Published Nov 21, 2007Whether you can stand them or not, Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice have put Canadian comedy back on the international map with their competitive show to see who is, well, better at wearing an octopus on their head or producing semen. Inspiring a number of copycat series across the world, the duo count Trey Parker and Matt Stone as super fans who love Kenny Vs Spenny so much that the South Park creators secured them a deal with Comedy Central. But it's on Canadian cable network Showcase that the duo made their mark, which they are grateful for, despite having ideas turned down occasionally. "There were a bunch we wanted to do, like 'Who Could Smoke the Most Pot?' or 'Who Could Be the Best Black Guy?' or 'Who's the Best Muslim?' things like that," admits Hotz. "Now we have two broadcasters, and there are certain things we want to do that they won't let us do. But Showcase is surprisingly amazing to us. Y'know, giving Spenny AIDS and acid, I don't know how we found those guys." Hotz and Rice promise even more madness in their fourth season (now airing) than we've already seen in their previous three. "There's more shit, piss and vomit in one episode this year than there has been in all of the entire seasons together," confesses Hotz. Adds Rice: "The level of poo, pee and puke this season is out of control. I'm not proud of that."
What are you up to?
Kenny: Five-foot 11-inches. People seem to think I'm short because Spenny's so tall. How tall are you?
Kenny: Six-three. So whenever I bump into people they go, "Oh my god you're so tall." I'm warped under his gigantism.
Spenny: Like my pineapple head? He calls my head a pineapple. Answer the question!
Kenny: We just finished season four, which to us feels like season 20.
Spenny: Sixty-three episodes in total.
Kenny: This is probably the worst possible day you could have shown up. Like right after we fucking wrapped a season. I'm a mess; my legs are fucked, I have bruises all over. Spenny's got shit all over him. Every year it's getting worse. We're getting older, grayer, fatter — it's getting tougher, tougher and tougher.
What are your current fixations?
Spenny: I'm always interested in politics and comedy.
Kenny: Me, I just got Resident Evil 4 on a really old Gamecube because I'd never played it. And boobies and girls' pee-pees. I want to go back to Chinatown and just eat good fuckin' food again. Just eat. Eat boobies and girls' pee-pees.
Same with you Spenny?
Kenny: He eats boys' pee-pees.
Spenny: No, not that either. I'm at the beginning of a hopefully committed relationship.
Kenny: I told you I don't want that right now! He won't listen.
Spenny: He has a certain image he has to project and I don't have to do that.
Why do you live where you do?
Spenny: We're both from Toronto and we used to be in another house for the first season but they kicked us out. This house works on a number of levels: it's big, it's good for cameras, it's good for…
Kenny: The crackheads don't complain because we're in "Murdertown." We are Toronto boys but we both live in L.A. Spenny: No, I actually live in Toronto and spend a few months in L.A.
Name something you consider a mind-altering work of art:
Spenny: Denial of Death by Ernest Becker.
Kenny: I would say Aguirre, the Wrath of God by Werner Herzog, but secondly, my penis.
What have been your career highs and lows?
Kenny: Well Spenny's career high is working with me and my career low is working with him.
Spenny: I don't exactly agree with that. Career high? The fact that people respond to the show in the ways I was hoping for. In that sense the show is a career high for me. But the show is also a career low in terms of indignities that I suffer. It's a mixed bag. Kenny: Which is true because his suffering is my joy. It's like a yin-yang thing. The more he suffers, the more joy I get.
Spenny: My best friend.
Now when he suffers do you get pleasure from that?
Spenny: Sure! Oh yeah.
Kenny: He might even get more from it.
What's the meanest thing ever said to you on the show?
Spenny: That may be difficult for him to answer, but for me it's the attacks against my mother. I'm actually immune to it, because he won't stop no matter what I do. What he likes to do is break sacred cows, that is his shtick, and so he insults my mother. It doesn't bother me, but can it get any more offensive?
Does it bother her?
Spenny: Yes, it does actually.
How do you feel about that Kenny?
So what's the meanest thing ever said to you on the show?
Kenny: Spenny told me he hated me, which made me sad.
What should everyone shut up about?
Spenny: I'm a complainer, so I guess I should shut up and complain less. It's sort of who I am. I'm sort of into people having freedom to say what they want. I may disagree with them or it may annoy me but it's all a part of the bouillabaisse of life. Kenny: Canadian politics. It bores me to death. People need to stop making comedy shows about it.
What traits do you most like and most dislike about yourself?
Kenny: I think I'm too nice. I'm very giving, I treat a lot. And I'm very loyal. I wish I was a little scummier. I think I'd probably do better in business if I was. What I like about myself is all of those traits as well.
Spenny: This is strange because I actually have almost the exact same answer except somehow it's more real and legitimate coming from me. I do think nice guys kinda finish last in this culture. I feel like I'm one of those nice guys…
Kenny: You're not really a nice guy though.
Spenny: That's your opinion. I certainly don't believe you, what you just said was absurd. You think you're too nice?
