Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Sometimes it seemed that all anyone needed for a reality show in the early 21st century was a video camera and a lot of chutzpah. Debuting over the CBC on September 10, 2003, the Toronto-based Kenny vs. Spenny was packaged for television by its "stars", roommates and best friends Kenny Hotz, an award-winning photojournalist, and Spencer Rice, a film director. In each episode, the two roomies engage in fascinating if somewhat ridiculous competitions, ranging from determining which one could get a rat to run faster, to who would be able to remain sitting on a cow the longest. The winner invariably heaped humiliation upon the loser by demanding an outrageous penalty for coming in second place. While the freewheeling Kenny had a habit of bending the rules, neat-freak Spenny adhered strictly to the conditions of the game at hand. Thus it should not be surprising that Spenny ended up on the losing end more often than his buddy, and that his humiliations were peculiarly demeaning (and hilarious). It should also not be surprising that it was immensely satisfying to both Spenny and the viewer when it was Kenny who lost and had to suffer the consequences. After lasting two seasons on Canadian television, Kenny vs. Spenny was rebroadcast in America on cable TV's Showtime service.