The Kids in the Hall

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The Kids in the Hall
ETalk2008-Kids In The Hall.jpg
At the 2008 eTalk Festival Party, during the Toronto International Film Festival
(from left to right: Dave Foley, Mark McKinney, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Scott Thompson)
  • Television
  • stage
  • film
Years active1984-present
Notable works and roles

The Kids in the Hall is a Canadian sketch comedy troupe formed in 1984, consisting of comedians Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson. Their eponymous television show ran from 1989 to 1995 on CBC in Canada, and CBS, HBO, and Comedy Central in the United States.


The Kids made one film, Brain Candy , which was released in 1996. They reformed for various tours and comedy festivals in 2000. They later reunited for an eight-part miniseries, Death Comes to Town , in January 2010. An eight-episode revival season was greenlit for Amazon Prime in 2020. [1]

Their name came from Sid Caesar, who, if a joke did not go over, or played worse than expected, would attribute it to "the kids in the hall", referring to a group of young writers hanging around the studio. [2] [3]

On June 3, 2008, it was announced that the entire group would receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame. [4] On March of 2020 it was announced that the TV series would make a comeback with new episodes for Prime Video. The series will feature the return of all of the original “Kids" in an 8-episode run, which will be a continuation of the original show, and is heralded as "the first Canadian Amazon Original series". [4]

Early history

Bruce McCulloch and Mark McKinney were working together doing Theatresports in Calgary, performing in a group named "The Audience". Norm Hiscock, Gary Campbell, and Frank Van Keeken were co-members and later became writers on the show. At the same time, Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald were performing around Toronto (along with Luciano Casimiri) as The Kids in the Hall (KITH). In 1984, the two pairs met in Toronto, and began performing regularly as KITH, with a rotating band of members, including Paul Bellini for a short time. When Scott Thompson was invited to join in January 1985, the group had its final form. The same year, McCulloch and Foley appeared in the Anne of Green Gables series, as Diana Barry's husband and a former classmate of Anne's from the fictional Queen's College, respectively.

Not long afterwards, the Kids broke up for a short time when scouts for Saturday Night Live invited McKinney and McCulloch to New York to become writers for that show, Foley made a poorly received movie debut with High Stakes [5] and Thompson and McDonald worked with the Second City touring group. They were reunited in 1986. After SNL's Lorne Michaels saw them perform as a troupe, plans began for a TV show. In 1987 Michaels sent them to New York to what was essentially a "Comedy Boot Camp", and in 1988 their pilot special aired on CBC Television and in the United States on HBO before debuting as a series in 1989.

Television show

The series The Kids in the Hall debuted as a one-hour pilot special which aired on HBO and CBC Television in 1988, [6] and began airing as a regular weekly series on both services in 1989. [7] The regular series premiered July 21, 1989 on HBO, and September 14 on CBC. In the United States, the first three seasons were on HBO before it moved to CBS in 1993, where it stayed for two more seasons airing late Friday nights. CBC aired the show for the whole duration of its run.

Brain Candy

After the show ended its run, the troupe came together to produce a movie, Brain Candy , featuring a few characters from the show and many new ones. Although not a commercial success, the movie developed a cult following with their devoted fans.


2000 North American Tour

In 2000, the troupe reformed for a successful North American tour, reprising many sketches from the show. The sketch line-up for the 2000 show was:

  1. AT & Love Reunion
  2. Mr. Heavyfoot Finds His Seat
  3. Buddy Cole – The Year 2000
  4. Cops!
  5. Daddy's Dyin'
  6. Head Crusher / Face Pincher
  7. Jesus 2000!
  8. Sir Simon Milligan & Hecubus in: The Pit of Ultimate Darkness
  9. Gavin: Painting a chair
  10. Comfortable
  11. Sandwich People
  12. Chicken Lady's Date
  13. Power of the Suburbs
  14. Bloody Salty Ham
  15. Monologue by Brian on having a party when Fran and Gordon go on Vacation
  16. Love Me
  17. Fran: Brian's Bombshell
  18. Jesus Christ Superstar
  19. Encore: To Reg

At some shows:

  1. Running Faggot
  2. The Poker Game

The tour was chronicled in a documentary, Kids in the Hall: Same Guys, New Dresses, which followed the next year. This was then followed by the "Tour of Duty" and a DVD based on those performances, released in 2002.

"Just for Laughs" ("Juste Pour Rire") Comedy Festival

In July 2007, the Kids reunited to perform at the 25th Annual "Just for Laughs" ("Juste Pour Rire") Comedy Festival in Montreal.

The Just For Laughs show premiered around 90 minutes of new material. While certain characters made reappearances (Buddy Cole, Mr. Tyzik and McKinney and McCulloch's "smooth-talking" salesmen) the rest of the show revolved around entirely new material. Typically good-humored, the group poked numerous jokes at their own recent weight gain and the state of their post-Kids acting careers.

Among the sketches:

The group also performed on January 26–27, 2008 at the SF Sketchfest. On January 26 there was a retrospective and Q&A with the group.

