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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Sketches > TV > Kids In The Hall - Complete Season One (First A&E DVD release)

Kids In The Hall – Season 1 (TV Boxed Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Episodes: B-



Some shows are on so late, that if that is the only time you have seen them and did not like them, you may not be giving the show a fair chance.  Upon rewatching some of the skits and shows in the Kids In The Hall – Season 1 (1989) 4 DVD set, I realized that happened to me with this show.  I totally thought it was pointless before watching it.  Now, I can see it was slightly better that I originally thought, but the Lorne Michaels production founded a new style of non-comedy comedy that slyly deconstructs things.  It is more amusing that actually funny, and its style eventually consumed Saturday Night Live by the latter half of the 1990s.


The show revived the age-old tradition of men doing all the women’s roles, but Monty Python’s Flying Circus this is not.  It worked for someone, as the show was a moderate hit, has a cult status and launched the careers of Dave Foley, Bruce McCullogh, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson, some of whom did go to Saturday Night Live.  The first 3 DVDs contain all 20 shows form the first season and the skits are not only listed, but they are numbered in later shows as they reappear, making access easier for fans and newcomers alike.


The full frame image originated on NTSC professional analog and shows its age, with the kind of softness expected from a production of its time.  The show is colorful and creatively shot, which makes it easier to watch, so I will give it credit for some good form.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no Pro Logic surround information, but is good for what it is.  It is good for its time and considering it was from TV.  Most of the extras are on the final DVD, though Cast Biographies are on DVD 1, however brief.  DVD 4 offers a 45-minutes look at the show dubbed An Oral History, audio commentaries on the Pilot show repeated on DVD 4 and on the Season One Favorites section, a Rolling Stone Magazine article accessible via DVD-ROM only with Adobe Acrobat, seven Rivoli Theater clips (1987 – 1989) before the advent of the show featuring the cast and even a trailer for Mr. Bean – The Animated Series.  Note that the Rivoli clips are of older amateur NTSC quality and are monophonic, but these are actually a bit more entertaining than the actual shows.


Yes, I can remember the nights going out and then coming back with my friends who would watch this.  I can see why I did not remember the specifics, though could not forget that the show existed.  Comedy is hard, but this worked for someone and that is why its DVD arrival will please its cult of fans and be a curio to those who never saw it, but know its stars.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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