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Interview with ‘Kids in the Hall’ comedian Scott Thompson

New contributor Hans Ryan got a chance to sit and have a telephone conversation with Scott Thompson, the openly gay actor best known for his sketch comedy on Kids in the Hall. He discusses the inanity of his Fruit Blog, how tough it was to be gay in the 90s and how much he loves Portlandia. He is currently on tour with Kevin McDonald performing their new touring stand up show, Two Kids, One Hall. The show plays this Thurs – Sat at the Helium Comedy Club (details below).

On Being on the road with Kevin:

It’s a thrill being on the road with Kevin and his girlfriend, because they’re so madly in love that they text up to 200 times day. Two and half years and they’re still like that. They just can’t let go of each other for a second.  It’s really very nice. Kevin and I don’t really fight.  On stage, it’s very much like the fights that we do have, which is basically about Kevin’s passive-aggressive nature and my aggressive nature. And so what happens, because we turn it into comedy every night, there doesn’t seem to be as much need to have actual fights. The most talented thing about Kevin is his food issues.  He is a vegetarian almost Vegan. He’s almost one of those Gluten People. He’s very healthy. You know, I mock veganism and vegetarianism a lot. But, with Kevin, I look at him and say “Wow it’s working for him!” It kind of bugs me, because I really wish it wasn’t working.  Most comedians if you look at them are just a wreck. And it’s not just the booze and the drugs and the lifestyle, it’s those chicken fingers!

About the Fruit Blog:

I have an obsession with fruit. See, I do have my food issues.  When I was a child, I remember the first time I had a pomegranate. I was about 12 years old and the variety store around the corner has a pomegranate for Christmas and I was completely blown away by it.  I grew up in an extremely different era, in a very white and conservative town. So, for me it just came to represent the outside world.  I remember very distinctly at Christmas time, taking the pomegranate behind the arena and opening it up and just discovering this incredibly insane and exotic fruit. That was it for me. When I was a teenager I lived in the Philippians for a year and I discovered the mango and it was like a revelation. The mango is so crazy. They are so sexy it’s beyond belief. Everything about it, how you eat it-you’re so sticky and dirty and it’s just so sexy and dirty. It’s just really, really good sex! The blog gets demented. I want it to be demented. My idea was to make people think that I lost my mind.  Once I beat cancer, I just decided you know what? I am going to do whatever the hell I want. So, I decided to make a fruit blog with my friends and that’s it. It makes no sense, it’s not part of any career move. But, I just do crazy things.  I realized that I am the type of person who needs to do something every day, like something creative.  I am an artist and you just can’t sit around every day. Life is too short, so I am going to do a fruit blog.  It makes me happy. People are very confused by it, and that makes me even happier. I spent many years being angry and very bitter and I thought that might have contributed to my cancer. So, if I don’t want to get cancer again, I have to write a fruit blog. The only thing healthier than fruit is blogging about it.

About His character, Danny Husk:

Scott Thompson and Kevin McDonald on tour

I am kind of a limited actor in that I have to “really identify” with my characters. They are all parts of me and Danny is that part of me that is very pragmatic. He’s very sensible and also horny. All My characters are horny.  I looked at my characters when I was sick and saw that they were all horny as hell. I can’t believe they all are! What fascinates me about Danny is that when I first started doing him he was like this classic straight white male and he was, in many ways, kind of…well, not the enemy, but kind of.  I found that in the past 20 years of doing him things have completely changed. That actually the straight white male now, in some ways is very much in danger and has become a bit of an underdog. I find that really fascinating.  The straight white guy can’t say shit about anything because of political correctness and minority politics and all that crap. You know, the straight white guy can’t talk about gay things, they can’t talk about race and all that nonsense and I’m thinking, “Wow who would have thought Danny would have gone from victimizer to victim?” Also, for me, he’s a survivor and he just picks himself back up and so, when I was doing the graphic novel (The Hollow Planet) during my battle with cancer, it was very inspiring to me because I would look at the book and I would go, “Well, I am  just like him. I am going to put one foot forward and I am going to come out of this nightmare and when I come out of the nightmare, I will be stronger. Just like him.”  When I do Danny, he’s a part of me that’s straight. I mean, I am gay as can be, but there’s a little part of me that’s straight.  Sexuality is grey. I think we are all realizing that it’s greyer than we ever imagined.

On Being Openly Gay in the 90’s:

Being a gay male in the 90s was very, very difficult. I had a lot of struggles with not just straight people, but with gay people. I was consumed with furry over my own community at how we weren’t acknowledged and I personally wasn’t acknowledged for what I did. And then, I got sick and now I just say, “Well, so be it.” So, I am okay with it now, but to be honest I had a rough time on both sides. I did not expect the hate and anger from my own kind. I did not expect that, and that broke my heart. I expected to be lifted upon a litter and be carried away on the streets with an army of queers. What happened was, I was lifted on the litter, then dumped. That’s life. What the LGBTQ community now has, to me, I can barely relate. They have it so much better and I am very happy for them, but to be honest there is a little bit of jealousy. Okay, a lot. An openly gay kid in high school was a dead kid. That’s the way it was. My particular generation of gay men, we went through hell. We went through fucking hell. We went through a war that nobody paid attention to. And I watched so many of my friends die and it was a living nightmare. I look at these kids today and go “wow.” They just don’t have a clue what we had to go through to make this possible for them. It made me strong. I feel like gay men from my generation are like a Second World War generation. We are tough as shit.  There is always a sacrifice; it’s like hello freedom, goodbye Oscar Wilde.

Before he got distracted by the seals he thought might be dolphins, Scott wanted to “Give a shout out to Portlandia,” saying that he “loved the show” and he, “would love it if they came to his show.” In typical Scott-like charm, saying “I can’t comp them, but I can at least give them half price!”

Scott and Kevin will be performing at Helium Club located at 1510 SE 9th Avenue. Thursday, September 22nd @ 8:00pm – $20, Friday, September 23rd @ 7:30pm & 10:00pm – $22 Saturday, September 24th @ 7:30pm & 10:00pm – $25.

 

 

 

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