This single DVD collects 31 sketches from The Kids in the Hall’s third and forth seasons. But at only 94 minutes, it’s nearly the equivalent to a single Saturday Night Live episode. You’d think they could have found a whole lot more material to showcase from two full seasons. Nevertheless, there is some funny stuff contained within.
The best sketch by far is one titled “The Pen”. It’s a simple idea, really, about a loyal office worker who notices his trusty writing utensil missing. Everybody misplaces office equipment now and again, but for most, this is no big deal; but not for this nerdy character. For him, this loss represents the end of the world. He gets a shocked look on his face, like an Australian mom who just realizes her only child has been eaten by a dingo.
Shot in retro black and white, this bit follows the young man as he searches wildly for his favorite pen. In one sequence, he is hanging on the side of a cab as it speeds down a busy street. There’s also a gross shot where our victim imagines the man who accidentally took the pen putting the pen in his ear. As he does so, blood spurts out. In the end, office worker and pen are once again united. But now, this pen is safely attached to a string so it can never leave his sight again. You get the feeling this character/ victim must have held onto his childhood security blanket well into the teen years.
Another exemplary segment is titled “Queen’s Address”, where England’s monarch imagines that Canada is about to break off from England and abandon the monarchy. Like Monty Python, these Kids (five men, actually) also know a thing or two about playing women. In this case, the queen is portrayed as a ditzy woman who talks down to Canadians. In a special TV announcement address, she tells the Canadian population that without the French and the English, they’d just be Americans.
She also speaks to them like a lover who never expresses her inner feelings to her mate. She explains this away by confessing that she is, after all, English, a people known for having troubles with expressiveness. She then turns to highlighting Canadian stereotypes and brings out a plate of Canadian bacon to show how much she loves it. In the middle of this love fest she is lavishing upon Canada, her sons enter the room holding a newspaper. It turns out the tabloid she’s read was only a joke they’d made up.
The most visually arresting bit is called “Body Conscious”. This one features two men sitting side-by-side in a steam bath. While they’re talking, one man has a few innocent questions. This man, you see, just recently realized that he’d grown breasts and he wonders if his friend has noticed them before. As he removes his towel, he reveals two sizable boobs. He asks his friend, “Have I always had these breasts?” Nope, his friend hasn’t noticed these two frontal appendages before. All the while, the man remains extremely nonchalant about his body changes. “You know how when you’re putting on weight, you don’t really notice it? It’s just one day you wake up and your pants don’t fit.”
What makes this skit particularly funny is that this friend behaves similar to the way he would act with a woman that had just removed her top – he can’t stop staring at his friends new breasts. It’s an imaginative idea, which is pulled off perfectly.
Along with these sketches, this DVD also includes four commentary tracks with the cast, as well as cast biographies.
The Kids in the Hall is oftentimes compared to Monty Python and Saturday Night Live. Sketches like “Queen’s Address” reveal the influence of Monty Python’s skewed perspective on politics and nationalism, whereas “Body Conscious” hearkens back to Saturday Night Live’s earlier, more adventurous days. The Kids in the Hall is somewhere in between these two programs. This disc is but a small taste of what they can do. It’s not nearly enough, it will leave you wanting more.