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When I was growing up, I had a pretty serious crush on one or more members of Canadian sketch comedy group Kids in the Hall. The five-man crew—-consisting of a man-boy (Bruce McCullough), an everyman (Dave Foley), a gay man (Scott Thompson), and two other dudes (Kevin McDonald and Mark McKinney)—-isn’t exactly the stuff teen dreamboats are made of (except maybe the gay man—-see Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient Jonathan Taylor Thomas).
Still, they were pretty cute! Check out Exhibit A.
Yeah. And damn if fresh-faced Dave Foley wasn’t consistently dreamy, up to and including his tenure as “Dave” on NewsRadio. So when the KITH stopped by the Warner Theatre last Saturday on their “Live As They’ll Ever Be” tour, I was anxious to see how the kids were holding up.
Let’s check ’em out in Exhibit B.
Well, they’ve certainly grown up a bit since they last graced my tee-vee. Scott Thompson looks the same, but whither your boyish good looks, Dave Foley? More pressing, though, is that with age, they’ve grown a bit less funny. Their hour-and-a-half-long show, which incorporated old characters like Thompson’s Buddy Cole and McKinney’s Chicken Lady along with original skits and video, was actually pretty okay, but not totally inspired. Part of the problem, I think, is that KITH’s brand of comedy tends to thrive in the subtler realm of video as opposed to the more slapsticky stage. But beyond that, KITH are just getting kind of old. Absent the really inspired absurdism of the Business Suit Trappers or the Citizen Kane sketch (above), which Nerve.com and IFC.com recently named the 40th greatest comedy sketch of all time, well, goddamn, their observational humor just isn’t as fresh as it used to be! There! I said it!
The highlight of the show was the encore, in which McKinney’s “Headcrusher” systematically crushed the heads of every Kid (including his own) after ridiculing them for whatever less illustrious activity they’ve been up to since the sketch show folded. It was a bittersweet moment. Even though Bruce McCullough has been busy of late creating some comedy I’ve never heard of and will never watch called “Carpoolers,” and Dave Foley is no longer adorable, I still got the chills when they bowed to the crowd’s standing ovation. When it comes down to it, I’d watch the Kids in the Hall eat maple syrup in a nursing home. Dave Foley, call me—-I hear you’re the troupe’s youngest member!
Update: A reader sent over this up-close shot of Foley, taken after Saturday’s performance:
Check out that radical button down!