What exactly is funny about Kids in the Hall?

I noticed that The Kids In The Hall have reunited and are touring which I’m sure will thrill their rabid fanbase.

I just don’t get it.

I have watched 2 or three episodes of their original series, and it seems to me to be a bunch of Canadians trying(very badly) to reenact old Monty Python skits. Now, Monty Python was funny, IMHO. But, other than the guy pretending to crush people between his finger and thumb(which ceased to be funny after, oh,say,2 minutes), NOTHING on this show ever made me crack a smile. I DID, however, like Dave Foley on NewsRadio.

Anyone care to change my underinformed opinion? I’m really trying to be open minded about this.

Chris W.

Dunno if we can change your opinion here. I mean, how do you explain comedy? We can’t pull down graphs and charts to diagram WHY we think it’s funny. Either you think it’s funny or you don’t. Clearly it’s just a type of humor that doesn’t appeal to your sensibilities. Personally, Kids In The Hall have always been comedy gods to me. I love how they could range from complete absurdist humor to straight-out silly stuff like the aformentioned ‘crushing your head’ sketch, and one of my all-time favorites, “Citizen Kane!”.

Myself, I’ve tried to listen to Howard Stern several times on the advice of people, but I’ve never found a single thing he’s done to be funny. But clearly, a hell of a lot of people disagree with me, so I would never say he’s not funny. Just not my kind of funny.

“Citizen Kane!” was great. But let us not neglect the greatness that was “Stray Businessman”.

“Don’t you spell back at me, young man!”

Either you like it or you don’t. It depends on your state of mind. If you’re in the mood for something silly, you might just like it.

"Welcome to the Pit of Ultimate Darkness!

…conveniently located at Carlo’s Italian Eatery."


This one is my favorite Simon Milligan skit:

“Good evening and welcome to the Pit of Penultimate Darkness. Apparently, someone’s opened a pit slightly darker than this one.”

I’m just guessing at this, but I think maybe its something that was funnier at the time. I personally love the Kids, and have seen every episode of their show as well as seeing them live two years ago. My roommate, on the other hand, doesn’t think they are funny at all, even though she has gamely sat through a few episodes with me. The difference, as far as I can see, is that I started watching the show in 1989 (when I was 12, the first year it was on) , and she never watched it prior to this year. I still think its hilarious, but I’m not sure if I would if I hadn’t watched it at the time.

It also might be a bit of a Canadian thing.

Barring all that, I’m going with Anamorphic here and saying sometimes you like something, and sometimes you don’t. There is no point in trying to make yourself like something that you don’t.

Oh, and for my two cents worth, my personal favorite is still “I don’t know how to play the piano” - 30 seconds of comedy that can make me giggle all day long.

I always enjoyed Scott Thompson’s “Buddy” dialogues.

“You might as well. You got no choice.”

I loved the one he did as a prisoner, complaining how those foreign people ‘pretended’ not to be able to speak english and everything…and led to his violence.

Gotta go with the “not funny” group here. I tried watching the show once and simply could not see the point. The skits seemed extremely labored, yet pointless and laugh-free. No sudden revelations or insight, no clever wordplay, no biting satire, no interesting parody. Why the hell would you want to watch it?

In addition to the it’s-not-funny-to-everyone thing, I think it also depends on which episodes you caught. Towards the end, the sketches got darker and weirder. (The “sausages” one comes to mind.) But if you caught the shows before then, you probably saw their better stuff.

Even then, not all their sketches were for everyone. While they were amusing, I never cared for Bruce McCullough’s “Terriers” or “These Are The Daves I Know” songs. The “crushing your head” stuff was retarded. The “40 Helens Agree” series was silly. I did like Dave Foley’s monologues, and the Chicken Lady sketches, but I far from liked a lot of their stuff.
:sniffs: Is that pie I smell?

I find that a lot of KITH humor is really slow-simmer stuff . . . a few guffaws rather than laughing your head off, but when you look back on it, it’s pretty goddamn funny . . . not in the sort of way that makes you laugh out loud remembering it, or even smile . . . you just think about it with your usual zombie at-work bored expression on your face and think “Yeah, that was funny.”

