known as The Kids in the Hall. Their sketch comedy television series aired new episodes on various networks from 1989 to 1994.
The Kids take their name from a line comedian Sid Caesar often used after telling a joke: “I got this one from the kids in the hall”, referring to aspiring writers who would hang around outside his office. Rumor has it that Bruce didn’t like the name “Kids In the Hall” but ended up going along with it anyway and only recently came to terms with the troupe name.
The genesis of the group goes a little something like this: Kevin and Dave met in Toronto at a Second City improv class and began working together (with Luciano Casimiri) as “The Kids In the Hall”. Bruce and Mark met in Calgary while doing TheaterSports (a comedy/improv competition) and began writing and performing together (with other members) as “The Audience”. Both groups eventually met in Toronto and merged in 1984, working at small clubs under the name of Kids in the Hall. The various other comedians left the group. During this time, Scott kept coming to see the Kids perform. As the guys put it, Scott started showing up and then just never left. He was finally formally introduced to the others by Mark and performed with them occasionally as a guest. In 1985, he officially joined the troupe.
Around the time when Scott joined, a scout for Saturday Night Live saw them perform and offered Mark and Bruce writing jobs on the show. Dave made his movie debut in the film “High Stakes”, which unfortunately was rather poorly received by audiences and critics alike. Scott and Kevin worked steadily with the touring group of Second City. The Kids “re-united” in 1986 and once again began performing in clubs. Later that year, Lorne Michaels, producer for SNL, came to scout the troupe for SNL, but decided he didn’t want to split the troupe up and instead offered to develop a television show for them. In 1987, he sent them to New York for some “comic training” and in 1988 their HBO special/pilot episode debuted.
The series officially began in 1989. Over the course of the show’s run, the Kids were recognized numerous times with nominations for various awards, including an Emmy nomination in 1995. And in 1994, the show received awards for both “Best Comedy Series” and “Best Overall Series” at the Golden Rose of Montreaux International Awards.
The Kids In the Hall has aired in the United States on HBO and CBS and Comedy Central, and in Canada on the CBC.
Following the final episode of the show, the Kids each went on to successful solo work. The troupe never officially broke up, however, to the great delight of their many fans, KITH got together and released the film Kids In the Hall Brain Candy in 1995.
Year 2000, the new millennium, found Kids in the Hall together once again, this time for live performances. The tour was called ¨Same Guys New Dresses”, touring the US and Canada. The show included some classics and new skits. The DVD/documentary directed by Dave Foley is available a Amazon.com and other video outlets.
In 2002, the Kids embarked on another tour, entitled ” Tour of Duty” visiting Canadian and US cities. A DVD of this tour is also available. In 2008, the Kids reunited once again for another successful tour.
In 2009, Bruce, Scott and Kevin began writing Death Comes to Town, which aired on CBC in January 2010 and on IFC in the US in August 2010.
KITH fans are waiting with baited breath for the next Kids project to be announced. Until then, there are opportunities to see Dave Foley live in person and Scott Thompson in several short films.
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