Review: Amazon's 'Kids in the Hall' revival is an adventure in aging -- with the same old bite

Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Although wigs allow them to portray some younger characters, age and time are integrated into the material. There is a routine about elderly male strippers ("Autoworkers and strippers are in the same union, so I got to keep my benefits," says a laid-off McKinney, while McDonald needs his wife to help him undo his track suit.) In another, secretaries Kathie (McCulloch) and Cathy (Thompson) sadly send Earth's last fax. Buddy Cole (Thompson) gives a young friend a tour of old and closed gay bars and bath houses, which spins off in a direction there is really no way to describe in a family newspaper, though as is generally the case with the series' sexual material, it is not crude or gratuitous or there for an easy laugh, but essential to the concept or the characters.

There is room, of course, for offense, and not merely over some full-frontal nudity from men around 60. According to Thompson, TV's first out gay sketch comic after Terry Sweeney, who spent a year on "Saturday Night Live," some gay men found his flamboyant, effeminate Buddy Cole distasteful, or inadvisable, though the character has gained, in less closeted times, iconic status.

As they have since their Toronto stage days, the men sometimes play women, which is not the point or meant to be funny in itself, but merely a way to introduce female characters into their comedy. There is also a sketch revolving around Super Drunk (McCulloch), a caped superhero whose powers all come from inebriation. (Stoners are acceptably funny now; drunks, not so much.) These may be a deal breaker for some viewers in this third decade of the 21st century, but one would guess that the troupe is quite prepared for that eventuality.




Rating: 18+

How to watch: Premiered Friday on Amazon Prime Video


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