How’s this for a great news/horrific news scenario?
On the plus side, legendary sketch comedy troupe Kids in the Hall are finally doing a new filmed project together. “Death Comes To Town” is an eight-part mini-series that is so far airing only on Canada’s CBC network, but will hopefully be picked up by a U.S. network soon (or if not, at least receive a DVD release sometime shortly after its Canadian airing.)
According to an interview KITH member Bruce McCulloch did with Entertainment Weekly in September, the mini features Mark McKinney as a codpiece-wearing “Death,” Dave Foley as a “boozy broad,” and Bruce as a “600-lb. shamed ex-hockey star” – among, I’m sure, scores of others.
But the bigger news from the Kids’ camp is that shortly after the series was given the go-ahead, KITH member Scott Thompson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s gastric lymphoma. In an interview published last week by the Canadian magazine MacLeans, Thompson revealed that he was diagnosed this spring, and underwent six rounds of chemotherapy (with an assist from “medical marijuana”). Now, thankfully, his doctors have proclaimed him cured. While he still has some pains and injuries as a result of his treatment, he’s looking forward to creating a one-man show about his ordeal, and hoping to inspire others who find themselves in this horrible position.
Scott Thompson as Buddy Cole @ Massey Hall in Toronto, Ontario – June 2008 – Photo by Gillian Manford
One bizarre side note to all this – Scott discovered that he was sick after hearing a series of gunshots outside his home that sent him into a panic, as the resulting stomach pains are what sent him to the doctor. From MacLeans:
“I went into complete shock. I spent the night trying to find the thickest wall to hide against. The next morning when I woke up, I had pain in my stomach.”
The reason for his panic, beyond the obvious, is that when Scott was 15, he saw a classmate embark on a rampage – a school shooting much like the ones that make headlines today. Now, this trauma came full circle, possibly saving his life by allowing his cancer to be discovered early.
I interviewed Thompson back in 2001, and we spoke at length about the shooting. (For an article that, to further the irony, hit newsstands on September 11, 2001.) Here’s some of what he shared with me.
ST: Every generation thinks they invented everything. The truth is, 25 years ago there was a cycle of school violence in North America, but the media’s too lazy to really research. When I was a kid, my friend shot 17 people. Killed three.
LG: Did you actually see it?
ST: Yeah. I was there. I lived because I was late for class. When I came across the hallway it had begun, and I saw someone lying at the end of the hall, and I noticed blood on the floor. I heard shots around the corner, and I froze. I didn’t know what [the shots] meant. I had never heard a gun before. And the next thing I knew, a teacher grabbed me and said, “Get the fuck in the room!” I knew it was serious, because I had never heard teachers say “fuck.” We hid there for about 40 minutes while it happened. One girl came in who was shot, and eventually we were taken out. When Columbine happened, I was doing an incredibly horrible pilot, and I just remember I saw Columbine on TV and it’s almost like I was taken back in time, because they looked so much like us. They were mostly white and prosperous middle class kids, holding hands and running around the school, and I went, “holy shit. What’s going on?” It struck a real chord in me.
Scott Thompson as Buddy Cole @ Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta – 05.24.2008 – Photo by pierrotsomepeople