Kids: Scott Thompson & Co. survive their first feature
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a Toronto free paper, 41196, p. 29, by Gemma Files)
the Kids In The Hall, a.k.a. comedians David Foley, Bruce McCulloch,
Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson, it's good news/bad
news time. The good news is the imminent release of the first
feature film, *Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy*; leading the pack
on the bad news front is freelance writer Andrew Clark's recent
*Saturday Night* magazine article, which strongly implied that
personal tragedy and internal tensions may have finally destroyed
their working relationship.
Which seems only fitting, in a sick sort of way. After all, *Brain
Candy*'s script revolves around a scientist (McDonald) who invents
a depression-curing drug that is released on the market before
it's been fully tested, courtesy of a megalomaniacal drug company
executive (McKinney) and his chief toady (Foley). The new drug
turns the angst-ridden world we know into an obnoxious, bubblegum-colored
parody of itself, proving the old idea that without enough darkness
to provide contrast, light don't mean diddly.
misery, then, the font of all true creativity?
not *all*, according to both McCulloch and Thompson.
not that life *can't* be hard," McCulloch says. "Just... not for
*me* -- for other people."
Thompson agrees (sort of).
"Let's put it this way: Nobody *needs* to suffer, but we all do
anyway, so we might as well get something in return while we're
down there wallowing. I know that the process of writing and performing
can definitely pull me out of a real deep well."
As McCulloch is quick to point out, the concept of tension in
the workplace is also hardly something restricted to the Kids
in the Hall.
"We're professionals," he says. "I mean, stuff like this happens
in banks. It hurts at the time, but it's just not enough to make
somebody storm out and never come back."
"I think it's like when siblings fight," says Thompson. "Objectively,
it's appalling. To an outsider, it must look like we're attacking
each other on the most primal level, like we're strangling each
other's children on a daily basis. But it's not like we were fighting
about how our trailers weren't long enough, or how there were
no blue M&Ms in our hotel suites."
Adds McCulloch: "It's not like we go around throwing hot coffee
on each other."
with that topic firmly out of the way, we're free to return to
the subject at hand, *Brain Candy.* Which, even produced as it
is under *Saturday Night Live* creator Lorne Michaels' banner,
still retains such a palpably north-of-the-border vibe that you
have to wonder how well it's going to travel -- especially in
a market used to comedies where the biggest ethical question is
whether Wayne should try for both the girl *and* the guitar.
*Brain Candy* every character has a big moral dilemma to address,
whether it's Thompson's businessman and his struggle with his
repressed homosexuality, which only finds freedom under the medication,
or McCulloch's parody of a grunge artist who becomes an award-winning
success only after the drug inspires him to spew out a piece of
pop pap called "Happiness Pie." These are only the *main* characters,
of course; there are perhaps only two actors in the movie who
aren't Kids and they aren't in it for very long.
did the best Canadian trick," McCulloch claims. "We took the U.S.'s
money, the tools and toys of their culture, and then we did it
exactly the same way we were already going to do it. We shot in
and around Toronto without pretending it was New York. We got
Craig Northey from The Odds to do the music."
to mention taking a slyly Canadian chomp at the hand that fed
them -- check out the extreme physical similarity between executive
producer Michaels and a demented corporate executive played by
never had a problem with inflicting what amuses me personally
on the world at large," says Thompson. "If I did, I sure wouldn't
have a web site on the Internet."
site in question, ScottLand, is a wonkily elaborate family endeavor
maintained by two of his brothers and a cousin. An alternate world
where everyone becomes Scott Thompson (even you), ScottLand is
best described as a benign dictatorship masquerading as a constitutional
monarchy, presided over by Thompson himself in his best-known
guise: the queen of all Queens. Like McCulloch's *Shame-Based
Man* CD and continuing short film work for *SNL*, it counts as
yet more proof that full and satisfying lives exist for all the
Kids beyond -- though not in spite of -- their status as former
Night* aside," Thompson says, "I prefer to reserve judgment until
we try putting the next movie together. If no one shows up, then
I guess it *is* all over for us."
bet we do, though," McCulloch puts in. "I bet we *can't stay away...*"
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