The comedy troupe reunites for an attempt at the big-screen

By Bruce Fretts
Updated April 19, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

Reports of the Kids in the Hall’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Sort of. Sure, the Canadian comedians disbanded their TV series in 1994 and began to work on individual projects. But now they’ve hit the big time — movies — with Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy. Then again, as the troupe shot Candy last summer, its most famous member, Dave Foley, was the least visible Kid in the film, and the only one who didn’t get a screenplay credit. He says it’s simply due to geography: ”I’m separate from the group now physically,” notes Foley, who left the film’s Toronto set in mid-production to return to L.A. and his NBC sitcom, NewsRadio. ”So I’m not around to help run the business.”

And there were quite a few tough business decisions to make on Brain Candy. Starting with the title: The comics wanted to call their Prozac satire The Drug, but a TV network nixed it. Explains Kid Kevin McDonald, ”Fox — the ‘cool’ station — said they wouldn’t advertise a movie called The Drug.” Adds Scott Thompson (The Larry Sanders Show), ”Apparently, they thought The Drug had drug connotations. Which I totally disagree with.”

Disagreements ran rampant on the set, but the Kids insist that’s business as usual. ”People are always alarmed by watching us work because they think we’re going to kill each other,” says Mark McKinney, who’s now on SNL. ”They don’t realize it’s been that way for 11 years.” Concurs Foley: ”I can’t recall a time when we were ever nice to each other.” The Kids were equally brutal in deciding to snip, among other scenes, cameos by Janeane Garofalo (as a NASA groupie) and Star Trek‘s George ”Sulu” Takei (as himself), and the original ending, in which Foley played a fanatical leader who organized teens against the mood booster. A less surreal wrap-up was shot in February.

Kids fans may be surprised by how few of their TV characters pop up. ”In our typical Canadian way, we put our least successful characters into the movie,” says Bruce McCulloch. ”It’s not a greatest-hits package that might have cynically increased our popularity.”

The Kids say if Candy does increase their popularity, they may do another movie. But if it doesn’t make back its $7 million budget, that’s okay too. ”It’s hard to picture us as a blockbuster,” says Foley. ”We thrive on being underappreciated.”