Film, Pop Culture

An Open Letter to the Kids in the Hall

7 Comments 15 February 2011

kidsinthehalldeath An Open Letter to the Kids in the Hall pop culture film  Scott Thompson Mark McKinney Kids in the Hall Kevin McDonald Death Comes to Town Dave Foley Canada Bruce McCulloch
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Hey, feel free to pass this on to any of the Kids in the Hall if you know them. 

Dear Kevin, Dave, Scott, Mark, and Bruce,

I’m a grown woman. I’m 27 years old now. I’m at the age where I would have finally figured out how to balance my checkbook properly if we still used checkbooks.

However, something happened to me when I watched your new show Death Comes to Town yesterday. I resorted back into pubescent 15 year-old nerd girl who used to make Headcrusher home movies in her basement instead of hanging out with kids her own age. The dweeb who used to fantasize about Bruce McCulloch’s little man dance jerks instead of Justin Timberlake’s not little-man dance jerks. The kid who anxiously fidgeted on the school bus ride home every day, contemplating what back-to-back episodes of Kids in the Hall were recording on the VCR and what flavor of Hot Pocket she was going to gorge herself with..

While enjoying your latest production, I could distinctly recall the surge of, let’s just call it “stimulation”, that I felt after I watched an episode of the Kids in the Hall. I’ve been a fan of your troupe and subsequent individual ventures for a very long time, but truthfully, Death Comes to Town is quite possibly your greatest achievement yet. I lapped up all eight episodes in one sitting and was heart-broken when the viewing was over. I miss you guys. I miss the days of being a little girl and thinking, “I want to grow up and move to Canada!” I miss the days of forcing my friends at emotional gunpoint to reenact your skits in the basement. I miss secretly wishing I was a flamboyant gay man in a velour jacket, a misunderstood half-chicken, and a dude who had produce for a head.

I distinctly remember the first time I saw you. I hated you. Your off-beat humor, overtly sexual jokes, and depressing personal subject matter made my tween ignorance uncomfortable. Not even aware that you had a television show, my friend Dan rented your movie Brain Candy and I was positively disgusted after the film finished.

And piqued.
And intrigued.
And dare I say, aroused?

I went home later that evening thinking about scenes from your movie and just couldn’t get you out of my head. It was like masturbating for the first time and being simultaneously appalled and pleased with oneself. The only other movie to do that to me was Monster’s Ball and the similarities between the two films is uncanny. I decided that a film that would give me such a reaction deserved a second viewing. Watching Brain Candy for a second time, was liking watching it for the first time, but instead of sweating and violent knee-jerks, I felt enlightened. Transformed! It was after then that I decided I absolutely adored you. I wanted to know everything about you and I discovered that you once had a TV show. A TV show! How delightful! Now I could have hours upon hours with you guys. At that time, Comedy Central was syndicating two episodes a day at 2:00PM and 2:30PM and I was in heaven.

I religiously watched your show. I still have an entire library of VHS tapes lining the back wall of my childhood bedroom. Ever though the film has probably eroded away, you will never be discarded for those tapes symbolize a portion of my childhood where creative pursuits were illogical and ill-conceived. A time I miss dearly. You amongst few others- including Pee-Wee Herman, Gene Wilder, and David Byrne-  helped define my path to working in the film business. And though I didn’t become a comic, and though I’m not even remotely funny, your writing and frankness has always remained a breath of fresh air creatively for me. An inspiration that humor can be found in all aspects of life- whether it’s one’s drunken dad, emotionless mother, flaming sexuality, f’ed up relationships, or dead-end dreams.