2008 North American Tour

On April 4, 2008, The Kids in the Hall embarked on their first major national tour in six years. The tour ran through early June 2008 and included more than 30 cities in the US and Canada. The tour features some material from the 2007 "Just for Laughs" performance along with new material. [9]

The 2008 tour closely mirrored the "Just for Laughs" performance, excluding the rat catchers, subway fan and Nicole Ritchie sketches. In their stead, Mark McKinney performed the monologue titled "The Modern Hero" from Season 1 of the show, and the entire cast performed the sketch "This Is How I Danced in Tenth Grade."

Other appearances

Kevin McDonald guest starred alongside Dave Foley in a 1997 episode of Foley's sitcom NewsRadio .

Kevin McDonald also guest starred on Seinfeld in the episode "The Strike" (the infamous "Festivus" episode), in which he played a man enamored of wearing denim who Elaine pursues for the sake of a stamped card from a sub shop. [10]

Kevin McDonald has a cameo in the music video for "Roses" by OutKast. [11]

Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald performed with The Barenaked Ladies on their "Ships and Dip V" cruise, along with other bands and comics, on February 1–6, 2009. [12]

Each member of the Kids in the Hall provided voices in "Fibber", the 14th episode of Lilo & Stitch: The Series , in which Kevin McDonald plays the regular role of Pleakley. [13]

In 2006, three of the members (Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney) appeared in the Christmas comedy Unaccompanied Minors as The Guards in the Hall. [14]

The group appeared on the front cover of Naked Eye 's summer 2008 edition.

The Kids performed at the 2008 Comedy Festival in Las Vegas on November 22. [15] [16]

On August 6, 2010, all five Kids made an appearance on The Soup on E!, to promote their miniseries Death Comes to Town. Four of the members appeared on-screen in drag as girls who had grown up as beauty pageant contestants (parodying Toddlers & Tiaras ); Mark McKinney's voice was heard off-screen as their mother. [17]

Dave Foley has appeared in three episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia as Principal MacIntyre. [18]

Kevin McDonald appeared on the animated show Dan Vs. in the episode Dan Vs. Technology. He played technology guru (and germaphobic) Barry Ditmer, a parody of Steve Jobs. He was planning to develop mind control so that the world's populace would buy the next useless gadget he would bring to market. However, thanks to Elise and Dan's intervention (after his new computer broke and couldn't get it fixed due to Ditmer's plan interfering), and his former partner Hiram (who had his part of the company stolen from him by Barry, and met Dan and Chris while they were stranded, eventually trying to murder them) invading, his plan is foiled and his complex blows up. Ironically, Chris is played by fellow member Dave Foley, but their characters never interacted.

In October 2012 and January 2013, Foley guest-starred on The Middle as Dr. Fulton (Brick's school therapist) in episodes "Bunny Therapy" (2012) and "Life Skills" (2013). [19] During "Life Skills", Foley's character refers to Brick's (Atticus Shaffer) classmates as "the kids in the hall" (following an awkward pause and glance by both characters) and mentioned their behavior similar to those of comedy sketches from The Kids in the Hall.

In 2014, the cast reunited on Foley's sitcom Spun Out , appearing as Dave's high school goth friends who had made a suicide pact. [20] That year Thompson also did a weeklong stint as Buddy Cole (a producer Colbert doesn't know is gay) on The Colbert Report , acting as the program's correspondent to the 2014 Winter Olympics who covered LGBT rights protests surrounding the 2014 Winter Olympics. [21]

In December 2014, McDonald, McKinney, and Thompson appeared in an episode of the TVO's children's television series Odd Squad. The episode was entitled "Crime at Shapely Manor." McDonald as Lord Rectangle, McKinney as General Pentagon, and Thompson as Professor Square. [22]

Kevin McDonald, Dave Foley and Scott Thompson appeared on season 4 episode 139 of the Chris Hardwick game show @midnight which aired August 2, 2017.

Death Comes to Town

In July 2008 Telefilm Canada announced that there would be a new The Kids in the Hall television series titled Death Comes to Town . [23] The Kids' Kevin McDonald stated that it would be an eight-part miniseries airing first on CBC in Canada and then on US television. [24] Principal photography took place from August 2009, in Ontario. Several characters from the original The Kids in the Hall series made an appearance, including the OPP Officers and Chicken Lady. The first episode of the new series aired in Canada on CBC Television on January 13, 2010, while in the United States the first episode aired on IFC on August 20, 2010. [25]

Related Research Articles

Charles Budderick "Buddy" Cole is a fictional character created and portrayed by Canadian actor-comedian Scott Thompson. He is an effeminate, gay socialite, made famous on The Kids in the Hall, a popular Canadian sketch comedy series starring the troupe of the same name. The character also had a recurring role on The Colbert Report.

Scott Thompson (comedian) Canadian television actor and comedian

Scott Thompson is a Canadian television actor and comedian, best known for being a member of the comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall and for playing "Brian" on the Larry Sanders Show.

