More than 30 years after they first got together, the Canadian comedy quintet of Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Dave Foley, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson bring their latest reunion stage act to the Schnitz.
While the live show can’t perfectly match the original television sketch show Kids in the Hall—that early-’90s late-night cult classic—it’s still a fine showcase for some timeless KITH characters (and also their convincing collection of women’s wigs, perhaps now with a few more gray ones thrown in).
Watch for girl-drink drunks and the Chicken Lady, not to mention scathing zingers from catty bar fly Buddy Cole, who once sagely declared that “Americans know as much about Canada as straight people do about gays.” Buddy was far from the only quotable Kid, of course. Here are a few more characters whose wisdom echoes through the ages. Try dropping some in a conversation today.
1. THE QUOTE: “Never on the first date.”
THE SPEAKER: Tammy (Bruce McCulloch), a pop star who could be a precursor to Robyn, only not Swedish and slightly less brilliant.
THE REASON: Is there a better answer to give when the celebrity tabloids ask your thoughts on abortion? I didn’t think so.
2. THE QUOTE: “Just because they’re not floating around at the end of a pair of boobs doesn’t mean they should be ignored.”
THE SPEAKER: Neglected husband (Scott Thompson) whose wife avoids his nipples because she thinks men pee through them. She’s shocked to learn the truth.
THE REASON: The reference is to men’s nipples, but the sentiment could also apply to issues of inequity in public accommodation, your blood pressure and sodium numbers, and feelings.
3. THE QUOTE: “In America, a guy’s girlfriend breaks up with him over the phone, so he gets a gun and kills the principal...
Everyone is sad, until they get the day off. The next week, another guy, another gal, another ‘we can still be friends’ phone call. Uh-oh, the assistant principal gets it, and everyone’s sad because they don’t get the day off, because he was just the assistant principal.”
THE SPEAKER: The guy who loves America, because “where else can a guy get a job riding a whale at Marine Land?” (Bruce McCulloch)
THE REASON: That episode aired during the administration of the first President Bush, long before Kip Kinkle, Columbine, Elliot Rodger, and [insert other US shooting spree here], but some universal truths are not bound by time.
4. THE QUOTE: “Is it because I have a cabbage for a head?”
THE SPEAKER: Cabbage Head (Bruce McCulloch), who blames not getting what he wants on his vegetal birth defect.
THE REASON: For those times you just can’t admit that he/she won’t sleep with you because you’re an asshole.
5. THE QUOTE: “Look into my face, and know that to look into my face is to look into the face of evil.”
THE SPEAKER: Sir Simon Milligan (Kevin McDonald), a self-described servant of Satan who celebrates what’s surely a Canadian version of evil, marked by mild impoliteness and harmless white lies.
THE REASON: Handy for parents when instituting bedtime on school nights.
6. THE QUOTE: “Alouette, gentille alouette / Alouette, je te plumerai / Je te plumerai la tete….”
(Translation: Little skylark, lovely little skylark / I will pluck you / I will pluck your head….)
THE SPEAKER: Jacques and François (Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald), modern-day fur trappers who paddle around corporate offices, knocking people out and stealing their Armanis.
THE REASON: It’s always a hoot to realize how disturbing the lyrics of children’s songs are. And hey, it’s just a catchy song.
7. THE QUOTE: “I’m crushing your head!”
THE SPEAKER: The Head Crusher (Mark McKinney), whose only joy in life comes from framing faraway heads between his thumb and forefinger, and then squeezing.
THE REASON: A good way to pass the time waiting for TriMet.
Kids in the Hall, May 30 at 8 pm, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall