Lorne Michaels's Other Show
The meaner, shorter-lived version of SNL
I was on the road during the SNL 40th Anniversary celebration and will have to dig it up online some time.
Meanwhile, here is the Lorne Michaels-backed show I wish had lasted for 40 years, or at least more years than it did: the Toronto-based Kids in the Hall. For these reasons.
First, a way better opening-credits sequence than SNL ever had. The videos for the opening changed a little bit during each of their (sigh!) 5 seasons, and you can see a compilation of intros from all the seasons here. But the music was always the great "Having an Average Weekend" by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, and you can see and hear an example below:
The comedy was much meaner than SNL's, and campy in a literal sense, much like Monty Python's. Also as with Monty Python, many skits featured one or more of the five cast members in drag. To the best of my knowledge, only Scott Thompson, later familiar on The Colbert Report as the flamboyant Buddy Cole, was openly gay.
If you've seen the show, you know what I'm talking about—but because it sadly ended its brief run 20 years ago, many people might not. A few samples:
"Chicken Lady." This is genuinely disturbing.
"Girl Drink Drunk." This is a sustained sketch of a kind SNL has a harder time pulling off.
"The Daves I Know." Idiotic yet somehow brilliant. I think the appeal involves Bruce McCulloch's attire and stride, starting about one minute in.
"The Ham of Truth." Rebellious youth.
"The Beard." Also fairly disturbing.
"My Horrible Secret." This is just surreal.
"Buddy Cole and his Softball Sluggers." A prequel to the Colbert appearances.
There are a lot more. SNL had been going for nearly 15 years when Kids in the Hall made its U.S. debut. But because Kids ended its regular run 20 years ago, it seems more a glimpse into a lost world. Spare a thought for KITH as SNL rolls on.
And here's another, mainly B-and-W version of the opening.