W.A.R.? spokesman Matthew Wilkening first caught the Whitest Kids in performance about six months ago, and the boys immediately made an impression on him. "The first skit I saw was a couple crying and crying and crying at a restaurant table about how the husband was soon to die of brain cancer," he notes via e-mail. "On and on they blubber, and the waiter is trying to find a time to interrupt. They finally pull themselves together enough to hear the specials, which include... a claim chowder that cures brain cancer. [They say], 'Oh...well, I'll have that, then...'"
Such risky material is nothing new for the Kids. In an unpublished portion of his interview with Westword, Trevor Moore, the collective's head writer, recalled why a sketch show of his that aired on a PAX channel in the Virginia/North Carolina area was given the hook. "We did this one skit called 'What's in the Bag?' People had to guess what was in this bag after pounding it with hammers and bats -- and one of the last things in there was a baby panda. You heard all these splatter sounds and panda cries. They got really offended by that, and by this road kill skit. For an entire summer, I traveled around and videotaped different road kill, so there'd be, like, closeup shots of flies going out of dead dogs' eyes. And I gave each piece of road kill a different voice and had them put on the play Macbeth. They wouldn't even air that one."
Humor like this failed to scare off Fuse, the music-video channel that will air a Whitest Kids series starting in November -- and W.A.R.? didn't shy away, either. In Wilkening's view, "There seems to be a common and surprisingly positive point of view running through all these demented skits -- whether they're saying don't be pompous, don't follow the crowd or just don't mess with people, they're not just after cheap shocks or laughs."
This take impressed Moore and his brethren, who inked with the imprint a few short weeks back. Right now, W.A.R.? is rushing their first CD out in advance of the Fuse show's debut -- and future prospects include additional discs, DVDs and perhaps even a movie. In the meantime, the imprint's WKUK page spotlights a sampling of their material, including a video clip with the self-explanatory title "Triumph of the Ill (Hitler's Rap)."
These Kids nowadays... -- Michael Roberts