The Comedy Issue: Scott Thompson

Scott Thompson is shopping a new TV show to Fox

For our Comedy Issue, we interviewed seven of the city’s top comedians. Today, we present The Kids in the Hall alum Scott Thompson, who is back in the spotlight with a surprising new role. Thompson plays an FBI agent on a team tracking a serial killer in NBC’s Hannibal, premiering April 4. He’s still in the funny biz, though, with network interest in spinning his recent short film into a TV series. 

On returning to Rosedale: I love Toronto.… I love where I live — it’s been great. I came back home because I got cancer, and I didn’t have health care, but it’s been the best thing for me. Number one, I beat cancer, and number two, I’ve become happier and my career is getting ready to catch fire.

On his new, more serious TV role in NBC’s Hannibal, premiering April 4: I play an FBI agent on a team that’s trying to track down a serial killer, and I’m a fingerprint expert, forensics. It’s a serious role: there’s lightness in it, but it’s definitely not a comedy. It does have some dark humour in it, and our characters, the three of us — me, Aaron Abrams and Hettienne Park — we sort of have a lot of dark humour, because we deal with dead people all the time and horrific crimes, so there’s a lot of gallows humour. It’s a dream job.

How coming out early on in his career typecast him: I thought the world was ready and they weren’t. I didn’t know I had to wait 20 years. I was very naive, and I had not anticipated the depth of homophobia. There was a period where I was, like, “I don’t want to play gay characters,” because that’s all they ever gave to me, and now I don’t care.

His stand-up: Another thing I decided when I got better was, I’m going to really concentrate on my stand-up and get good at it. I’ve always dallied, but I never really developed an act, and now I’ve got an act. It’s very personal — I talk about pretty much three things: sex, race, death.

On writing graphic novels: I’m working on part two of The Hollow Planet. The first one got published two years ago, and it’s going to be a trilogy.

Success on the short-film circuit: It’s [The Immigrant] very autobiographical. It’s about a Canadian comedian who has everything, loses it all and then tries to start over again. He moves back to Canada, then decides to give the States one more chance, but finds himself without money, papers or friends and decides to give it a go anyways. So he sneaks into the United States illegally, over the Mexican border, and then starts living with a bunch of Central Americans, who are illegal, working as a gardener. It’s really all about the immigrant experience — the traditional, Central American immigrant experience — but with a white Canadian in the mix. The Immigrant, particularly, has had quite a lot of success on the circuit, and right now there’s network [Fox] interest in turning it into a series.

Buddy Cole, one of his most memorable characters: I don’t want to spend my time combing Goodwill for costumes, but I’d certainly like to do my characters again. I never stopped doing Buddy Cole. There are certain topics that I feel that I can’t do properly, so I give it to him. Some things are so difficult to talk about, but somehow Buddy can do it.

Another Kids in the Hall reunion? Right now, we’re really in each other’s lives again, so that means that something’s going to happen. 

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