York Times: HBO'S 'Kids' Getting Sharper on TV (January 6, 1991)
article is property of its writer and publication and is reprinted
here without permission.
By JOHN J. O'CONNOR, New York Times News Service
Back for a second season on Home Box Office is The Kids in the
Hall, starring five Canadian men who have been performing together
in Toronto since 1984.
These kids -- Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark
McKinney and Scott Thompson -- are now well into or even beyond
their 20s but, with Lorne Michaels (Saturday Night Live) as executive
producer, their routines on these half-hour shows are as youthfully
goofy as ever. They are Canada's version of Monty Python, a bit
less wicked, perhaps, but no less wacky, right down to their ever-so-proper
These comics specialize in throwing wrenches into the most ordinary
In a recent episode, there are two couples having dinner together
and celebrating nine years of friendship. Suddenly, one husband
turns into a slobbering lecher, making passes at the other's wife
and observing, with leering unrestraint, ''Thank God for old friends,
In no time at all, he is announcing, ''I'm going to undo your
wife's dress and run my calloused carpenter fingers down her back.''
Just as quickly as the scene escalates into X-rated abandon, it
returns to middle-class propriety and some pointless talk about
lamps as house gifts. Curtain.
Basically, all five comics are clean-cut, boy-next-door types,
which gives their off-the-wall humor an extra spin.
Foley is perfectly plausible as an earnest doctor except that
his hospital smock is covered in blood. ''I've never really got
the hang of the 'healing the sick' thing,'' he explains amiably.
But, it seems, this doctor was always a popular fellow. How far
can you go on charm? ''Well, pretty far, actually,'' he confesses.
With some help from Brian Hart and Norm Hissock, the Kids write
their own material. This year the satirical barbs seem to be getting
a bit sharper and considerably more nasty. That's all to the good,
as is the occasional rock music supplied by a group called Shadowy
Men on a Shadowy Planet.
Program: The Kids in the Hall
With: Canadian comedians Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald,
Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson
Airs: Monday, 11 p.m., 4:05 a.m., Wednesday, 2 a.m. Friday, midnight
Friday, HBO. Also various other times on Jan. 14-31; check daily
1991 News and Sun-Sentinel Company
To This Page