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Series / Death Comes to Town

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A reunion miniseries written by, produced by, and starring the Canadian comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall. It aired on the CBC in Canada from January to March 2010, and on IFC in the United States from August to October of that year, for total of 8 episodes.

In the tiny town of Shuckton, a failed Olympics bid ends with the murder of the town mayor. Death, who is burnt-out and tired of being stuck on his lousy route, comes to town to settle an old score he has with the Eccentric Townsfolk.

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This series provides examples of:

  • Afterlife Express: The bus which comes to take Death, Larry Bowman, and Heather Weather back to the afterlife at the end. (Literally. The destination board reads "AFTERLIFE" on the front.) It ends up running over Dusty, who in turn boards the bus as well.
  • Bad Liar: This bit between news anchorwoman Corrinda Gablechuck (played by Mark) and a policeman (played by Bruce):
    Mark: Officer, tell us about the leads in this case. What's developing?
    Bruce: Well we're following our leads and we're gonna find some breaks in this case.
    Mark: ...could you be more specific?
    Bruce: Well things are going forward in a forwardly direction.
    Mark: ...you don't have anything, do you.
    Bruce: [hangs head in shame] ...no.
  • The Cameo: The Kids in the Hall regular characters Chicken Lady and Paul Bellini.
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  • Casting Gag: McKinney played Death in a sketch decades prior in the original show.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Everyone, especially Rampop.
  • Death Takes a Holiday: A major plot point is that on Death's previous visit to Shuckton, he slept in and missed Ricky's abortion. When he returns to Shuckton, Death hopes Ricky will die, even if he has to do the job himself.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Here and there.
    Ricky: We have the proof to prove it!
    ...
    Marilyn: That is not true! In fact, it is a lie!
  • The Ditz: Marnie is an extreme version, coupled with Cloudcuckoolander. Her introductory scene has her run off to deliver a pizza... only for her to instantly re-enter the pizza parlor, thinking the parlor's address is the address that called for the pizza.
    Marnie: Sometimes I forget things. I call it 'the fuzzies'.
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  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Buttonhole the cat is praying for the sweet release of death.
    Buttonhole: Do it! I've been alive so long I've learnt to talk...
  • Driven to Suicide: Dusty, who is in such agony and despair over losing Larry he stands right in front of the Afterlife Express at the end, which runs him over.
  • The Grim Reaper: Mark McKinney's Death, from Death Comes to Town, is a humorous-yet-effectively-terrifying (at least until the end) version.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Subverted — one night while shopping for liquor Marilyn Bowman (played by Dave Foley) finds she's left the house without her purse, and offers to make up for it by showing the checkout clerk "these beauties," and she does — prompting the clerk to beg her to put them back in hiding.
    Marilyn: Fine. Should've seen them when I was 40, you little shit.
  • I Have This Friend...: When Death is bored, he uses this line to scout a place with plus-sized redheads.
  • Lady Drunk: Marilyn Bowman, the mayor's wife, is a (happily) hopeless alcoholic, to the point where a breathalyzer is installed in her car as part of the ignition.
    Marilyn: I gotta go, I can... hear the blender crying...
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: When Corrinda gets pregnant, she struggles with whether or not to have the baby or get an abortion, especially when Doc Porterhouse tells her that this is her last chance at having a baby.
  • Non-Answer: Dusty did not complete the autopsy on the mayor, so when he is asked how the mayor died, Dusty gives a generic answer on what happens to a body when it dies.
  • Overly Long Gag: Marilyn trying to start her car, which has a breathalyzer. She orders her bodyguard police to do it for her, only to find they're drunk, too, before asking random passersby. Turns out most of the town has been drinking.
  • The Spock: The executor of Larry's will apologizes for his lack of emotion, saying that in law school called him Mr. Spock.
    Attorney: Which is funny, because I sat next to guy named Scotty.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Appearance-wise, Ricky Jarvis is basically a much fatter version of his dad, Larry Bowman, with long, blond hair. Both characters were, of course, played by Bruce McCulloch.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Lampshaded.
    Death: Pitchforks, right. In 2010. Torches? In broad daylight!
  • Tuckerization: Long-suffering news cameraman Levon Blanchard (Dave Foley) got his surname from longtime original series director John Blanchard.
  • Wham Line: Two.
    Marilyn: I don't care if my husband did father that fat bastard!
    ...
    Marnie: And then I murdered him.
  • Wonder Child: Rampop, the retarded special adopted son of Larry and Marilyn Bowman. He's the only one in the Bowman household who knows which of the 13 remotes works on the TV, he sees butterflies in place of people and people in place of butterflies, and he's the only one who can see Death in his true form.
  • You No Take Candle: Nurse Hester speaks with unnecessary verb tenses. Ironically, she is also a case of Women Are Wiser:
    Hester: Why is are you not letting nice cat die?

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