Last night, we were really lucky to have 2 special guests on Monkey Toast, the live improvised talk show: Musician Nancy White and former Kid in the Hall, Mark McKinney.
Long before I even got involved in comedy, I was a Kids in the Hall fan. And of all the kids, Mark was certainly my favourite. I always thought he was the best actor of the bunch and his character range was far greater than his talented troupe mates. When you examine what he’s done after KITH, it’s slightly annoying to even describe him as “former Kid in the Hall”. After all, he was on Saturday Night Live and was in a few SNL produced movies. He co-created, co-wrote and performed in Slings and Arrows. He was a story editor on Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Trip and played one of the more memorable characters on the show, Andy Mackinaw. He wrote for Sports Night and Less than Kind. Produced Picnicface. And even though I was a huge fan of all of those, I think his greatest performance was in the stage production Fully Committed.
When I’m hosting a show like Monkey Toast, I treat the guests with respect and a sense of professionalism that is expected of me. Sometimes, I want to say more than I can but I have to forget – albeit momentarily – that I’m still a fan.
Both interviews were great and the Monkey Toast Players once again delivered a hilarious and improvised interpretation of the proceedings. I had a ton of fun and learned a lot and appropriately thanked Nancy and Mark for giving up their valuable time on a Saturday Night.
But I didn’t really get a chance to tell Mark what I wanted to.
I wanted to tell him that through the years, he’s inspired me.
I wanted to tell him that his performance in Fully Committed blew me away.
I wanted to tell him that Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is one of my all time favourite shows and that the Christmas show, which he story edited, remains an all time favourite episode.
I wanted to tell him that I hadn’t really watched Slings and Arrows (I know!) but I’ve started to and I love it.
I wanted to tell him that it’s great that for every SNL and Less than Kind, he’s done a Corner Gas and Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays.
But more than all of that, I wanted to tell him that as a Canuck, I was proud of him.
As Canadians, we either write off those from the Great White North who have succeeded massively or we fail to acknowledge the ones who haven’t quite hit the stratospheric level of global achievement of those we ridicule. Somewhere in between are a massive group of people who have quietly gone about their business and have produced unbelievable work that should unite and inspire us.
Somewhere, there’s a young comedian who is doing a set in a dingy club wondering if he or she will ever make it.
Well, they may or they may not.
But at least they can take comfort knowing someone did. And if someone did, why can’t they?
Thanks, Mark. I’m crushing your head.