TV Party Tonight! #43

TV Party Tonight! #43

Thursday, 15 February 2018

The Kids in the Hall

The Complete Collection [DVD]

Mill Creek Entertainment

I think we’re living in a new age of comedy. Don’t believe me? Then, you’re a dummy. Pop open your Netflix, HBOGo, or Hulu and almost every other show is a semi-autobiography about comedians, a standup special, or a talk show-type thing hosted by a comedian. What’s missing, however, is sketch comedy. Probably Key and Peele was the last high-profile sketch comedy show (same with the Birthday Boys, which I have my reservations about). And I know you’re all shouting “What about SNL!” but calling SNL sketch comedy is like calling a bag of skittles dinner. Maybe I should clarify that I’m referring to good sketch comedy.

So until the next standard comes along, we’re left looking to the past and revisiting our favorites. Among the best and most underrated is definitely the Kids in the Hall.

It’s been more than a decade since I’ve seen a KITH sketch (the comeback movie notwithstanding) and it was nothing short of a joy to relive these episodes on the new Mill Creek collection which contains all the episodes and the Death Comes to Town mini-series of 2010. It’s even sadder comparing it to its older, more popular, brother SNL (both produced by Lorne Michaels) because the Kids in the Hall clearly shows how much more you can do with so much less. It focuses on written material (not just pandering to its live audience), on original scenarios and ingenuity (you never know where a sketch is going), and on acting (instead of awkwardly reading off cue cards). What’s more, the Kids in the Hall are the stars of their show and their chemistry is natural and funny, unlike having to provide a service to a special guest every week. Add to all that a healthy dose of Canadian culture and the show takes on an additional strange and foreign tone, almost like we’re looking into the lives of people in an alternate universe.

This Mill Creek collection does a serious job of collecting all the episodes in a very compact set along with bonus featurettes and commentaries. It’s a little unfortunate that this collection isn’t presented in high definition, as the episodes look a little rough and overexposed on these DVDs. It’s a neat set, but a little unpolished, just like the kids. It’s also a steal at just $70 for 102 episodes of comedy gold.

It’s great to discover how great the Kids in the Hall have remained after all these years, how relevant, edgy, and hilarious. It’s a testament to the quality of the show and the talent of the crew involved. Comedy like this doesn’t come along very often.

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