The 14 Greatest Recurring Characters from The Kids in the Hall


?By Chris Cummins

Taking cues from its comedy predecessors — most notably Monty Python’s Flying Circus and SCTVThe Kids in the Hall made regular use of recurring characters during its five-season run. Like several pitchers of beer at the end of a shitty work day, frequently returning bits on a sketch comedy series are always a reliable form of entertainment. But for the most part, The Kids in the Hall was never content with simply trotting out familiar characters to repeat their catchphrases endlessly. (Obviously the same can’t be said for executive producer Lorne Michaels’ other famous sketch show). Throughout the course of the series, troupe members Dave Foley, Mark McKinney, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson were always trying to reinvent the bits that connected with audiences. So while the evolution of the A.T. & Love secretaries may not be the stuff of master’s thesis material, it does demonstrate how the guys were constantly trying to keep the laughs fresh. This trend is likely to continue when Death Comes to Town hits airwaves early next year. The eight-part miniseries is a murder mystery spoof that will feature new characters alongside of returning favorites like McKinney’s ultra-creepy Chicken Lady. To hold you over until then, here’s a look at the 14 greatest recurring characters from The Kids in the Hall‘s storied history. Is that a flying pig I see?

14 & 13) The “Police Department” Cops

Most Americans don’t really think of Canada as a haven of crime. The Great White North seems like a Tragically Hip-listening utopia given the social and societal ills residents of the United States face these days. If Canada ever does fall into the abyss of lawlessness, Bruce McCulloch and Mark McKinney will be somewhat to blame. Their frequent appearances as a pair of criminally inept Ontario Provincial Police officers likely inspired a generation of power-hungry slackers to pursue careers in law enforcement.

12) Cabbagehead

God exists, and he has a cabbage for a head. Such are the lessons that Bruce McCulloch’s best-known character taught us. Whether trying to use his vegetable noggin to score or surviving assassination attempts, Cabbagehead did his best to survive a world that could never understand his pain.

11) Darill

Darill (pronounced “duh-rill”), is such a success as a character because he brings to mind every pretentious. talentless would-be Renaissance man you’ve ever met in your life. In your office, in your classroom or in your lover’s bed while you are at work or school, Darills are everywhere. There’s not a goddamn thing any of us can do about it. Except laugh when McKinney’s Darill fails — which is always. When McKinney debuted as a Saturday Night Live cast member in 1995, he brought Darill (and the Chicken Lady) with him. Sadly, those characters never really found their footing in the SNL environment.

10) The Chicken Lady

Sadly enough, this sort of thing happens on Craigslist all the time. Or so I’ve heard. Anyways…

9 & 8) Simon and Hecubus

Evil! Sir Simon Milligan is the host of The Pit of Ultimate Darkness, a TV show devoted to all things dark and dastardly that is co-hosted by his androgynous manservant, Hecubus. Unfortunately, neither one of the guys is particularly evil. The closest the pair comes to being Satanic is when Hecubus shows up for work drunk and Simon is forced to find a new, equally brooding replacement. Fans of these characters should seek out the BBC series Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace for another spoof of horror TV clich?s.

7) Buddy Cole

Scott Thompson’s flamboyant gadabout Buddy Cole is easily the most divisive of any Kids in the Hall character. Over the years, Thompson has received — and promptly rebuked — criticisms that Cole reinforces negative gay stereotypes. Despite the controversy, Cole’s monologues remain sharply written flights of fancy that provide insight into relationships and the often awkward pursuit of love that we all endure regardless of our individual sexual preference. After the series ended, Thompson co-wrote Buddy Babylon: The Autobiography of Buddy Cole with Paul Bellini (best known as the guy wearing only a towel in several Kids in the Hall sketches). Despite his appearance on this list, it should be noted the full-length Buddy episode “Chalet 2000” is way self-indulgent and best left to the most hardcore of Cole fans.

6) The Flying Pig

How great would it be to have a flying pig entertain you at “bank machines and other of life’s many lineups?” Sure, it would probably somehow result in swine flu even worse than what’s going on right now, but think of how tasty it would be after the fucker hit a power line and was served up for lunch.

5 & 4) Jerry Sizzler and His Sister, Jerry Sizzler

Two clearly insane people, Jerry Sizzler (Dave Foley) and his sister, Jerry Sizzler (Kevin McDonald) made paranoid schizophrenia fun again during their limited appearances on the series. In the duo’s best sketch (featured above), Foley goes on meds and attempts to lead a normal life — only to have McDonald arrive at his home in full Sizzler garb. After a poorly thought out game of Monkey in the Middle with Foley’s anti-psychotic medication, the status quo is restored and the pair is calling each other pricks just like the old days.

3) Gavin

Remember earlier when I was saying how everybody knows someone like Darill? That sentiment rings even truer for Gavin, the kid with an indifferent mother and endless thirst to talk with strangers about nonsense. When I was in elementary school, I knew a Gavin who was always claiming that he had frogs that his teacher let him keep in his desk because they stopped him from hiccupping. The same kid later told me that he rode a hovercraft to school, but I couldn’t see it because he worked for the government and it was cloaked from civilian eyes. And does anyone know where I can get a green Legend of Zelda hat? My Gavin Halloween costume won’t be complete without it.

2) Mr. Heavyfoot

Otherwise known as Monsieur Piedlourde, Mr. Heavyfoot goes through life burdened by gravity. Both a tribute to and a skewering of Mr. Bean-esque comedy, the character became an unexpected fan favorite thanks to some bouncy music and Dave Foley’s unflappable performance as the concrete limbed everyman.. Am I the only one who welled up when Mr. Heavyfoot was finally able to move freely on the moon?

1) Mr. Tyzik

Obviously. Mr. Tyzik the Headcrusher is the most instantly recognizable of all Kids in the Hall personalities — and easily the funniest. Thanks to the mannerisms of Mark McKinney, what is essentially a one-joke character overcomes any creative limitations to stand alongside of such legendary sketch comedy icons as Arthur Nudge, Nick the Lounge Singer, the McKenzie Brothers, and Wayne and Garth. In recent years, Tyzik has been crushing audience members heads during the kids live shows. I can only dream of what a privilege that must be.