A comedy group that has been celebrated by those in the industry since its formation, the Kids in the Hall’s history is explored in director Reg Harkema‘s documentary “The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks.” The film features a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage and interviews that give an intimate, inside look at the popular Canadian comedy troupe that has been making people laugh for over four decades.
The Kids in the Hall (KITH) used highly personal experiences as the backbone for their comedy routines, often creating jokes that would upset and delight audiences at the same time. They were considered rebellious for putting gay sketches onstage, sometimes dressing as women in some skits, and creating comedy that was queer positive. Their brand of “comedy for misfits and outsiders” empowered these groups of fans, further cementing their status as bonafide cult classics.
The documentary begins with an origin story that started at the Loose Moose improv theater in Calgary, continues the ride with the ups and downs of the fame, tackles troupe member Scott Thompson’s serious battle with cancer, and follows the KITH all the way to their 2015 reunion tour.
The film captures the highs and lows from the early 1980s through today, offering a trip down memory lane with the very men who pushed the boundaries of comedy. The best stories come directly from the mouths of the Kids themselves: Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson.
Harkema chooses not to include the KITH’s full-length comedy routines in the film and sticks with short (albeit amusing) clips from their t.v. show and other live performances, so having a background of the group and their more popular skits would be helpful. As such, you’ll get far more out of this documentary if you’re a fan rather than a casual viewer.
No matter your sense of humor, it’s interesting to learn more about the history of this extremely talented group of comedy performers.
By: Louisa Moore