It’s definitely a weirder, more absurdist humor than, say, SNL or even Monty Python. Python (who are comedy gods, make no mistake) do a silly absurdist humor, whereas KITH is more serious (serious comedy?) and postmodern (forgive me. . . postmodern is my favorite catchphrase these days.)

And if you want to see the difference between Kids in the Hall and SNL, expressed with mathematical precision, you have to see the Tarzan-at-the-Office sketch, wherein the Kids explain that in order to placate CBS (is that the right network?), they will are attempting a more “American” style of humor. If you’re looking for parody, CalMeacham, it doesn’t get more brilliant than that piece.

BTW, “Crushing your head!” is only about 1/10 as funny as “Nobody home!”

While I let loose a giggle at the jokes repeated here, I have never found the show funny. In high school I used to watch it after school with my German then-boyfriend who loved the show so much he taped it for when he went home and couldn’t see it anymore. I never found it remotely funny.

Of course, most of my immediate family think Seinfeld and Frasier are horrible, whereas I am often found wailing like a banshee and crying tears of glee while watching either show. My mom will walk into the room, watch for two seconds while I am hysterical on the floor, and say with perplexity, “I don’t get it.”

I have to wonder about the mental state of anyone who does not like Kids In The Hall. Sure, not every bit was comedy gold, but it is hard to be the Gavin skits or Buddy’s monologues or the Running Faggot bit or the secretaries, “Temp. Slut. Temp-slut” or …

There are just too many to name them all. But, there’s no accounting for taste.

Well, the FIRST episode of TKITH I ever saw was utterly briloiant. I laughed my head off repeatedly. I hadnb’t seen anything so original or so funny in years. I couldn’t wait to see the next episode!

And then the next episode stunk. And the one after that. And the one after that. Until I just lost interest completely, and stopped watching.

So, I will NEVER tell you they aren’t funny, because I know they were brilliant, at least once. Perhaps there were other episodes as great as the first one I saw. But I just got tired of waiting for them.

“You made this coffee naked? Some poor Columbian boy’s hard work has been tainted by your perversity!”

Chalk me up as a KITH-lover! Other fans may recognize my username from a couple of skits (“I shouldn’t BE here! I should be 15 minutes AWAY from here!”)

Some favorite lines:
“This is f’n good ham.”
“My PEN!”
“Can’t have Cornflakes without a whole lotta milka.”

The Gavin skits are the best, especially when he was telling the butcher what hot dogs are made of. “Cows eyes, dogs heads, old phone books, and of course, weeeeiiiner flaaaavor.”

My husband doesn’t get it either, but a previous boyfriend was a huge fan. He had three six-hour tapes full of episodes. Damn! I should have taken those when we broke up!

Another KITH fan here. It’s the only sketch comedy that’s ever made me laugh. And for the record the sausages thing made me laugh histerically!

Another KITH fan here. It’s the only sketch comedy that’s ever made me laugh. And for the record the sausages thing made me laugh histerically!

I’m sorry, but anyone who doesn’t think the “bad doctor” is funny just doesn’t have much of a sense of humor. (“You know what this is? Another man’s urine. I ask for it, and they give it to me. I don’t know what to do with it!”)

I know there are variations in taste (and some of the Kids’ late work is more absurdist and satiric than specifically funny – though I love “sausages” and “we work in silence! we shovel fuel!”), but their best stuff is just plain funny. (As opposed to, as one poster mentioned, Howard Stern, who is just rude and obnoxious.)

But the show did run for a while, so a lot of the anti-Kid crowd could have seen the later, weirder years, where the point wasn’t to have a lot of punchlines. (And even I have to admit that the movie was a big disappointment.)

Kids in the Hall is messed up good. I didn’t get a chance to see a lot of the stuff until it was rebroadcast on Comedy Central a year or so back. I never missed it (it helped that there was nothing else on).

A lot of the recurring themes did get old and the Chicken Lady always freaked me out, but by and large it’s just great. Kevin MacDonald is like, my hero. His hilarious vocalizations I have attempted to duplicate on many an occasion, with varying degrees of succes.