Somewhere between Saturday Night Live and The Whitest Kids You Know came The Kids In The Hall, a sketch comedy troupe that devoted itself to lunacy, random non-sequiturs and lots and lots of cross-dressing. Featuring names that we at least kind of know to this day like Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald, The Kids In The Hall spanned six seasons, and brought out two movies. And the folks out at A&E sent over the entire six season box set, The Kids In The Hall: The Complete Series, for me to review. And it’s almost every inch a delight.
The Kids In The Hall: The Complete Series brings together just about everything The Kids In The Hall ever did. All the greatest moments like “I’m Crushing Your Head” guy, to the Flying Pig who entertains people in life’s many lines, even down to Skoora the Gentle Shark. Don’t hate him…he hates himself. You’ll get an endless amount of short comedy sketches, and most of them hilarious.
Stop and wrap your head around that for a minute. We’re talking about fully forty five hours of prime comedy. Sure, not all of it is going to be great stuff. Some of it will be almost aggressively stupid. But I spent a whole lot of time laughing at the wide array of comic joy to be had here.
The sketches are relatively simple, and for the most part effective largely due to their simplicity. Nothing really sticks around long enough to wear out its welcome, which is a plus, so they’re constantly keeping a flow of comic joy coming. Each sketch lasts, on average, somewhere around four minutes, with some smaller ones tossed in to thin out the mix and keep each episode around twenty four minutes.
And really, it’s hilarious. There’s so much of it here, and somewhere between eighty to ninety percent of it is just hilarious. The humor isn’t even all that topical, which means it’s just as funny today as it was back in 1989 when it first emerged. That’s especially surprising in sketch comedy, as often, it depends on current events and the like for its humor. The Kids In The Hall, meanwhile, tended to draw humor from the relatively absurd, which generated many of the classic characters, along with other strange phenomenon like Salty Ham. About the only thing you won’t get here, and this is actually something of a big loss, is their first feature-length movie, Brain Candy. Brain Candy was good stuff, and it’s a shame that it’s not here.
And the Screenhead Ten Scale recognizes The Kids In The Hall by giving The Kids In The Hall: The Complete Series a nine out of ten, recognizing its numerous successes yet acknowledging that it’s not perfect. But it’s very, very close.