The Five Best Recurring ‘Kids in the Hall’ Characters

It was a task that would intimidate even the great Paul Bellini
The Five Best Recurring ‘Kids in the Hall’ Characters

It goes without saying that Kids in the Hall — the five-person Canadian comedy troupe consisting of Bruce McCulloch, Scott Thompson, Mark McKinney, Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald — featured a wide array of memorable characters. There was a flying pig, a horny chicken-woman, a cabbage-headed man, gossipy secretaries, servants of the devil and even Satan himself. 

While choosing the very best of these characters is a task that would even intimidate the great Paul Bellini, we attempted to pick the five that perfectly encapsulate each cast member as well as the most indelible aspects of the Kids in the Hall.

Bruce McCulloch as Bobby Terrance

McCulloch’s petulant, moody, teenage guitarist wasn’t the funniest sketch on Kids in the Hall, and characters like the Chicken Lady — who didn’t make this list — might have been more KITH famous, but Bobby Terrance captured something about the show that no other recurring character did. From the show’s rocking opening theme, to its many musical sketches, to its rule-breaking, anti-establishment attitude, there was something very “punk rock” about Kids in the Hall, but they never conveyed that in a self-important way. The same can be said for Bobby Terrance, who beat the devil in a guitar-off in one of his best sketches, yet never stopped whining about his parents.

Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch as Kathy and Cathy

Among the first things people think of whenever Kids in the Hall is mentioned is a bunch of dudes wearing wigs. With just five cast members, none of whom were women, the guys played all the female roles themselves, and none were better than the two catty secretaries played by Thompson and McCulloch. 

Kevin McDonald and Dave Foley as Sir Simon Milligan and his Man-Servant Hecubus

Before Kids in the Hall debuted, McDonald and Foley were a comedy duo, and some of the best stuff on the show was just the two of them goofing around. They played failed vaudevillians and hopeless sad sacks, but their most memorable recurring characters were two gothic morons who hosted a show about Satanism called The Pit of Ultimate Darkness. Sir Simon Milligan (McDonald) was the mugging, excitable host while his childish man-servant Hecubus (Foley) would commit a bunch of underwhelming evil deeds, like ruining the end of a movie for Simon or simply double-parking in front of Simon’s car. 

Mark McKinney as Mr. Tyzik (The Head Crusher)

Another hallmark of Kids in the Hall was its ability to be unabashedly stupid. This manifested itself in sketches like “Flying Pig” and “Cabbage Head,” but its most inspired bit of stupidity was probably Mr. Tyzik, aka “The Head Crusher.” The sketch merely consisted of a crazy man (McKinney) who would observe passersby from a distance and pretend to crush their heads between his thumb and finger. That’s it. But that’s exactly what made it hilarious. 

Scott Thompson as Buddy Cole

Speaking of hilarious, there are hilarious KITH characters, and then there are the “important” ones like Buddy Cole. The flamboyantly gay nightclub owner had dozens of monologues on Kids in the Hall, covering subjects like which celebrities are in the closet and how gay a T. rex’s hands are. These sketches always delivered on the funny, but they also did a lot to normalize queer representation in the late 1980s and early 1990s. At a time when Saturday Night Live’s “Schmitts Gay” commercial parody was still making being queer a punchline, Thompson made it a point of pride.

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