Want to be as funny as Kevin McDonald? Good luck.
Posted at The Montreal Gazette on March 16, 2012
Want to be as funny as Kevin McDonald? Good luck. The co-founder and co-star of The Kids in the Hall possesses one of the wackiest and sharpest minds in the land.
However, McDonald can help all aspiring comics hone their performing, improv and writing skills. He is in town to give a two-day, 14-hour workshop, Saturday and Sunday at Théâtre Ste. Catherine.
In the process, he will disprove the adage: “Those who can’t do, teach.” Not only will participants learn some secrets of the comedy trade, they will get bonus giggles from their teacher.
“It may be hard to teach people to be funny, but you can teach them tricks to be funnier,” says McDonald, who was born in Montreal, has lived in L.A. and now resides in Winnipeg.
Tricks like repetition. “If you say something that gets a laugh early on, you’ll get an even bigger laugh if you repeat it.” That’s a Kids in the Hall technique that never failed to amuse, and will no doubt amuse again in another Kids in the Hall film, which is in the planning stages.
McDonald is buoyed after giving his first workshop in Toronto recently. “The thing about writing is that you have to have the skill and the fire to do it. So at least if people come with the fire to do it, I can try to help them develop the skill.”
McDonald honed his skills the old-fashioned way: “Trial by fire, working with The Kids in the Hall. We would just learn by our mistakes and by sometimes getting it right. And then by trying to get it right more often than making mistakes. Then we had the TV show and it was really trial by fire, and we had to learn quickly.”
It helped that the troupers were naturally funny to begin with. They all hooked up at Second City comedy/improv workshops in Toronto. Their “graduate school” was The Kids in the Hall.
The good news for those who go on to master the art of mirth is that the gift should always stay with them, McDonald believes. “A person who was funny in 1846 would also be funny in 2012. Buster Keaton still makes me laugh. Funny will always stand the test of time.”
Kevin McDonald’s workshop takes place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Théâtre Ste. Catherine, 264 Ste. Catherine St. E. Cost: $315. To register, call 514-284-3939.