While some celebs marked their early success with glorious and expensive automobiles, most had pretty humble beginnings. This week, we’re kicking off a new regular feature dubbed Stars’ First Cars. We’re asking Cameo’s brightest and funniest to share a memory of their first ride—which we’ll share alongside a retro review!
Up this week is Kevin McDonald—one of Canada’s comedy legends. He is best known for being a member of the iconic comedy troupe Kids in the Hall. He’s appeared in some of era-defining shows including Friends, Seinfeld, and That 70’s Show. He’s been in cartoons like Lilo and Stitch and Invader Zim, appeared in movies like Galaxy Quest and Sky High—and the video Roses from Outkast—and has his own podcast.
His first car? A 1992 Honda Civic. “I liked it and I don’t adapt well to change—so I kept it for 11 years,” recalled actor and comedian Kevin McDonald. It was a gift from SNL’s Lorne Michaels: “He gave us $20,000 and we bought a Honda Civic.” And why not? The early-90s Honda Civic was one of the most revered compacts of all time because of its responsiveness, reliability, and the ease with which enthusiasts could tweak it for better performance and handling. Check out the Car Digest Retro Review here.
Below is the transcript of our conversation Kevin McDonald. The transcript has been edited for both length and clarity.
I am Kevin McDonald.
I’m the weakest Kid in the Hall, comically. Driving wise—we’re all pretty bad.
Dave Foley Was In A Lot Of Accidents When I Was A Kid.
Bruce thinks he’s good, but it’s scary. Scott’s crazy. Dave Foley was in a lot of accidents when I was a kid. When we were teenagers he would always borrow his brother’s car and he always had to bring a pen and paper with him because when he parked, he always bumped into the other car and he was always writing his name and phone number and leaving it behind. Mark’s probably the best driver. He once put me in the trunk to hide from someone who wanted to give me a subpoena. True story.
I Didn’t Get My License ‘Till I Was 35.
I didn’t get my license ’till I was 35, but this is interesting. My first car was bought when I was 20—uh, 30. I was 30. I was 30. I was 30 years old and The Kids in the Hall—and I’m about to name drop—our boss is Lorne Michaels and because the show wasn’t… It wasn’t a success, but because it wasn’t canceled, so Lorne decided to give us a gift of a car each. The other four, who could drive at that point (I couldn’t drive when I was 30) they took the money instead. I got the car because my girlfriend at the time wanted to drive. So she drove and it was a Honda Civic and it was green. It was like a new car, but it was a Honda Civic. He gave us $20,000 when we bought a Honda Civic. And then because Toronto is a little bit like New York, we didn’t drive it that much. By we, I mean she. And then we split up, she kept the car. Was that a loser thing of me or was it nice?
The Instructor Dropped Me Off At An Audition And Went Over Lines With Me.
And I moved to Los Angeles and at this point I couldn’t drive and my agent kept driving me to auditions. And my agent was like my dad. And then he got mad and said, “You got to get a license.” So I remember I had to take driving tests. Once the driving instructor dropped me off at an audition and he even went over lines with me. It was very nice. I remember once I scared my driving instructor because I told him the truth as I was driving. I said, “I had a dream last night that I would never ever go through stop signs. And I just kept driving and driving and ignore the stop signs.” And he said, “That scares me very, very much.”
My First Driving Test.
Oh, and then I remember my first driving test I failed because they make you park on the side of the street and then put on the emergency brake. And then they talk to you. It’s a game, it’s a mind game. And then they said, “Okay, start the car.” And I forgot to put the emergency brake. And I remember my guy, the driving tester, his name was Seth, and he had a lisp. And he liked me. And he said, “Oh no, you just failed automatically. That’s an automatical fail. You won’t get your license. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. That’s an automatic fail.” The second time I did get the license and what do we buy? Another Honda Civic. So there.
Another Honda Civic.
And then I liked it and I don’t adapt well to change, so I kept it for 11 years. And he kept getting in worse condition, but it was still pretty good. And then I remember driving to Bruce McCulloch, one of The Kids in the Hall, to his house with my 11 year old car and he said, “Here comes Kevin McDonald and his $2,000 car.” Because it probably wasn’t even that much at that point.
There. I am Kevin McDonald, and that’s my first car story—sort of.