The inside story of one of the most groundbreaking and influential comedy troupes from the golden age of MTV.
Musician and writer Myers (A Wizard, a True Star: Todd Rundgren in the Studio, 2010, etc.) happens to be the brother of actor and comedian Mike Myers, giving him a unique perspective to tell the inside story of the Canadian comedy troupe the Kids in the Hall. The author had an extraordinary level of access, and the book features contributions from not only the founding members—Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, and Scott Thompson—but also from industry legends and others, including the normally elusive Lorne Michaels, who produced their show, as well as Mike Myers, Judd Apatow, Samantha Bee, Bob Odenkirk, and Seth Myers, who provides the foreword. The author tracks the Kids’ paths from childhood to the formation of the comedy troupe in 1984, through their “comedy boot camp” in New York courtesy of Michaels, to the hilarious, often audacious show that just managed to stay on the air from 1989 to 1995. They’re a fascinating group, from McCulloch’s social commentary to McKinney’s character-driven “jams” to seemingly secret weapon Foley, who would go on to further fame in NewsRadio. It’s also interesting to watch an obviously eager McDonald struggle with his physical image while openly gay Thompson tussles with his identity even as the Kids were breaking taboos with drag characters and trolling the straight world with skits like “Dr. Seuss Bible” and monologues like Thompson’s “The Night the Drag Queens Took Over the World.” Myers’ prose is reliably steady, and his subjects are surprisingly unfiltered in their remembrances. It’s a fun story that doesn’t end in a bad breakup, as Myers notes: “As of this writing, the Rolling Stones are still together, and so too are the Kids in the Hall.”
A terrific account of a truly unique sensation, best accompanied by pulling up corresponding sketches on YouTube.