So spake the since-deceased Roger Ebert when Brain Candy, Kids in the Hall's putative entry into movie-stardom was released in 1996.
"Scott (Thompson) still dines out on that review in his one-man shows," says Bruce McCulloch, whose brainstorm it was to have the Kids (Thompson, McCulloch, Dave Foley, Mark McKinney and Kevin McDonald) do a live table reading of the film Tuesday at Toronto's Queen Elizabeth Theatre. It's part of Sketch Festival, a roundup of top sketch comedy troupes from around the country.
As it happens, Ebert's then on-air partner Gene Siskel had it right. He liked the movie - about a pharmaceutical company marketing a seriously-flawed "happy pill" called GLeeMONEX) - and predicted it would have legs as a cult film on the midnight madness circuit. It's a film I always feel compelled to watch when I run across it, channel-surfing.
"A lot of colleges do their little Brain Candy nights," says McCulloch, over the phone from Los Angeles. "And there are a lot of people who like Brain Candy who aren't necessarily fans of Kids in the Hall. I'm not sure how to process that information."
The Paramount movie came at a weird crossroads in KITH's history. Their CBC/CBS TV series had just come to an end.
"It was really the only time the troupe was almost done. We really, truly didn't know what we were doing. There was a lot going on in people's personal lives at that point as well. We were dropped off a conveyor belt of TV into what was supposed to be our movie career. And we're like five cats in a bag fighting for what we thought we believed in."
The concept for Brain Candy appealed to McCulloch. "People were starting to take Prozac. And I still love the conversation. I'm obsessed with happiness and the notion of happiness. Why should we be happy, and how happy should we be? Is it a human's job to be happy?"
The idea for the live reading occurred to McCulloch when he was asked to fill in at a similar onstage reproduction of 2001's summer camp spoof Wet Hot American Summer (featuring original actors Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler). "I thought 'Why not us?' I tend to be the terrible little Energizer Bunny of the troupe, saying, 'Why don't we do this? Why don't we do that? Let's go to Austin! As long as we're in Austin, let's do Dallas!'"
As we spoke, the Brain Candy live reading was still being assembled over the phone and via e-mails. The Kids planned to throw it all together within a few days of the event ("So I'm really bluffing if I go into much detail").
There will be a screening of the movie's alternate ending. And the film's soundtrack (which featured bands of the era like Pavement, Yo La Tengo and They Might Be Giants) will also be represented.
"We have our original composer Craig Northey. And he's putting together a band with a couple of guys from Sloan, and we have a couple of our rock star friends coming down to sing songs from the score."
"And we've got a celebrity narrator I wish I could mention but I can't, this famous American voice narrating."
And then? "For now it's a one-off," McCulloch says of Brain Candy. "As we do shows in America and Canada we may add this to the odd weird place, if we feel like it and it's fun. Maybe Chicago."