Who would have thought we'd be watching new Kids in the Hall episodes in 2022, and yet here we are, with new episodes premiering on Amazon Prime Video May 13.
The boys — all aged 59-62 — are the subject of a two-part doc, The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks, which helpfully reminds viewers of the troupe's 38-year legacy of subversive comedy, including flirtations with SNL, exploration of drag and homosexuality and their dark humor's impressive sphere of influence. Using pristine archival footage and new interviews, the piece rehashes the group's rise to fame, internal struggles and lucrative reunions, doing so while also presenting snippets of their greatest hits and worst bits. It feels definitive, and I would suggest watching it prior to digging in to their new episodes.
As for the new stuff, they've still got it. Episode 1 unfurls with a sketch that finds Dave Foley and Bruce McCulloch stark naked — what better way to challenge convention than to reveal naked, aging bodies fearlessly? We aren't supposed to look like fiftysomethings and sixtysomethings until we're eightysomethings. Throughout, their observations on aging sting hilariously.
The new episodes offer all the things you'd hope — guy in a towel, Mark McKinney's head crusher, Scott Thompson's Buddy Cole, the last-ever glory hole, a butter-fingered obstetrician, a dead-serious restaurant staff — plus plenty of suitably edgy, still identifiably progressive tweaks of whatever you consider cancel culture without resorting to a lazy, right-wing embrace of complaining about it.
The are sketches about the end of the world, a bleeding and dumbed-down Shakespeare, an existentially distracted hit man and a guy taking a crap that features perfect sound FX.
It isn't until the fourth episode that I momentarily questioned the wisdom of going back, but there is enough here to justify the experiment, including funny interstitials of famous folks playing obsessed fans — Pete Davidson, Catherine O'Hara, Kenan Thompson and more.
Check out the new episodes on Amazon Prime Video on May 13, and the doc on May 20.