The Kids in the Hall are getting together to write a new project. I shouldn’t have to explain who they are, if someone doesn’t already know they ought to – a Canadian sketch comedy troupe from the late 1980s and early 1990s who had their own TV show and have since occasionally reunited for movies, TV specials, and live performance tours. I am very excited to hear they are collaborating yet again.
KitH, an acronym commonly pronounced phonetically rhyming with “myth”, shaped my perspective of the world perhaps beyond any other part of pop culture. (One competitor for the top spot may be the Jim Henson umbrella of TV and movies.) I watched the original broadcasts of the show, meaning I was still in grade school. It’s comprised of five men – Dave Foley, Bruce McCullough, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson – who are as white as their names imply. But a fair chunk of their characters, likely not at 50% but closer to that than other male comedy troupes, were women. At least 10% of them were also gay, given that Scott Thompson makes the group 20% gay and 80% confident enough in their own masculinity to step outside their comfort zone and into dresses. (Dave Foley always made the prettiest woman, a fact that was played upon when he starred in News Radio following KitH’s end.)
From outright silliness to tongue-in-cheek satire, the show very commonly explored issues of gender and sexuality; class and the disparities of blue, white, and pink collar work; angst, rebellion, and ideologies; medicine and mental health. Mockeries nearly all aspects of life instilled in me a sense of living satire and the artificial construction of society that is so vast you can punch a hole in it and no one will notice.
The TV show lasted from 1989 to 1994, and perhaps this influence is why I’ve been called “Gen X as fuck” despite my actual demographic. That the show was also Canadian must not only be behind its subversive perspective in spite of the white male cast, but also why after all this time the troupe can, and wants to, still work together, the polite cooperative people we are. It’s probably a significant influence behind my strong support of LGBT* people and why I find men who are willing to wear women’s clothing more attractive. It’s a pretty major reason why I’m friends with Dirk. And I hope, for the sake of assuring that I’m not alone in finding everything around me to be a farce of its own self, they produce more brilliant material to come.
They’ve both been major influences on my life, but I’m way more pumped about a new KitH project than a Monty Python reunion. My favourite (and gay) member of that group is unfortunately the dead one.