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July 10, 2007 |

By Stacey Nosek | Guides | July 10, 2007 |

For the legions of faithful Pajibans, it’s a safe bet that the likes of Dave Foley, Mark McKinney, Scott Thompson, Bruce McCullough and Kevin McDonald need no introduction. Now, I’m not the type to throw around words like “hero” or “idol” all willy nilly — but when it comes to these five guys? Well I’d be damned near lying if I said I regarded them as anything less. You see, as a 14 year old in the early 1990s — while the other girls were gushing over Luke Perry and whoever else was the hot item of the moment, I was fantasizing of someday becoming Mrs. Dave Foley. Right there speaks volumes about my social status back in those days, which is part of the reason why, at such a young age, I was drawn to comedy in the first place.

When I discovered “The Kids in the Hall,” I was already a fan of the usual suspects like “Saturday Night Live” and “SCTV.” But when it came to the “KITH” there was something different going on. It was irreverent, unconventional, and to my impressionable brain, it seemed downright avant-garde. I became obsessed with the show; I didn’t just watch it — I studied it. There’s no doubt that the impression the series left on me in those formative years largely contributed to who I am today.

Having said all that, I couldn’t be prouder to be putting together this apt tribute by showcasing some of their finest and most hilarious sketches from the five seasons of their television show (which ran from 1989-1994). Narrowing down the entire catalog of their work to a manageable number of sketches was no easy feat, so my criteria was based mostly on which ones were so outstanding that they still hold up every bit as well today, nearly two decades later.

Honorable Mentions: Building this quasi-comprehensive list wouldn’t be possible without honorable mentions. I faced limitations at the mercy of YouTube, which suffered an immense crackdown at the hands of Broadway Video about a week before this guide published, and, unfortunately, I had to cut a couple of favorites. The two most notable cuts were “Salty Ham,” starring the hugely underrated recurring characters Fran and Gordon; and the somewhat obscure “Just One Bite,” a fantastic sketch starring Dave Foley as a man struggling with some confectionary demons. Otherwise the list stands relatively unscathed. As for other nods: “Doe A Deer” and the “Dr. Suess Bible” just missed the cut, while some recurring characters like Gavin, the King of Empty Promises, and the Chicken Lady — while brilliant in their conception — became a little too repetitive for me over time.

If I missed your favorite, which is quite possible — be sure to leave it below in the comments! And now on to the Crème de la Crème, in chronological order:

“Daves I Know” (Season 1) — It just wouldn’t be a complete list without the Daves’ song, a favorite of both casual and diehard fans alike. This sketch was in the first episode of “The Kids in the Hall” I ever watched, and it was pretty much love at first sight.

“Running Faggot” (Season 1) — “Running Faggot” is the kind of clip that if you tried to describe it to someone, they would probably be either incredulously flabbergasted or just all out fucking confused. If you haven’t seen it, just watch. And to everyone else — you know exactlywhat I mean.

“Bank People” (Unedited version, aka Screw the Bank) (Season 1) — Bruce may well be my favorite Kid, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love his monologues. Picking just one to feature in this guide was tough — what with the “Poo Guy,” “Open Letter to the Guy Who Stole My Bike Wheel,” and “Brucio” — but ultimately, “Screw the Bank” wins me over with the delivery of the line, “Sir, were you aware that you are gross?”

“Pit of Ultimate Darkness” (Season 2) — Kevin and Dave’s well-played eeeeevil counterparts are another favorite of fans across the board. Interesting piece of trivia — Kevin was originally slated to play Hecubus while Mark was to play Simon. However, Kevin, who wrote the characters and had envisioned it the other way around, put his foot down shortly before production started and the rest is history.

“Police Department — Pig” (Season 2) — Long before “Reno 911,” Bruce McCullough and Mark McKinney had the market cornered on incompetent police humor. In this sketch, Scott absolutely nails it as the belligerent tormentor.

“Daddy Drank” (Season 2) — This clip is pretty much a must see for any child of a shitty alcoholic parent. Because, if nothing else, we should all be able to laugh about the time Kevin’s dad told him that he bought him a puppy and then ate it; or that when I was in high school my mom stole all the money I saved while working a part-time job. Otherwise, we’d all just be fucking depressed. But it’s probably almost as fun for people who come from happy, well-adjusted families, too.

“Girl Drink Drunk” (Season 3) — It all started with a “Chocolate Choo Choo.” One of my all-time favorites, and I know it’s one of yours. Dave had us at “I’m just … getting some … paper clips!”

“The Mouse” (Season 3) — The character of “Tucker” was seen only once more throughout the series’ five-year run, when he was later tormented by a sports car’s high-tech security system. There’s just something unmistakably hilarious about a slightly retarded guy being terrorized by a plucky mouse. And on a personal level, who among us can say that a mouse hasn’t at some point pooped in our bread? Enjoy.

“Love and Sausages” (Season 4) — “Love and Sausages” is a sketch of epic proportions, so bizarre that it could have come from nowhere else besides the eccentric mind of Bruce McCullough. But once again, it’s Scott who steals the scene as the old man screeching for his sausages.

“Play Back” (Season 5) — As someone who has actually worked in a convenience store, I can tell you this is exactly the sort of thing that happens, except not so much with the giving the finger and pulling a gun on customers as they throw soft pretzels at me. But it’s still pretty awesome to see Bruce do a little dance and cut a fart simultaneously.

Stacey Nosek is a television columnist for Pajiba, and lives in a quaint little town in rural Pennsylvania. You can also visit her blog, Litelysalted.

Guides | July 10, 2007 |

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