Montreal-born Kevin McDonald founded the sketch comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall in the mid-80s with Dave Foley, whom he met while training at the iconic Second City in Toronto. They were later joined by Mark McKinney and Bruce McCulloch, who came to Toronto from Alberta with their own sketch troupe, and after shedding several members and allowing an incredibly persistent Scott Thompson into the fold, the world was gifted with the Kids we now know and love.
For more than two decades, the edgy, dark, and surreal comics gave us five seasons of The Kids in the Hall on CBC and HBO; the feature film Brain Candy; several tours across North America; and last year the mini-series Death Comes to Town, commissioned by the CBC and airing on IFC in the U.S. When not working with the influential sketch troupe, McDonald has appeared in memorable guest roles on shows like NewsRadio, Seinfeld, and Less Than Kind, as well as a number of feature films, while utilizing his unique tones in cartoon voiceover work.
Over the last few years, Kevin McDonald has made his home in Winnipeg, which has made it incredibly easy for him to participate in the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. Last year, he performed his one-man show "Hammy and the Kids", a dark look at his upbringing and his time with KITH. This year, he's doing something different (for him and the festival), presenting "Kevin Film Fest", a free afternoon series at the Gas Station Theatre featuring five of his favourite comedy films of the 1970s: Young Frankenstein, Love and Death, Real Life, Heartbreak Kid, and Monty Python & the Holy Grail.
I had the pleasure of speaking with McDonald this past weekend at the dimly-lit Gas Station Theatre about the early years of The Kids in the Hall, the films he's presenting at the festival, what he thinks of his newly-adopted city, whether he's every had an interest in stand-up comedy, and some of his favourite KITH sketches. And despite his repeated insistence to the contrary, his various stories and factoids weren't he least bit boring, at least to this Kids in the Hall fan.
Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found at The Purple Room in Winnipeg, where he is Artistic Director. (@comedygeek)