I was fortunate enough to catch The Kids in the Hall last night during the Philadelphia stop of their six city “Rusty and Ready” tour, which I mentioned back in April. Unlike their 2008 “Live As We’ll Ever Be” tour, which was heavily produced, had more elaborate set designs and creatively featured a lot of new material (not to mention a new pre-recorded sketch) — the “Rusty and Ready” tour relied primarily on recurring characters and sketches, which made up well over half the show, in addition to a handful of sketches that were taken right from the television series.
Which is not to say that’s a bad thing. Obviously there’s going to be a difference when you’re going from a very comprehensively planned tour that encompasses a few dozen cities to a more hastily thrown together six city mini tour. Hell, I’m just glad as hell to have the guys back on stage again together, because The Kids in the Hall in any capacity is a million times better than no Kids in the Hall.
Here’s some takeaways from last night’s show:
- The show opened with the Kids all wearing wedding dresses, going around explaining why they wear their dresses. The husband thought it kind of had the feel of a “30 Helens Agree” sketch.
- One of the highlights for me was Kevin’s informative song about the history of The Kids in the Hall “for the girlfriends of the 40-year-olds who got dragged here tonight.” I wish I could get my hands on a recorded version of it because it was so much to take in and some parts difficult to hear, but the best was Kevin lowering his hand to the ground when saying Bruce’s name, and emphasizing how much money Brain Candy lost.
- Among the recurring characters that made an appearance were Gavin, Gordon and Fran, Simon and Hecubus, the Geralds, Buddy Cole and the Chicken lady — the latter of which they performed the original sketch in its entirety, which reminded me why Dave Foley is still one of the best straight men in the business.
- Buddy Cole’s excellent monologue about how easy it is for kids coming out today. Money quote: “In my day, self-esteem was something you achieved in spite of your childhood.”
- One of the new bits, about a snobby foodie restaurant getting upset over a customer calling a gourmet tart “pie,” seemed to borrow from their “Dipping Areas” sketch from the television series — only they took it to an insane new level.
- It’s interesting to see how modern concepts and technology like cell phones, iPads and selfies now plays an integral part of their sketches.
- Josh caught the Austin show (where they debuted the tour) and said that it was more goofy when he saw it with a lot of breaking character, but it seems like by the time they got to Philly the set had gotten tighter. Although Mark flubbed Chicago for Philadelphia, I’m not entirely sure that wasn’t intentional.
- Dave doing the Charlie Brown dance during the final bow may have finally washed the bad taste out of my mouth from his somewhat bleak Netflix standup special.
- The Kids came out and did “Running Faggot” as an encore, which was just like, perfection. I found this grainy YouTube video from their Boston tour stop, in hopes that it might bring you even a sliver of the joy it brought me.
So that’s it. If you weren’t lucky enough to have them come to your city, (I think they only have one or two stops left) hopefully it won’t take them another six years to tour again. Or in the meantime, hunt down their underrated 2012 IFC miniseries, Death Comes To Town.
*Note: Header image taken from the Austin premiere of the “Rusty and Ready” tour, thanks to Nadia Chaudhury.