With all due respect to NYC and L.A. comedians, the best North American comedy of the last 25 years has come out of Canada. Freed from distractions like cocaine, traffic jams, and pesky human interaction, troupes such as Edmonton's SCTV and Toronto's Kids in the Hall have produced bizarre and hilarious sketches whose influence on American comedy is enormous and lasting. Though KITH were "discovered" by Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live fame, they share more in style and substance with the surreal, scattered musings of Monty Python. Often in drag, always subversive, KITH crafted classic skits like "Chicken Lady" (about a love-starved human-chicken hybrid), "Dr. Seuss Bible" (the crucifixion as rendered by a kids' book, which was deemed too controversial for American viewers and appeared only in the Canadian version of the TV show), and "Never Put Salt in Your Eyes" (about the danger of putting salt in your eyes). Though the Kids have appeared on both the small and big screen, they're best enjoyed live.
Sat., April 26, 7 p.m., 2008