​The Kids in the Hall Bare Everything — and We Do Mean Everything

"We're two men in our 60s, we know this isn't sexy — but we do think it's funny," says Dave Foley

Photo: Jackie Brown

BY Vish KhannaPublished Jun 6, 2022

Kevin McDonald says he played no role in getting the Kids in the Hall back together to make the first new season of their beloved sketch series in 27 years.

"That's not true," Dave Foley counters. "You agreed quickly."

"Yeah, I was the first to agree," McDonald corrects himself. "I don't think Dave was finished his sentence when I said, 'Yes!'"

Foley initially hoped to get the Kids back together in 2018 to celebrate their 30th anniversary, but, as he explains, he, McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson can talk about anything in theory forever. 

It wasn't until a deal was struck with both Lorne Michaels's Broadway Video and Amazon's Prime Video that the Kids in the Hall revisited some of the sketches they wrote for some of this century's occasional reunion tours and began formulating new ones for the excellent, uncompromising 2022 iteration of their show.

"Nothing specifically surprised me," Foley says of the experience of reconvening with his creative partners for a full-fledged project. "Because working with the Kids in the Hall is about being surprised. That happens all the time so, we're not surprised that we keep surprising each other, if that makes any sense."

Indeed, the Kids in the Hall have been keeping one another on their toes for almost 40 years. Despite such a long history, getting back together has very much been a present day, forward-looking enterprise; the Kids do not fret about measuring up to past greatness.

"No, I don't care," McDonald says, when asked if he felt any pressure or feared tarnishing the troupe's legacy. "I'm not afraid to write a scene, or even to think, 'Oh, I can't write any more.'"

"Yeah, because the thing we care about is the comedy," Foley adds. "We care about fulfilling each others' expectations and not being lame in front of each other. But we don't care about our legacy at all. Our legacy, for better or for worse, it exists. We're more interested in doing stuff that pleases us."   

One notable and noticeable distinction for fans of the old series is that, for every new sketch here, there is no studio audience present.

"Oh no, there was; we were just bombing," Foley jokes.

"Yeah, there were 2,000 people there every night we shot," McDonald concurs.

"Not a laugh," Foley adds. "Not a sound." 

McDonald says there was a debate about whether or not to do some staged sketches, but then the pandemic — plus, as Foley recalls, the various troupe members' schedules — made the decision to stick to filmed sketches easier, as they're less time-consuming.

"It alters what the show becomes and it becomes what it should be," McDonald explains. "Because we're older, the show is more thoughtful. I think it fits our age. People keep saying, 'Oh, it's so much like their old show,' but there is a difference and that's that it's all filmed and what that brings to [our work]. If we get another season, we may do even shorter short films."

McDonald clarifies, "And I'm not saying it was necessarily a great thing or a bad thing. But that's what the show became."

Foley adds, "I love being in front of a live audience and that excitement and fun. I'm not sure it's as exciting to see on TV — a bunch of guys in their 60s in front of a live audience, as it was a bunch of guys in their 20s. Maybe it would be; I just don't know."  

And so, we can only imagine how a live crowd might've greeted Foley and McDonald in an uproarious new sketch in which they remove their clothing.

"I view it as an accident or coincidence of an idea," McDonald says of the scene. "It's not like we're thinking, 'Oh, we're older now, we have to show the world we're edgy.' And in no way do I think it's a cry for help for the world to respect my naked body."

"[It was] fun," Foley adds. "There's a release to not giving a shit about things. It's like, we're two men in our 60s, we know this isn't sexy — but we do think it's funny."

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