In the late '80s and early '90s, "The Kids in the Hall" offered a surreal and absurd alternative to sketch comedy of shows like "Saturday Night Live." The Canadian cast was best known for bizarre characters with annoying habits and grating personalities. As a reunited Kids in the Hall troupe comes to town this weekend (no doubt with some new and old characters), we decided to take a look at some of the more popular recurring rogues and what made them so insanely hilarious.
• Mr. Tyzik: Better known simply as the Headcrusher, this rather disturbing character played by Mark McKinney judged passers-by based on their clothing and other surface appearances. He deemed most people inferior and sentenced them to a head crushing, which we saw from a first-person perspective with his thumb and forefinger pinching down from afar while he said, "I'm crushing your head!"
• Gavin: A bratty little smart aleck with a wealth of inaccurate knowledge who seemed to enjoy annoying those around him. Bruce McCulloch, in backpack, glasses and a Toronto Blue Jays cap, portrayed Gavin as a nuisance to his parents as well as strangers, with stunts like walking into a deli and informing the owner that hot dogs are made out of, among other things, old telephone books.
• Buddy Cole: Played by the troupe's out-of-the-closet Scott Thompson, this ravishing barfly is an amalgamation of gay stereotypes. From his lisping stories about celebrities and sex to his flamboyant way of sipping cocktails and smoking cigarettes, Cole's monologues could move even the biggest homophobe to laughter. And his dapper wardrobe was second only to Liberace (who he refused to believe was gay).
• The Ax Murderer: Covered in blood and carrying an ax, Dave Foley would nonchalantly approach people and make small talk, carrying on a seemingly ordinary conversation despite the obvious tension created by his appearance. The skits would end with him politely asking that the stranger not mention the murder he had committed to anyone else or, "Chop chop!"
• Sir Simon Milligan: Dwelling in the Pit of Ultimate Darkness along with his sidekick Hecubus (played by Foley), Kevin McDonald channeled a cross between horror show host and black magic sorcerer. With glowing skulls, candelabras and eerie music, Milligan would stumble through his attempts at sounding sinister with a blundering sense of unease that came across as embarrassingly funny rather than evil.
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