Fans of the early-'90s sketch comedy series The Kids in the Hall have long admired the series for its often-surreal take on annoying people, gay culture and Canadian stereotypes. So it was a disappointment when, after their 1996 movie Brain Candy, there was no new filmed material forthcoming other than a tour documentary. Now, the group has reunited for an eight-part miniseries called Death Comes to Town, which aired earlier this year on Canadian television and makes its American debut tonight on IFC. We were lucky enough to score an exclusive sit-down with members Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch (with a cameo by Dave Foley) to talk about the miniseries, as well as their classic characters, Brain Candy, the casting process, Scott's battle with cancer and the first Kids comic book.
Bruce, you brought the germ of the idea for the mini-series to the group. Did that original concept stay more or less intact through the writing process?
Bruce: The original idea was not much, just that impulse and that writing engine that this was going to be a murder mystery that explored the strange characters in a small town. That's the way I write: you start with something and you ask questions about it. And Scott sees an Indian women in the market doing something funny and unique, and thinks he wants to play her, or a version of her.
In describing the series, you've compared it to another Canadian series, Corner Gas.
Bruce: Yeah, Corner Gas and Twin Peaks. That's not really right, but nothing is. To me, it's a lot like our show with a murder mystery thrown in. Not any more weird or less weird.
Which character was the most fun to play in the mini-series?
Scott: Dusty, the town medical examiner. I think he's the funniest of the three that I do. And, honestly? Because I didn't have to wear any makeup. And, as you know, I was going through chemotherapy, so the less makeup and hair and costumes I had to wear, the more comfortable I was. So I would have loved to have done a character that was completely naked.
Bruce: Scott always likes a character where he can steal some of the clothes at the end of the shoot, and Dusty had some nice suits.
Scott: I didn't get any of that wardrobe.
Bruce: You were off your game.
Scott: But it was my favorite to do.
Bruce: Well, it was your most groundbreaking, in a way. It was a new take for you.