Published on June 10th, 2022 | by Kim Kurtenbach0
The Kids in the Hall 2022 (No Spoilers!)
The Kids in the Hall are back! The Canadian comedy troupe has returned with an all-new 8 episode series of their iconic comedy sketch show for Amazon Prime.
“A beer.” That’s the line delivered by Dave Foloey in a season 2 (ep. 5) skit as he attempts to endure his blind date with what turns out to be a physically intimidating, sexually-charged ‘Chicken Lady’. And the line kills. If you know the skit, you know that line and the laugh it got (and still gets) from the audience.
If you don’t know the skit, you must be wondering how that could possibly be funny. Well, for the same reason it’s funny to see a business man in downtown Toronto get his head crushed, or to see someone confronted by a squash player in a ski mask who calls himself The Eradicator, or watch someone struggle to admit that the movie they saw last night was indeed called Citizen Kane. It’s all hilarious because The Kids are the most brilliant weirdos to ever grace
And The Kids were strange! They brought to stage and screen characters, ideas and concepts that were as much bizarre, fever-dream, inexplicable silliness as comedy. And that in itself, the audacity and uncomfortable excitement of watching them take huge risks, makes impending laughter percolate relentlessly. It may be 32+ years since their television debut, but The Kids still have no mercy. There is amazement all around in the new episodes, not the least of which being the continuity of style and humour lo these many years. Upon first look at the now 60-something kids, you can really see their age and feel the lament of passing time. Then new characters in a fresh skit emerge and it feels like 1993 again. This isn’t a re-boot, a soft re-boot, a special series, a last hoorah and barely qualifies as a reunion. Even at a lean eight episodes, it just feels like season six finally aired.
The multitude of wigs, costumes and convincing persona changes got me wondering who else plays multiple characters this well. The first two answers are real gimmies in Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers (a man who claims that he’s always wanted to be in KITH more than anything). After that, you might suggest all the voice actors on The Simpsons, clarifying if the question was referring to just movies (or television as well), and if animated shows count. But who would offer up The Kids in the Hall as a place where actors disappear into character so well? Probably not enough, but I’d wager that watching the new episodes would influence that consideration. Yes, the main takeaway of this article is that KITH 2022 is hysterical absurdity, but the acting and performances are of equal achievement to the writing acumen.
Television has adorned the landscape with sketch comedy for decades, and some might even say blessed us with plethora of options. In an entirely separate article I could try to rank a list of the Top 20, but I would surely miss one or four of any reader’s favourites. Let’s instead skip ahead to proposing that with all the combinations of various cast members, on all the shows over all the years, each new permutation being as complicated a machine as being in a rock band, The Kids are one of the greatest groups of all time. Better yet? Nearly three decades after their fifth and final season/album, we get an all new series/record of unreleased skits/songs that rank amongst the best they’ve ever created. This must be what it would feel like to suddenly get one more Tragically Hip album. And best of all? For the first time in their history, The Kids are uncensored. Amazon lets us see what happens when all of their lunatic ideas are approved as content.
Still need a booster? Amazon is also streaming a retrospective documentary, Comedy Punks, that examines their fame, fights, failures and friendship. It’s a compelling reminder by way of interviews with The Kids, commentary praise from celebrities, and archive footage that is entirely too short at 95 minutes (I wanted more!). Having said that, it’s a good warm-up exercise that’s sure to send fans my age looking for their old DVDs and new recruits off to scream their discovery on social media before eagerly binging the new episodes.
I hate to make promises on behalf of the content I write about in any of my articles, but I think I’m safe when I say that you are going to be overwhelmed with laughter at some point during season six of The Kids in the Hall. Hell, you might even break into hysterics and need to call yourself an “ambumblance”. That’s a joke. If you watch, you’ll see. It’s funny like “A beer.” And if that doesn’t get you, the lighter side of cultural appropriation, the problems with an imaginary girlfriend, or the Zoom call that goes too far certainly will.