I saw you live four times. Five if you included Kevin’s recent one-man variety show about the Kids in the Hall and his alcoholic father calledHammy and the Kids. My mother ventured through the snowstorm of a century in Buffalo, NY to make sure us kids got to your show. We met you. My boyfriend at the time said something to you, Dave, about how Phil Hartman’s death sucking and you just blinked at him. I would have too. I then ventured through another murderous snowstorm- we were stopped many ‘a times due to people flipping their cars on route 281- to see you in Washington D.C. A few years later I saw you in the other armpit of New York state, Syracuse, and I don’t really remember that show. I’m sure it was great. However, the most notable show, for me, was the four-night only, new material set I caught at a tiny theater in Hollywood. I was a big girl now. Having made my way to Los Angeles. Someone told me about your barely publicized show at the Steve Allen Theater. You all came out on stage and made a joke about what skits to do and suggested that maybe you should rape Kevin. I didn’t laugh. In fact, I was like, “Awww, man! What the fuck is this crap?” But as soon as the theme music kicked in and you got the show rolling, I found myself welling up with tears of pride. All my kids have grown up- and turned into my Dad.

I’ve enjoyed some but not all of your endeavors post-Kids in the Hall, but yesterday, yesterday I saw your masterpiece as a whole. Your Twin Peak-esque comedy about murder, soul-snorting, and retarded children. is magnificent. And that is not a hyperbole. I truly mean the dictionary definition of magnificent- “glorious and wonderful”. I was taken aback by your seeming ease in resurrecting the form of characters that made you so popular. It just seemed so natural- as if no time had passed at all- but was even better this time around. Everything about the writing and the acting just seemed to gel. I found myself not only laughing at your legendary irreverent humor, but completely engrossed in the storyline. I wanted to know what was going to happen. That is something that never happened before, and is not particularly easy for a sketch comedy team. Everything about your new show just….worked. It was as if the years enabled you to bring a whole new dimension to your work.

Will you make more goodness, please? Help this young woman to desperately hold onto the past?

Yours always,
Lauren

More reading:
Hipstercrite- Kids in the Hall vs. The State- which is better?
WTF with Marc Maron- Dave Foley talks about his messed-up first marriage and court ordered stand-up

pixel An Open Letter to the Kids in the Hall pop culture film  Scott Thompson Mark McKinney Kids in the Hall Kevin McDonald Death Comes to Town Dave Foley Canada Bruce McCulloch

Your Comments

7 Comments so far

  1. laurenne says:

    I feel like I really missed out on something by never watching this show! I want to be aroused! To think, I was just using porn.

    I love that we both wanted/want to be a gay man.
    SAME PERSON.

  2. Hipstercrite says:

    @Laurenne- Oh my God. Have you ever seen Kids in the Hall? If we are the same person, which I think we are, you will looooooove this show. I don't think you have to be 15 and confused to like it. You should check out Death Comes to Town. You won't be disappointed. Especially as a comedienne.

  3. theTsaritsa says:

    I'm really glad they're back on television! I used to watch reruns on COmedy Central in the summer. I didn't know what I was watching at first, but I grew to love them. I think what won me over is the headcrusher skit, and the French fur trappers in the office buildings.

  4. That Chelsea Girl™ says:

    Oh my lands, I completely forgot about this show!

  5. Big Mark 243 says:

    Scolling down to post a comment, I glace over to see links to posts that mention Bret Easton Ellis and Crispin Glover…

    …interesting…

    staring at laurenne's comment and your reply… along with your post makes me feel old!! I remember watching 'Kids' when I was in the Motor and it via terrestrial tv…

    Thanks for the tip on 'Death'… I must check that out..!

  6. dori* says:

    Two things: You don't use check books any more? You are a hipster!
    And you moved from Buffalo to L.A.? I moved from L.A. to Buffalo. Go figure. (where in B'lo if you don't mind me asking?)
    And last but not least, I adore Kids in the Hall. "The Affair" and "The Best looking guy in Town" are two of my favs among a zillion others.
    Ok, that was 3 things.


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  1. Mortified on TV - November 8, 2011

    [...] I forced my friends to watch every episode of Kids in the Hall and then would make them reenact episodes in front of a camera in the basement. I also made them [...]

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