may be best known for his five seasons on NBC's NewsRadio
, but the comic's most groundbreaking work came prior to that on the surreal sketch-comedy series The Kids in the Hall
(1989-95). Foley is thrilled that Kids
are getting the gold-star treatment this week from A&E Home Video with a four-disc DVD set containing the first season of their hilariously absurd work. In honor of Kids
' big revival, the Will & Grace
guest star agreed to dish loads of backstage dirt with TV Guide Online.
TV Guide Online: What fond memories do you have about Kids in the Hall?
Dave Foley: Oh, I remember every fight — we tended to fight a lot.
TVGO: What do you mean by a lot?
Foley: Constantly. People outside the group would assume that we could never work together again after the things that we would say to each other. It was always personal, but thinly disguised as a creative difference. When you had a creative difference, the strategy was always to attack someone personally.
TVGO: What about your relationship with the other Kids now?
Foley: Things are a little calmer, because we all have the comforting thought that we're not going to have to see each other every day of our lives. But it's still there and we can still get into some pretty ugly fights, we regress to being angry 20-year-olds.
TVGO: Did you have any favorite sketches from those days?
Foley: Yeah, one of my favorite pieces, especially to perform, is called "Citizen Kane." It's about a guy trying to remember a name of a movie that's obviously Citizen Kane, and he just won't admit that it's Citizen Kane.
TVGO: Who are some of your comedic influences?
Foley: I grew up watching the Carol Burnett Show every week. Obviously, you look at it now and it's from another time; it's sketch comedy that's pre-Saturday Night Live and SCTV. And Groucho. Anytime there was a Marx Brothers movie on TV I would struggle to stay up till midnight to see it. I'm going back to when I was 9 years old.
TVGO: Who were you surprised to learn was a Kids fan?
Foley: Ice T. He loved the show. I was surprised, I wouldn't think five middle-class white kids from Canada would have experiences that would speak to rappers. People in rock bands liked us. Michael Stipe of R.E.M. was a fan, and Nirvana were fans — that was pretty exciting for us.
TVGO: I hear you're a fan of coffee. Or should I say you're an addict?
Foley: I'm not sure I'd call it an addiction. An overwhelming affection? A necessary affliction, how about that?
TVGO: How many cups a day?
Foley: It depends. When I'm working it can get up around 50 cups. It takes determination. That's black coffee, sometimes with a shot of espresso in it to thicken it up. Today, I probably won't have any at all. But I will have tea. I will probably have a couple pots of tea throughout the day. If I don't have to perform I can go without coffee. I tend to be an overly relaxed person and coffee helps me be a little more alert.
TVGO: Have you considered switching to crystal meth?
Foley: Of course I've considered it. I can't discuss that with TV Guide. I tried cocaine. I didn't really like it. Not so much the cocaine, but the people that came with the cocaine. Coffee comes with much better group of people — just go to any Starbucks.
TVGO: Is Starbucks your favorite coffee?
Foley: Any place that's handy is fine. When you're setting a 50-cup-a-day pace, you really can't be picky. Back home in Canada it's Tim Horton's. I just don't like weak coffee. I don't like it when you can see the bottom of the cup. But other than that, anything will do.
TVGO: Have any other quirks?
Foley: I don't know if I have any quirks. I have absolutely no short-term memory. I really do live like the guy in Memento. Everything is notes and people reminding me to do things. Thankfully, my wife is the most patient woman in the world. I also have no sense of time passing. A week and a year feel exactly the same to me.
TVGO: Are you excited about Kids finally being on DVD?
Foley: I am. Which is odd because I'm not a very excitable person. I sat down and watched a bunch of episodes. A lot of it still stands up; there's some good material in there. Even with all the fighting within the group, we could always make each other laugh. If you were in the middle of a bitter feud with somebody, you'd still laugh at their jokes. There was never a time when we didn't find each other funny.