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When it comes to provocative Kids in the Hall sketches, Scott Thompson’s scandalous gay socialite character is the toothpick that stirs the troupe’s martini. This month and next, Thompson tours his new Buddy Cole monologue show, King, across the United States, plus four Canadian nights at Calgary’s High Performance Rodeo festival (Jan. 18-21).

The comedian spoke to The Globe and Mail by phone about censorship, political correctness and the material he says Amazon Prime Video refused to let its viewers see in its one-season revival of The Kids in Hall show in 2022.

Where does Buddy Cole fit during these homophobic times?

Buddy doesn’t change. The world does, but Buddy doesn’t. Buddy Cole hates hypocrisy, he hates pompousness, he hates the abuse of power and he understands where power lies. So, Buddy has not changed. But his targets have changed, and the poles seemed to have shifted in the last 30 years.

How is that reflected in your new show?

This show is me as Buddy Cole taking on the fault lines of today. We were not allowed to do a lot of that in The Kids in the Hall reboot on Amazon in 2022. This is an attempt to rectify that situation. My show begins with all the material they would not allow, and it moves on from there. I’m very excited about it – a lot of glorious trouble.

Those words, ‘glorious trouble,’ will be on your tombstone.

Buddy’s a gadfly. I’m like that as well. That’s the thing, comedy has gotten quite gutless in the last few years. And Buddy Cole is saying, “Okay, charge.”

So, the tagline for your tour, ‘Too hot for Amazon,’ isn’t you just being cheeky?

Oh, no, I’m not being cheeky. If you noticed with the Amazon reboot, there were no Buddy Cole monologues. They were not allowed.

CBC aired Buddy Cole in the 1990s, but Amazon said no in 2022?

I anticipated it. The censorship of today is very different. I knew it would be difficult. But I had no idea it would be that difficult. The five of us were blown away with the level of censorship that happened. So, in a strange way, I have to thank Amazon, because it reinvigorated me to do this new Buddy Cole show.

Anyone seeing the full-frontal nudity in the first episode would be surprised that anything was censored.

The censorship was not about nudity or sex. Yes, the Dave [Foley] and Kevin [McDonald] nude scene was at first rejected outright, until Dave flew to New York to argue for it. He basically got it in by mentioning all the male nudity in their series The Boys, and arguing the reason they wouldn’t let us do it was because we weren’t young, which meant their argument against it was ageist.

What kind of Buddy Cole material was Amazon so concerned about?

Every Buddy Cole monologue was rejected because they stepped on the toes of identity politics. They were called homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, racist, sexist and the worst of all: “not funny.” That last charge was a complete surprise to the audiences of King who have been laughing uproariously at the banned material. I guess Amazon are all bigots.

You and the other Kids are playing San Francisco’s SF Sketchfest this month. One of the performances is devoted to material that Amazon banned, is that right?

Yes. And let me tell you, we could do more than one night of that.

How did the shows at Calgary’s High Performance Rodeo festival come together?

That offer came over a year ago. I’ve been working on the show stealthily in Toronto for over a year. I didn’t want the material I was doing to get cancelled before it was properly ready. They saw me do it and said they needed to have this show.

College students are increasingly sensitive these days. Given that the tour routing for King is mostly all City Winery clubs, were campuses intentionally avoided?

Honestly, I’m not sure why that is. But, yes, as we all know, university campuses are hotbeds of intolerance right now. I would love to do a university tour, but this is just the way it worked out.

What kind of mood are Buddy’s audiences in today?

I think people are tired of political correctness. They’re tired of comedy being attacked. Comedy doesn’t need to be reformed. But this is very sensitive area, and I need to be armed with jokes – so many jokes. I don’t want people to have time to think about what I’m doing to them.

Would Buddy Cole ever do a nude scene?

No, he would not. But I would. In fact, I answered all these questions of yours completely naked.

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