Interview with Scott Thompson

Scott Thompson is one of the members of the cult favorite comedy troupe “The Kids in the Hall”.  Scott is working on his graphic novel “Danny Husk” and his stand up tour. Movie Mikes took a chance to chat with Kevin about working with the troupe and the new mini-series “Death Comes to Town”.

Mike Gencarelli: Did you have a favorite character to portray with “Kids in the Hall”?
Scott Thompson: In “Death Comes to Town”, I think my favorite character was Dusty Diamond, the coroner. I think it was the funniest thing that I did in the show. “Kids in the Hall” the original series, I can’t really say.  I mean I liked doing all of them. It also depended upon what I was feeling at the time. I did Buddy Cole the most, but I wouldn’t say that it was always my favorite. I really don’t pick favorites. I liked Dusty because it was the easiest for me to do. I didn’t have to wear and makeup or anything, he was just the way I was and that was really cool.

MG: How was it returning to TV with “Death Comes to Town”?
ST: It was wonderful. I have been waiting for this for a long time. It was difficult though because I had cancer. It was a great distraction and kept me going and I am very grateful for it. I knew I had to survive because I had a comeback to do [laughs]. It was incredibly rough for me but it would have been rougher to not have the show. When I was going for my chemotherapy, I told my doctors I am doing this and that is all there is to it. So when I did “Death Comes to Town”, it was like a reward for all the agony. When it finished I went right back into the hospital. But for nine weeks, I had this amazing experience between my treatment, where all I had to think about is being funny between action and cut.

MG: Why did you guys decide to do a mini-series and not a full series?
ST: I don’t think we wanted to do another sketch series because there is no way we could top what we did before. It has to be different. When Bruce (McCulloch) came to us with this idea we jumped on it, because it was different. If we did a sketch series, all people would have done is compare us, “Oh look at them they are old” and even though they still say that only we aged. Our fans are not aging. The one thing I learned from this series is don’t read your comments. It will only lead to pain [laughs]. Within two pages or actually within six comments you will read the word “fat” and “faggot” [laughs]. I don’t need to hear those words. But it allowed us to do what we did and that is to play wonderful characters and do something different as well. Also with “Death”, we were able to tell a long story. With “Brain Candy”, we only had like 90 minutes to tell that big story, but with this we almost had four hours. It was exactly what we needed.

MG: Tell us about your experience with “Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy”?
ST: It was terrible experience but it is well in the past. It has been 15 years now. Art is not easy. We are very dedicated to what we do. I would never want to go through an experience like that again. Even though the new series I was sick, it still easier than doing “Brain Candy” [laughs].

MG: How do you compare the group from the early days to today, any changes in the creative process?
ST: Yeah, since with the new series it was completely different for us. We never had one person in charge before and Bruce was our leader. If we didn’t do that we would have never got anything done. That was big change. The story itself was created by Bruce, Kevin and myself and Dave and Mark came in later. That was different. But other than that once we are all together, it was exactly the same. The only other difference was, I was lying on a cot and slept a lot.

MG: What is the hardest part for you when creating a character?
ST: The beginning I guess is the hardest. The voice is always a challenge. Once you have the voice then you are launched. Then you focus on the way the person moves. For me usually the voice is definitely first. It takes years sometimes. Dusty Diamond took years to be born. I went through lots of incarnations of characters that were similar to that. It was only until I lost all my hair that Dusty was really born. The hardest part about Dusty was having cancer, that was the worst and most difficult part [laughs].

MG: Tell us about the new development for your character “Danny Husk” and its comic book?
ST: I started writing this over ten years ago as a screenplay. I was trying to write myself out of the box I was put in, which was I was only able to play gay characters. I thought in order for people to see me differently I had to write a vehicle to show people I can play everybody. Even though, I felt that “Kids in the Hall” had done that, it didn’t seem to matter. I decided I would write “Danny Husk” and firstly throw everything at him and try to destroy him and have him survive. That was my thinking and  Danny as a very strong survivor. He may not be the most exciting or brilliant human being but he never gives up. I also thought I wanted to write something that no one will ever turn into a movie. I wanted to write to a script that would appeal to the ten year old boy in me. I wanted to write something that a ten year old boy shouldn’t read but would read anyway. I wanted this book to be something that if you parents found, they would go “Oh that looks like a nice adventure” and they opened it and said “What the heck is going on here”. That is what I wanted. I spent years trying to get it made but it was just too big of a movie. So I figured then I would turn it in a graphic novel a few years ago and it was wonderful. As long as the story gets out it doesn’t matter to me what the medium is.

MG: Any plans for future books in that series?
ST: I am writing the second part of the book. It will hopefully be a trilogy and be three stories in that adventure.

MG: Are we going to see any more tours planned for the group?
ST: I don’t know if we do as a group honestly. But I do. I love would to do something as a group but it doesn’t seem to be in the cards. I do not think “Death Comes to Town” was that much of a hit. I think that as we got older we have become more culty. As most people get older they become more mainstream but it doesn’t seem like we did. I look at the series and ask myself “When are we going to mellow”. Maybe never. I still am very proud of what we did and I wouldn’t change anything in that series. I am trying to do a stand up tour by myself. I am also going to a lot of conventions for the book.

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