Comedians Kevin McDonald and Dave Foley are founding members of the sketch comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall.EXPAND
Comedians Kevin McDonald and Dave Foley are founding members of the sketch comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall.
courtesy Dallas Videofest

Comedian Kevin McDonald Performs and Teaches This Weekend at Stomping Ground

It turns out it actually doesn't take long bouts of cocaine-fueled creativity or brainstorms produced by heavy-duty hallucinogens to come up with some great sketch comedy material — unless of course you count the first writing staff of Saturday Night Live.

What it does take is creativity, numerous revisions and hard work. Few people know that better than actor and comedian Kevin McDonald, who is one of the founding members of the legendary Canadian comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall.

McDonald will be at the Stomping Ground Comedy Theater this weekend for an intensive sketch comedy writing class on Saturday followed by a live sketch and improv comedy show starring McDonald and his students at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The sketch show will feature original sketches written by the class and stand-up comedy performed by McDonald.

McDonald will also appear onstage at the Arts District comedy theater in two more shows this weekend. The Montreal native, who is also a prolific voice actor, will perform in two shows Saturday starting with the role-playing adventure improv comedy Quest in Show at 7:30 p.m. Then, McDonald will be part of a live recording of the local comedy podcast, The Brave Boys, at 11 p.m. with hosts and comedians Taylor Higginbotham, Brad McKenzie and Robbie Scheer.

McDonald, Dave Foley, Mark McKinney, Bruce McCulloch and Scott Thompson formed The Kids in the Hall in the mid-1980s. McDonald and Foley first met while training together at Second City Toronto, and McKinney and McCulloch met while performing in a troupe in the improv comedy show Theatresports in Calgary. Eventually they invited Thompson to become the fifth member of The Kids in the Hall. Thompson joined the troupe following an infamous moment when Thompson was in the audience while McDonald was bombing onstage.

"It was a really bad show," McDonald said in a 2017 press conference for the Dallas VideoFest. "We'd done 13 scenes and were about to do this really long one, and when you're bombing, it's so scary. It was about a scientist who invented food or something. We found out he invented jelly doughnuts, and before everyone came in, we taped these powdery jelly doughnuts on the bottoms of the chairs, and at the end, Gary [Campbell] as the mad scientist would say, 'Everybody, look under your chairs. It's jelly doughnuts for everybody!' And all of a sudden, some guy started to throw the doughnuts, and then the whole audience threw them, and we just stood there and took it, and it was Scott Thompson who started it."

The Kids in the Hall performed their weekly sketch and improv show at the Toronto rock club The Rivoli, where they amassed an impressive following and caught the eye of Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels. He helped the group get on TV in 1988 for two seasons on HBO in the United States and the CBC in Canada. The show later ran on Comedy Central in the early 1990s, where it found a massive American and Canadian fan base and ran for five more memorable seasons.

The show launched such memorable characters as the Satan-worshipping talk show hosts Sir Simon Milligan and his man-servant Hecubus, the not-at-all insane Sizzler Sisters and the king of empty promises Lex and his long-suffering friend Dean played by McDonald and Foley respectively. The Kids in the Hall wrote and released their first film Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy in 1996 that went on to become a cult classic among comedy fans. The Kids in the Hall continue to tour across America and Canada to sold-out crowds and are developing a return to television with Michaels on Netflix.

McDonald has also performed in numerous TV shows and films such as the sci-fi comedy GalaxyQuest, the Fox sitcom That '70s Show, Nickelodeon's Invader ZIM and Disney's Lilo & Stitch as the friendly alien Agent Pleakley.

Tickets are $20.

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