While CBC was The Kids in the Hall's Canadian home for their full five season run, the first three seasons aired on HBO in the United States before moving to CBS for the fourth and fifth seasons. When the DVD sets of the show were compiled, the logical choice was to use the full HBO versions for the first three seasons, as they sometimes ran several minutes longer than the CBC cuts that were rigidly timed to twenty-three and a half minutes to accommodate commercials. The Canadian cuts would be used for season 4 and 5, as CBC’s broadcast standards were still more lax than American network TV.
Sketch comedy is on the rise! This article highlights some popular purveyors of the form, from the internet's Harvard Sailing Team to UCB's Stone Cold Fox to Comedy Central's new show Key and Peele. And it details some interesting issues facing sketchmakers: the pressure to be concise, the balance between actors and writers, and the possibility (or impossibility) or audience interaction. But wait! A last-minute twist ending: It doesn't detail any of those interesting issues! This whole post was a comedy sketch! (I am just kidding. It does detail them.)
Long before Portlandia, there was another Pacific-Northwest-flavored offering to the world of televised sketch comedy. The production quality was choppy and star power was limited to Soundgarden cameos, but in 1992, Seattle’s Almost Live! scored prime real estate on then-fledgling Comedy Central — and it made a few of its cast members household names.
Unlike Portlandia, Almost Live!’s aesthetic was just a few cuts above public access, and the location-heavy humor was rarely universal. Neighborhood name-dropping was rampant, and jokes weren’t based on popular Seattle stereotypes, if any Seattle stereotypes were to be had (the grunge movement had yet to hit mainstream airwaves as a possible punch line). But [...]