How on Earth did The Kids in the Hall even happen?

Episode Rundown

[00:00:27] “Most recently the show runner and executive producer on Less Than Kind and the executive producer on Picnic Face. It’s Mark McKinney , Mark McKinney wrote and co-created and starred in the acclaimed mini series Slings and Arrows and has appeared in such movies as The Saddest Music in the World and Spice World. Mark McKineey has also a former cast member of Saturday Night live. It’s Mark McKinney, no guys it’s Darrill, Brett Sudelman, Sharisse, the bigot cabbie, cop #2, Herman Menderchuck of Rod Torfulson’s Armada feature Herman Menderchuck. mississippi Gary, Satan ok fine, it’s the Chicken Lady. It’s the I’m crushing your head guy. It’s Mark McKinney here in my studio” Jesse

[00:02:28] “Wasn’t it a fraternal brotherhood of people that they sat down sort of from the Mike Duffy era and you know ‘well I didn’t like your question but lets go get a steak and bottle of red wine and a couple of hookers’ I don’t know sorry.” McKinney

[00:03:11] “Calling somebody’s mother a prostitute is like cause for not getting another interview. I don’t know, were they unhappy that they got all this press about Trudeau. It’s that sleazy thing like anything just get my name right.” McKinney

“Someone tweeted this is the best day in Ezra’s life” Jesse

“You spell that AssFace A S S F A C E” McKinney

[00:06:13] “Why can’t that happen (Kids in the Hall), why hasn’t it?” Jesse

“That’s a really good question, I think for the one thing the Kids in the Hall we had great luck in terms of our timing. We were one of HBO’s first comedy offerings when the dial that was available to you to watch went from 10 channels to 100 channels. And there was a time there for about a decade a decade and a half where that was the offering so there was this big enough audience that between CBC and Canada and HBO in the states we could do a show where we got to do film pieces and live studio with four cameras rolling. That’s a big scale show, I don’t know what it cost today but it’s not cheap. And also we had the fabulous triumvirate of oversight. We had no sort of effective oversight I wanna say. Ivan Fecan was head of the CBC, he liked Loren Michaels. Loren Michaels liked us so they made a deal so that mean’t the CBC didn’t really want to interfere with that Loren Michaels show. People from HBO didn’t want to fly from LA to go into tappings`every friday night, they had families so we were kind of left on our own.” McKinney

[00:07:50] Some great Picnic Face classic stuff

[00:09:07] “The history of comedy is littered with shows that were on the bubble or cancelled at the end of the first year including Kids in the Hall. We were cancelled in the end of our first year. It’s only because we won a raft of awards that were then called the Cable Ace Awards that suddenly we were back on.” McKinney

[00:10:39] “It’s not so much about having the critical darling hit as much if you have a police procedural that you can sell around the world.” Jesse

“I mean Flashpoint was really good news for Canadian television, it sold everywhere, it made a really good profit. Ivan Fecan who was then head of CTV made sure that the road was paved for that thing. People got rich which I have no problem with. And another generation of Canadian crews got trained.” McKinney

[00:12:50] “I was just listening to Mike Myers on WTF saying that he was almost in the Kids in the Hall.” Jesse

“Oh yeah, he was around. The troupe WAS sort of the collision of two troupes. There was the audience from Calgary which was myself, Bruce McCulloch, Frank Van Keeken, Norman Hiscock and Garry Campbell. And we had done a show out there called late night comedy at Loose Moose Theater where theater sports got it start…We asked if we could do a late night show and we started writing our own strange sketches and becuase it’s Calgary which is kinda like Winnipeg which is kinda like Halifax a town that’s far away. We got an audience, an enthusiastic audience that was into our stuff, so when we arrived in Toronto we knew it could be done. And there were Luciano Casimiri and Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald who were being the alternative sort of aggressively weird sketch troupe. In sort of a culture, back in the time, a lot of people who were just trying to get into the Second City. So we were kindred spirits, Norm didn’t come out, Gary and Frank drifted off, they got early TV writing gigs. And it sort of became the four of us and then Scott joined sort of limped on cause he liked it. He wouldn’t go away, he was a guest we invited down like we did with Mike Myers and Sandra Shamas and some other people.” McKinney

[00:22:16] “Maybe comedy is just harder…Bell and Rogers and Shaw are having luck with a certain type of program. Hour long procedural’s seem to be doing ok…Comedy wise it’s tricky, it’s harder.” McKinney

[00:24:55] “I’m working with Susan Coyne and Bob Martin on another Slings and Arrowsish idea. I got a couple comedies that are burtling along. What else oh yeah more acting work.” Mckinney

[00:26:23] “Dave Foley he’s a lead on a network sitcom. He’s a host on the Celebrity Poker.” Jesse

“Bruce has a book coming out next month and a one man show he’s bringing to the Isabel Bader. And Scott, Scott became a real good stand-up. Used to be an in-troupe joke about how terrible and flop sweaty he would get in his stand up. He’s amazing now.” McKinney

[00:27:32] “How would I fix Canadian TV. Well I think actually the CBC is changing direction. I’m not sure if this is the entirety of the answer but I think that part of the mandate that seems to be unfolding is don’t compete with he major networks. They don’t need to be doing procedurals or cop shows or anything that is on 35 channels already. Find things that are Canadian but accidentally Canadian in the best way. And place your bets on the people, because the stakes involved this is the ridiculous thing. I mean when I started out I would come up with a sketch idea I’d write it with Bruce, Scott, David or Kevin and we go and do it at the Rivoli and it was done and it was out and it was there to be improved upon or rewritten. Now you have a situation even if you’re low budget. You’re asking for hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars so that you can do your stuff. The problem there is a lot of people get involved when those sums of money get bandied about. And unfortunately I think maybe the cure for comedy is that those people that you just got to place your bet on the people and let them go and you may get crap.” McKinney

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