The "Shame Based Man" behind some of the most memorable characterizations in the annals of the now legendary Kids in the Hall comedy troupe, Bruce McCulloch was, along with fellow Kid Mark McKinney, one of the founding members of the Canadian quintet. Discovered by Saturday Night Live founder Lorne Michaels in the late '80s and borrowing their name from a quip by golden-age comedian Jack Benny (as a reference to the writers who frequently pitched jokes while hanging around outside his office), The Kids in the Hall launched a successful five-year-run as a comic skit program on HBO in 1989, remaining active well after the cancellation of the show by means of film and live performances. Born in Edmonton, Canada, in 1961 and raised in Calgary, McCulloch studied journalism at Mount Royal College before taking classes with Calgary-based TheaterSports and meeting McKinney at the Loose Moose Theater Company. Forming a comedy troupe bearing the moniker the Audience early on, the pair crossed paths with future Kids Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald (who had been working together with Luciano Casamiri under the name the Kids in the Hall) in 1984, marking the formal birth of the troupe as they are known today. Scott Thompson came on board as the fifth and final member soon thereafter (hounding them at live performances until they eventually caved in and accepted him as a member) and following a short period in which they pursued separate interests (McCulloch actually served a brief stint as an SNL writer before the troupe regrouped and shot to fame), The Kids in the Hall debuted as an HBO pilot in 1988. With a distinctly edgy and frequently surreal style, The Kids in the Hall slowly gained a loyal fan base. McCulloch's quirky monologues and oddball characterizations such as the chauvinist Cabbage Head and happy-go-lucky Flying Pig served as the very definition of the bizarre antics that separated the Kids' unique comedy style from the rest of the pack. Following their cancellation in 1994, the troupe would receive mixed reviews with an attempt to translate their humor to the big screen with The Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy, and find success touring the U.S. and Canada as a live stage act. McCulloch's bizarre 1995 debut album Shame Based Man received critical success and struck a solid chord with dedicated fans, and McCulloch continued to find success as the director of such films as Dog Park (1998) and the SNL character feature Superstar the following year.
Biography by Jason Buchanan
- Founding member of the comedy group the Kids in the Hall.
- Studied journalism in college.
- Made his film writing and directing debut in the 1998 comedy Dog Park.
- Directed the music video for "My Music at Work" by the Tragically Hip.