Kids in the Hall Tried Not to Be ‘Monty Python’ or ‘SCTV’

KITH defined their comedy by what they were not
Kids in the Hall Tried Not to Be ‘Monty Python’ or ‘SCTV’

In the early days of the Kids in the Hall, its members could best describe their comedy by declaring what it was not. “There are things we definitely try to steer clear of,” explained Dave Foley in Satiristas: Comedians, Contrarians, Raconteurs & Vulgarians. What are those things, exactly? Here are a few of them…


“No parody,” insisted Scott Thompson.

The Kids never did it, said Foley, because “that was SCTV’s turf.”

“And also because it’s heartbreakingly simple,” sniffed Bruce McCulloch, presumably with his nose in the air.

Open-Ended Sketches

“We made sure all of our sketches had endings because we didn’t want to seem like Monty Python,” said Foley. “That was one of our rules.”

“That,” said Thompson, “and we wanted our hair and our wigs to look very good.”


“I think we do a little satire,” admitted McCulloch before conceding that the Kids in the Hall cult (or ill-fated) film Brain Candy was a really big social satire. “I think it was actually Lorne Michaels who said, ‘Americans don’t like satire, they find it cold,’” McCullogh said. “But maybe he’s changed his mind.”

Other Comedy Things

What other comedy staples did the Kids in the Hall avoid? “No political satire,” offered Kevin McDonald.

“And no celebrity impressions either,” said Thompson.

“We don’t do topical humor,” added Foley. “I think that helps us a lot.”

“That’s also part of our manifesto,” explained Thompson. “Definitely.”

Okay, fine. But what exactly was left for Kids in the Hall to mine for comedy? “We mostly just follow whatever makes us laugh, but often the stuff that makes us laugh is subversive or horrible,” said Foley. “Sometimes, we’ll get in discussions after we write something, ‘What the hell are we saying with this sketch?’ But it’s usually after we’ve already started working on it.”

Then once the group’s members find things that make them laugh, they write up the ideas and throw them away — at least one in four of those scripts, anyway. “I’d say there’s about 40 bad, dead sketches littering the way to this show we’re doing now,” Thompson said back in 2010.

Of course, some of those ideas might get revisited, said Foley, “because Scott will resubmit them all for the next read-through.”

“You’ve always been a bastard, Foley,” Thompson concluded. “You’ve always been a bastard.”


Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?