The Kids In The Hall: Same Guys, New Dresses

The Kids In The Hall: Same Guys, New Dresses (2000)
Magnolia Home Entertainment
Cast: Dave Foley, Bruce McCullough, Mark McKinney, Kevin, McDonald, Scott Thompson
Extras: Commentary Track, Deleted Scenes, Cast Bios, Still Gallery

’Same Guys, New Dresses’ is a documentary chronicling the 2000 North American Tour by Canadian comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall. It is not a presentation of the group’s live show, but a mixture of performance segments and back-stage footage. The film contains seven scenes from the live show, with the remainder showing the group rehearsing, traveling, or arguing in their dressing rooms. Instead of giving a detailed chronological account of the tour, ’Same Guys, New Dresses’ highlights certain aspects of the tour, such as the controversy over Dave Foley’s laser-eye surgery, Scott Thompson’s robot dog, or the night that the show started two-hours late.

This documentary is clearly aimed at die-hard fans of The Kids in the Hall, as others may not get most of it. The film doesn’t bother to explain how or why the group decided to re-form and go on tour. There is never a sense of time or place. We learn from the commentary that the ’Directed by Dave Foley’ tag is bit of a misnomer, as the footage was shot by a camera-crew and Foley was given the task of overseeing the editing. Some sections, such as the robot dog, drag (no pun intended) on for far too long, when we’d rather be seeing another skit or more back-stage high-jinks. The doc isn’t all bad. The clips from the live show are funny and there is some amusing dressing-room banter from the group. And there are some intense moments when we see how turbulent the creative process can be. But, overall, this film is nowhere near as funny as I’d hoped it would be.

This documentary was shot on video and is presented on this DVD in a letterboxed format, framed at 1.78:1. The image is sharp and clear, but the problems inherent in video show up at times. Some shots are washed out, and there is constant video distortion. The audio presents some difficulties as well. The scenes from the live show sound great, but some of the backstage footage is quite muffled. It appears that the audio was captured using the mics on the video cameras, so when subjects are near the camera, their voices are hard to hear. One can’t help but feel that some amazingly funny lines were missed due to this.

This DVD does shine when it comes to the special features. The audio commentary features the Kids themselves, joined by special guests, Andy Richter, Mike Myers, Jason Priestley, and Matt Stone & Trey Parker. This is a very fun commentary that often veers off course, but is entertaining nonetheless. (For those who only want to hear the comments from the special guests, those sections can be chosen individually for your listening pleasure.) It’s clear that everyone is having a good time here, and the Parker & Stone comments are some of the weirdest ever. There are five deleted scenes, one of which shows the group doing phone interviews. This scene actually adds a lot of necessary info and should’ve been in the film. The extras are rounded out by (fake) cast bios and an oddly done still gallery. ’Same Guys, New Dresses’ is a disappointing film, but a fine DVD.