The Kids in the Hall are making a comeback
Canadian sketch comedy troupe returning with new season, 27 years later
Canadian sketch-comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall is making a return to our screens after a long hiatus. Twenty-seven years after the original series wrapped up on CBC, they're headed to Amazon Prime, with a new season debuting May 13.
Produced by Lorne Michaels's Broadway Video and Canadian production company, Project 10, the revival will see original members Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson reunite for eight episodes.
Despite the time away, it was easy for the cast to settle back into a working rhythm, Thompson told CBC News.
"We just have always been together — even when we don't see each other for a long time, we just fall right back into it. It's like family. Family you like."
Also on the way is a new documentary about the group, The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks, which is scheduled to appear at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto in early May, before making its way to Amazon Prime on May 20.
While the cast also reunited in 2010 for an eight-part narrative miniseries called Death Comes to Town, and have done live shows together, this latest project will be their first televised sketch-comedy series since 1995.
The series will feature appearances from a number of A-list guests, including actors Jay Baruchel, Catherine O'Hara, Mark Hamill and Will Forte — although Foley joked: "We don't give up prime screen time to anybody."
The original show has been credited with being ahead of its time, and pushing the limits of what could be done on Canadian TV. McKinney noted that envelope-pushing is a natural part of the process, and not something they actively set out to do.
"I don't think we'll be pushing the same boundaries, but there's going to be new boundaries," he said. "We don't really think in terms of, 'Oh we're going to smash [boundaries].' It's kind of, we write what makes the other guys laugh."
"Having said that, there is full frontal nudity," quipped McCulloch.
The original series was also known — and at times controversial — for its queer representation. The landscape on that front has changed dramatically, said Thompson, who is gay.
"It's a thousand times different.… My generation, I'm a war vet — like, I came out into a war. So for this, this is like peacetime. For me, how can it get any better?"
The show's original run began in 1988 and lasted five seasons, with its final episode airing in April 1995. The cast was always happy when they would hear the show helped people feel less isolated, noted Foley.
"In our heads, whenever we're together, we still feel like these punks in our 20s," said Foley.
While they may not be in their 20s anymore, Foley insists that the Kids still have a few years left in them, with Thompson deadpanning: "We really want to wring it dry. Until we're dead."
He also offers a straightforward summary of the new series.
"It's just us doing sketch comedy, at this stage in our life. Trying to reflect the world we're in and make funny. All we're doing is trying to make each other laugh — and if other people laugh, that's just a really nice side-effect."
With files from Jackson Weaver