Hot Docs 2022- “Dio: Dreamers Never Die” and “The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks – Tues., May 3rd,2022

Tuesday was a ”double header” for Hot Docs, as we looked forward to screening “Dio:Dreamers Never Die” and “The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks.

“Dio: Dreamers Never Die” was a highly anticipated documentary about Dio (Ronald James Padavona his real name), from his classic rock days in Ritchie Blackmore‘s RAINBOW, to replacing the iconic lead singer Ozzy Osbourne in BLACK SABBATH, to finally creating his legend with DIO. But, the documentary takes us back from ’50s & 60’s as a crooner. The film is about Dio’s drive, dreams and never giving up.

Ronnie James Dio‘s rock story was documented and set against the backdrop of Dio‘s autobiography — half finished by Ronnie before his untimely death from stomach cancer in 2010 — the film chronicles the inspiring journey of his life, love, and storied career. Whether playing sold-out stadiums or battling illness, his powerful voice and gentle heart have had a profound influence on his family, friends, and fans around the world.

The documentary goes all the way through his life till the end and it was very emotional. Rob Halford and Jack Black are among the many friends in the film, including Ronnie’s bandmembers; Doug AldrichJeff Pilson, Lita Ford, Sabastian Bach, Eddie Trunk, also Tony Iommi,  Geezer Butler and Bill Ward of Black Sabbath. There were some very interesting memories from different people talking about some great stories and how Dio affected their lives.

Ronnie James Dio passed away of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010 at the age of 67.

Dio was renowned throughout the world as one of the greatest and most influential vocalists in heavy metal history. The singer, who was recording and touring with BLACK SABBATH offshoot HEAVEN & HELL prior to his illness, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in late 2009. He underwent chemotherapy and made what is now his final public appearance in April 2010 at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles. His legacy lives on with the legion of metal fans all over the world.

Next on agenda was “The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks’’

The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks director Reg Harkema, executive producers Nick McKinney, Paul Myers and 3 iconic members of The Kids in the Hall were on hand for a no-holds-barred conversation about the past, present and exciting future of the comedy troupe that’s become a Canadian legend. Hosted by Jennifer Whalen, actress and comedian (Baroness von Sketch Show). This Big Ideas discussion was a treat for the fans after the screening.

From Second City Television to Baroness von Sketch and The TallBoyz , Canadian sketch comedy troupes have pushed boundaries, made people cringe and touched on taboos subjects for decades. In the ’80s, it was the The Kids in the Hall, who went from Toronto’s Rivoli club to late-night TV, creating characters and shocking audiences with their no-holds-barred approach to comedy. For the Gen Xers who grew up with their skits, references to squishing heads and the troupe dressed as females, they have morphed into modern memes.

With the upcoming reboot of their series on Prime Video on May 13th, the guys regroup to reflect on their journey so far, from their early days and post-punk origins to US network television. Featuring interviews with Lorne Michaels, Mike Myers, Fred Armisen and Janeane Garofalo, Reggie Watts, Mae Martin and Eric McCormack. Comedy Punks unveils an exciting new chapter for this comedy troupe.

Almost 40 years after their club days at Rivoli, the Kids are now comedy legends in Canada and the USA. It was great that they mentioned their iconic theme song, ”Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – Having An Average Weekend” and giving credit to the band.

Comedy Punks  showcased archival footage from Rivoli, the making of their hit TV show and videos from their personal collections. The director interviewed the group collectively and separately, giving each Kid the space to share their own memories. It’s clear from their group interview that their chemistry hasn’t changed in the slightest. They trade stories like it was yesterday, and any past “bad blood” appears to have been forgotten.

The ups and down stories of Kids In The Hall are documented in this Doc: Thompson’s battle with leukemia, McKinney and McCulloch leaving to write for SNL and greener pastures and Foley and McDonald’s falling out. But, hearing these moments is insightful and are the ”no holds bar” adds to rhe great depth of appreciation to the group as performers, men and friends.

The SNL Lorne Michaels, is on hand to recall his history with the Kids. Michaels’ insights are very interesting and, given his stature in comedy, the respect and admiration he has for the Kids only confirms what those crowds at Rivoli knew: the Kids in the Hall are special.

The film is for the new fans and old. It’s a great introduction for the “newbie” who will head straight to YouTube to find clips from The Kids in the Hall , It also offers new insights, never before seen footage, and an extra dimension for fans who grew up with them. Comedy Punksis a deserving tribute to a homegrown act that, even if they didn’t achieve the same recognition as some of their comedy rivals.