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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Kids Are Alright

Kids and the Hall are coming to the Weidner Center on Sunday night. No matter how many times I say or type that, I still have a hard time believing it. But hey, Elvis Costello played at Oneida Casino a few years back, so with enough patience, good things do happen to this area.

On a personal note, of the myriad pop culture influences in my life, the Canadian comedy quintet is probably in my all-time top five. I simply turned on Comedy Central as a teen, heard that killer intro music by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, and I've had a craving for some salty ham ever since.

Ask any Kids fan and they'll tell you the show's sketches resonate for different reasons. Some were so surreal (“Love and Sausages”) they could have given David Lynch a run for his money. Others took a simple premise ("It was 'Citizen Kane!'" or "I distinctly heard hoopla") and spun comedy gold out of a killer one-liner. And unlike Lorne Michaels’ "other" project, "Saturday Night Live," the show rarely ripped its material from the headlines or ran celebrity impressions into the ground. That alone has kept the groundbreaking sketches fresh as ever – even if Dave Foley probably can’t pull off that Hecubus costume these days.

In honor of the Kids' arrival Sunday, I've searched high and low on YouTube for some of my all-time favorites. I couldn't find them all -- no "Bruce's Answering Machine Message" or the sweetly simple "Do Re Mi" -- but there were quite a few available. Also, I tried to keep it clean so I could post them here -- no "Running (You Know Who)," "Kevin's Restraining Order Against Himself" or "The Dinner Party Where Scott Unfastens His Pants" -- so let's just consider these indisputable classics a nice refresher before Sunday's show.

Headcrusher vs. Facepincher: Sitting in a lawn chair and crushing people’s heads from a distance, the Headcrusher was a champion for all those beaten down by “flatheads” of the world. And when the Facepincher was introduced as the Headcrusher’s nemesis, well, everybody needs a little competition.

My Pen: Even before Milton had his stapler on “Office Space,” Bruce McCulloch had his pen. The dramatic effect is enough to make you never let someone borrow your engraved ball point again.

Can I Keep Him?: Hilarious, but also incredibly touching (well, for a comedy sketch) when Kevin McDonald places his tie around a tear-soaked and convincingly young McCulloch.

The Beard: If only for the line, "No, the beard stays. You go!"

The Eradicator: If only for the line, "Let the carnage begin!" But seeing a beaten down Eradicator ask McDonald if he wants to unmask him ("It's your right.") is "Kids" at its finest.

The Bill: The grown up, agitated Gavin? Incredulous Bruce's squeaky voice is trumped only by Mark McKinney's absurd faces and Dave Foley's stoned laughing fit. Oh, and "I never got my water ..."

These Are The Daves I Know: Once upon a time in New Zealand, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie heard this catchy little number and picked up guitars ...

The French Trappers: Let's just agree that whenever Kevin dons a beard, classic comedy ensues.

Seven Things To Do: "Look, if you don't shaddup, this is gonna happen to you."

The Doors Fan: "Greatest Hits albums are for housewives and little girls." "Was that a Frampton reference in my store?" "Jim (bleepin') Morrison told me!" "Viva la Doors!" Perhaps the most quotable "Kids" sketch ever ... or maybe I'm just a big music nerd.

Did I miss yours? Share a favorite below.

-- Thomas Rozwadowski,

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Too bad you couldn't find the one where Hecubus leaves the show. The Hecubus puppet that Simon uses to replace him is priceless.

By Blogger Antony, At May 30, 2008 at 1:07 PM  

This was AWESOME! That took me back in the day. Props for finding all of the videos.

By Anonymous Anonymous, At May 31, 2008 at 4:03 PM  

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