<i>Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy</i> 1996 Canadian comedy film by Kelly Makin

Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy a 1996 Canadian comedy film written by and starring the Canadian comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall. Directed by Kelly Makin and filmed in Toronto, it followed the five-season run of their television series The Kids in the Hall, which had been successful in both Canada and the United States.

CODCO was a Canadian comedy troupe from Newfoundland, best known for a sketch comedy series which aired on CBC Television from 1988 to 1993.

Dave Foley Canadian actor, stand-up comedian

David Scott Foley is a Canadian actor, stand-up comedian, director, producer and writer. He is known as a co-founder of the comedy group The Kids in the Hall, who have appeared together in a number of television, stage and film productions, most notably the 1988-1995 TV sketch comedy show The Kids in the Hall, as well as the 1996 film Brain Candy. He also starred as Dave Nelson in the sitcom NewsRadio, voiced the main character, Flik, in A Bug's Life and Terry in Monsters University, portrayed recurring character Bob Moore in the sitcom Hot in Cleveland, and hosted the game show Celebrity Poker Showdown.

Kevin McDonald Canadian actor and comedian

Kevin Hamilton McDonald is a Canadian actor, voice actor and comedian. He is a member of the comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall, who have appeared together in a number of stage, television and film productions, most notably the 1988–1995 TV series The Kids in the Hall. He has also been the voice of Agent Wendy Pleakley in the Lilo & Stitch franchise, Waffle in Catscratch, and the Almighty Tallest Purple in Invader Zim. He played Pastor Dave in That '70s Show. He also starred as a co-pilot in the 2011 web comedy series Papillon.

Bruce McCulloch comedian, actor, writer

Bruce Ian McCulloch is a Canadian actor, comedian, writer, musician and film director. McCulloch is best known for his work as a member of the comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall, including starring in the TV series of the same name. He was also a writer for Saturday Night Live. McCulloch has appeared on other series including Twitch City and Gilmore Girls. He directed the films Dog Park, Stealing Harvard and Superstar.

Paul Myers is a San Francisco-based indie rock songwriter, musician, journalist, and author. Until 2006, Myers worked as a musician and journalist in Toronto and Vancouver, where he became a Canadian television and radio personality. He is the older brother of comedian and actor Mike Myers.

Mark McKinney Canadian actor and comedian

Mark Douglas Brown McKinney is a Canadian actor and comedian, best known for his work in the sketch comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall, which includes starring in the 1989 to 1995 TV series The Kids in the Hall and 1996 feature film Brain Candy. He was a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 1997. From 2003 to 2006, he co-created, wrote and starred in the series Slings & Arrows, a TV show about a Canadian theatre company struggling to survive while a crazy genius director haunted by his dead mentor helps the actors find authenticity in their acting. McKinney currently has a regular role as Glenn on the NBC comedy Superstore and appeared as Tom in FXX's Man Seeking Woman.

Paul Bellini is a Canadian comedy writer, musician, broadcaster and television actor, best known for his work on the comedy series The Kids in the Hall and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. He has worked on several projects with Josh Levy and PJ DeBoy, and has appeared in small parts on television shows and films.

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The 10th Gemini Awards were held on March 3, 1996, to honour achievements in Canadian television. It was hosted by Albert Schultz, and was broadcast on CBC.

The 6th Gemini Awards were held in 1992 to honour achievements in Canadian television. It was broadcast on CBC.

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<i>The Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town</i> television series

The Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town is an eight-episode Canadian mini-series that aired on CBC Television on Tuesdays between January 12 and March 16, 2010. The show takes place in a fictional Ontario town called Shuckton where their mayor has been murdered. As the Shuckton residents cope with the loss, a new lawyer moves in to prosecute a suspect – though another resident, unsatisfied with the evidence, tries to find the real killer. At the same time, a character who is a personification of death waits at a motel room for the latest Shuckton residents to die.


Picnicface was a Canadian sketch comedy troupe based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, consisting of Mark Little, Andrew Bush, Kyle Dooley, Cheryl Hann, Brian MacQuarrie, Evany Rosen, Scott Vrooman and Bill Wood. Formed in 2006, the group were most noted for a 13-episode sketch comedy television series which aired on The Comedy Network in 2011.

Spun Out is a Canadian television sitcom. It ran two seasons, premiering March 6, 2014 on CTV and airing its last original episode on October 3, 2015.

<i>The Kids in the Hall</i> (TV series)

The Kids in the Hall is a Canadian sketch comedy TV series that aired for five seasons from 1988 to 1995, starring the comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall. The troupe, consisting of comedians Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson, appeared as almost all the characters throughout the series, both male and female, and also wrote most of the sketches.


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  3. For years this was erroneously attributed to Jack Benny, though the Kids themselves offer a corrected version of the origin of the troupe's name on the DVD release of the show's pilot episode.
  4. 1 2 The Kids Are Back! Amazon Prime Video to Bring Back “The Kids in the Hall” With New Episodes March 16, 2020, MovieDebuts
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  7. "The Kids in the Hall". Calgary Herald , September 8, 1989.
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