Kenny: If you went and talked to the crew they'd tell you I'm the nice guy and he's not.
Spenny: I challenge you to talk to the crew and make sure he's not in the room when you do.
Kenny: Spenny's traits are paranoia, neurosis, he's angry, prone to violence. Me? I'm very laidback and mellow. I have a tendency to be surrounded by friends more, Spenny's very antisocial…
Spenny: I'm more into solitude. What repels me also compels me when it comes to Kenny, so in a way he's very ambitious and conniving is a kind of word, but he's also an opportunist, and sometimes I wish I was a bit more like that.
How about each other? What traits do you most like and most dislike about each other?
Spenny: I like that Kenny's funny because I profit from it. I like that at the end of the day he is a solid dude, which is hard to see through most of the time. What I don't like about him is the way he always tries to cut corners and win the competitions; he thinks he's an evil genius and he always outthinks me but it's all just a bunch of crap. I think he's ultimately insecure and he's afraid to compete with me on a level playing field. He totally disagrees with that, but that's what I think.
Kenny: I guess what I don't like about Spenny is when he gets drunk and I see his feet under the door when I'm sleeping...
Spenny: He also lies a lot, which is annoying.
Kenny: Then I start hearing these noises like, "Mmmm…" and rubbing. I see his feet under the door just standing there for ten minutes and I'll be hiding, like really scared. Eventually, when he's done masturbating he'll leave, but sometimes he'll enter the room.
Spenny: Do you believe what he's saying?
Well, I was going to ask if Kenny liked that about you or disliked it.
Kenny: No, I hate it.
Spenny: But do you believe what he said? A yes or no answer.
I'm leaning towards no, but…
Kenny: I swear to god it's true. On Spencer's dad's grave.
Okay, so what do you like about Spenny?
Kenny: I like when he leaves and doesn't come into my room with his dirty thoughts. What do I like about him? He's got a cute nose and his hair is all shaggy.
If you could have any super power what would it be?
Kenny: To see through girls' clothes.
Spenny: I would like to be invisible. I would like to be able to walk around and have no one see me so I could—
Kenny: So no one could see him cry.
What was the first record you bought with your own money?
Kenny: I know Spencer's was Boyz II Men. Mine was Are We Not Men? by Devo.
Spenny: Mine was Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, years ago.
Kenny: It was last week.
What would make you kick someone off of your show and/or out of your bed, and have you?
Kenny: Well I know Spenny will kick someone out of his bed if they don't take a shit in it. Those are the rules. If you're gonna be in his bed you gotta take a dump. And me, it's the opposite. That's for the toilet. That's not for your bed. Spencer is that correct?
Spenny: Um, no. I don't think I've ever done that, but someone being disrespectful or mean. This isn't rocket science, if they were hurting me.
Kenny: You mean putting only three fingers in your ass?
Spenny: I'm tempted to say eating crackers in bed.
Kenny: Eating crack whores in bed?
What was your most memorable day job?
Spenny: He's had about two in his life.
Kenny: Yeah, giving Spencer's mom a sponge bath when I was her day nurse. Giving Spencer's mom a rectal abortion for our bastard child. Much like Spencer, who was born rectally. I dunno. I've had some shitty jobs. I haven't had many jobs. Selling weed in high school was pretty memorable — to Spencer's mom.
Spenny: For me memorable would be working the phone room for a stock market "how to" newspaper. It was just a very interesting job with some very interesting people who were in show business. It was fun, interesting and challenging. I learned a lot about the stock market.
Kenny: I was a busboy at Culture's. It fuckin' sucked!
What do you fear most?
Kenny: Genital herpes.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
Spenny: That's always a tough question. Maybe W.C. Fields, we'd have a few drinks I imagine.
Kenny: Mine would be Hitler and I'd feed him Kraft Dinner with razorblades.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
Kenny: "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead" for Spencer.
Spenny: "And Your Bird Can Sing," the Beatles.
Kenny: What song did they play when Jesus died? That's probably what I would want.
What advice should you have taken, but did not?
Kenny: Don't work with Spencer.
Spenny: Boy I saw that one coming from a mile away. I think I should have paid more attention in school. I think I have some gaps in my knowledge that I don't have time to fill. Maybe one day I'll go back to school and fill them.
Kenny: I smell a sitcom!
What is your vital daily ritual?
Kenny: Waking up, killing fragging cheesers on Call of Duty 3. I wake up every morning and kill, like ten people and then get up and drink coffee. Coffee and live gaming.
Spenny: Doing my financial stuff in the morning and reading before I go to bed. Or watching documentaries.
Given the opportunity to choose, how would you like to die?
Kenny: I would like to die by flying into the World Trade Center.
Spenny: Though I don't agree with or support illegal drugs, I would think overdosing on a drug like heroin would be a good way to go.
How do you spoil yourself?
Kenny: I avoid Spencer. That is how I spoil myself.
Spenny: I like going to the beach, I like getting massages.
Kenny: From little boys, down at the beach.
Spenny: Not that kind of massage.
