A Whole Lotta Kids in the Hall

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(PREVIEW - april 19, 1996)

Profile: An unwanted offstage role has been thrust upon Scott Thompson of 'Kids in the Hall BRAIN CANDY' -- gay icon.

It's not every man who can say a British knight made a pass at him. But Scott Thompson of the Canadian comedy troupe Kids in the Hall revels in the tale of meeting sir Ian McKellan at last yeear's Emmy awards. He swears it's true.

"He's a British actor," says Thompson, 36. "He was attracted to my rough colonial ways. He kissed me and he slipped me a little tongue."

It went no further than the kiss, says Thompson, but an invitation was extended to meet the knight in London. Both Thompson and McKellan are gay.

"I could have probably gone to bed with Sir Ian McKellan," he says. "And you know what? It's probably the only time that my mother would have approved of me going to bed with a man."

The five members of Kids in the Hall, whose first film, "Kids in the Hall BRAIN CANDY," opened April 12, formed the troupe in 1984. Their TV show debuted on Canada's CBC in 1989. Their satirical skit comedy moved to HBO, CBS and is now in reruns on Comedy Central. Thompson, who plays the role of Brian on HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show," is traveling the country promoting "BRAIN CANDY."

"BRAIN CANDY" is part John Waters and part British farce. Threatened with downsizing, a pharmaceutical researcher allows his new anti- depressant drug, Gleemonex, to be sold before testing is complete. Gleemonex is a hit. Leave it to the Kids to take on mental health.

Thompson likes the characters he creates. The only role he's not comfortable with is the offstage role given to him by the gay and lesbian community: gay icon.

"I'm a little over it," he says. "Nobody else is. That's the problem. I'm in a different time zone than everybody else and I feel like the world's jet lagged. I feel like I'm much more than that but that's what I've been reduced to."

Thompson's icon status not only limits his ability to land big roles, but also unsettles his personal politics. His humor -- or his craft, as he calls it -- doesn't buy into any particular political agenda. Nothing is off-limits.

"I remember once getting a lecture from a fairly out comic," he says. "I won't say her name. She took me to task for my behavior and told me that I had a responsibility to act in a certain way and I had to change who I was. And I told her no. I actually live my life in a way that I'm not ashamed of and no one's going to tell me how to live it. My only real responsibility is to get better and better at my craft. I'm out and that's all I need."


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