by Wil Henneberger
I can never stress enough just how important the Kids in the Hall was to me (were to me?). These five guys, Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson, who regularly dressed like ladies were the cornerstone (cornerstones?) of my creative foundation (foundations?).
A while back, thanks to the Moontower Comedy Festival in Austin, TX, I was able to see all five of those comedy heroes live on a stage at the Paramount Theater about 30 feet away from my stupefied face. It was the best experience of my life that didn’t involve the expulsion of a placenta. When I wrote about that special time in 2013 I described the feeling of the house lights dropping and that surf-rock theme song lifting as being in comedy church.
This year I returned to Moontower and on my last night there I went to comedy confession. In the most intimate of settings, I sat down with Scott Thompson’s iconic KITH character Buddy Cole. It was just me, Buddy and 50 of our closest strangers.
I’m confident enough in the questionability of my sexuality to say that Buddy Cole looked as great as he ever has. I know this because he said so just as he began the show.
Buddy Cole was a regular part of Kids in the Hall, and if you don’t recall or have never seen his sketches, do yourself a solid and devote at least an hour of Youtube time to catching up. Like now you ignorant/forgetful jerks. Wasn’t that hilarious? Buddy Cole monologues aren’t something I have heard a lot about in the past couple of decades. He, of course, took his turn during the KITH live show five years ago but before that it had been about 10 years since I had downloaded the KITH catalog and reacquainted myself to this show I hadn’t seen since its original run on HBO from 1988-1992, save for a few reruns I think I caught on Comedy Central.
As a budding young man with access to premium cable, Buddy was the first gay person I ever knew. He was also the most clever and silly person I knew. He may have been the perfect man for the 10-year-old me. Wait, um… [Record scratching to a halt] Scott Thompson and his confident, brilliant, and sometimes satirical character did a hell of a job of raising me and teaching me so many things I didn’t even know I was learning, like tolerance toward… Canadians. Aside from those idiots who went around crushing people’s heads, no other part of that show was as memorable as that fag in the bar teaching me that fag isn’t always a bad word. Thanks, Scott.
photos courtesy of Bells and Whistles