What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
Kenny: Toothpaste. Anything. I am a rabid sex addict. I fucked a chick five times last night. In, out, in, out, in five times. She looked like Spenny in a blonde wig. Wait, she was wearing the same clothes too, and had that same watch! Her name was Spenita.
Spenny: I would like you to print this answer: I don't understand the question. That's it.
What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
Kenny: I met the Pope, which was pretty strange for me. It was the most fucked up, craziest thing ever. And Spenny's was when he met me.
Spenny: I dunno, David Carradine was pretty exciting.
Kenny: Oh my god, I saw the biggest celebrity in the Grand Hotel last night. There's a mirror in my bathroom.
What does your mom wish you were doing instead?
Spenny: Y'know, she's pretty supportive, believe it or not, of what I do because I think she's proud that through all of this insanity I keep a certain... not a level of dignity, but a level of morality. So I think that she's happy for me.
She feels that after watching your viral video where you drink your own pee?
Spenny: She hasn't seen that, but I don't think anything would particularly surprise her at this point.
Kenny: Spenny misunderstood the concept of the viral video. He thought it was to give yourself a virus, so he thought he was going to give himself AIDS by drinking his own pee. But I told him that's not what we're doing.
Spenny: What did you think of my video?
What was funny to me was that it had far more views than Kenny's video.
Spenny: I don't know how that happened.
Kenny: I know how that happened. This fucking bitch, who's a friend of mine and I'm not going to say her name, has this blog and she's like the Oprah Winfrey of blogs in Canada. She told everybody to click on Spencer's video.
Spenny: And she's a friend of yours?
Kenny: Not anymore.
So what does your mom wish you were doing instead?
Kenny: Wanna hear something funny? My brother's a doctor but I'm my mom's favourite. She gets to be on TV. I let Spenny bone her every once in a while.
Spenny: That's a fresh take.
So, what do you have planned for season four that will eclipse the other three seasons?
Kenny: Well, I think the gloves are off. I think when you're desperate to make things better, things get crazier and more absurd. I think Spenny's losing his mind. He thinks he's the good guy, and you're watching him shatter and be destroyed. Before he was fighting for morality and now he knows it's useless.
Spenny: For the record I don't think I'm the good guy. By comparison to him, some people might think that but I just to be good and there's a distinction there that I hope is not lost.
Have you had any challenges that you had to abort because they were too much?
Kenny: Who can do the most abortions, we had to abort.
Spenny: The last couple episodes this season I thought we should have aborted them.
Kenny: When we started "Who Can Be Tied To A Goat the Longest?" in the first hour I thought, "Oh my god this is a disaster." Both of our goats, the second we tied them to us ran us into the corner of the room. They wouldn't leave, they just sat there chewing. We couldn't do anything. But it all worked out in the end.
So have you aborted any?
Kenny: Our broadcaster has made us abort a bunch. There were a bunch we wanted to do, like "Who Could Smoke the Most Pot?" or "Who Could Be the Best Black Guy?" or "Who's the Best Muslim?" things like that. Now we have two broadcasters, and there are certain things we want to do that they won't let us do. But Showcase is surprisingly amazing to us. Y'know, giving Spenny AIDS and acid, I don't know how we found those guys.
What has been the most humiliating humiliation you've each had to do?
Spenny: I'm still gonna go with season one where I was tied up and whipped by a, what was he?
Kenny: A transsexual.
Spenny: He was not a transsexual. He was a transvestite dominatrix and it was in his apartment and I was tied up, it was one of the first ones that we did and it was just a horrible experience. I literally broke his rack, I was so upset. He had this rack that he had me on, and Kenny was trying to pull my underwear down, and I felt completely helpless so I just went "Aaah!" and broke his rack.
Kenny: That was one and then we realised we still had 26 more of these to do and we thought, "God what are we doing?"
Spenny: For me, my problem was to find a humiliation that actually humiliates him because his general personality is so over the top that he actually enjoys the attention. But this year I came up with what I think is our best humiliation of all time. I won't say what it is.
Kenny: I don't know why he loves it so much, it's pretty bad. But for some reason everyone loves it, I dunno.
Spenny: Because you hated doing it, that's why. Kenny: I think my worst one was when I sat on the toilet at University Avenue during rush hour.
Spenny: What about licking the bird shit?
Kenny: Nah, that's just licking and eating. For some reason sitting on a toilet in downtown Toronto really fucking sucked. Pissing my pants sucked too, because you'll start your bed wetting again. It's so fucked up to piss your pants; it makes you question your entire mentality.
Spenny: The level of poo, pee and puke this season is out of control. I'm not proud of that.
Kenny: There's more shit, piss and vomit in one episode this year than there has been in all of the entire seasons together.
So what else are you guys doing?
Kenny: We're writing Kenny Vs Spenny all the time now, so for all we know if this thing hits in the States this is what we'll be doing till we're fucking 80!
Would you leave Toronto?
Spenny: Well I'd like to see the show hit the road, like going out to Vegas for a competition, in the desert.
Kenny: I'd go to Antarctica. I'd want to live in Auschwitz.