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The Chicken Lady was a character portrayed by Mark McKinney on the sketch comedy show The Kids in the Hall. She is a middle-aged, apartment-dwelling, physically strong, sexually-obsessed freak: the result of mating between a farmer and a hen. Her desire for men often led to a rather violent orgasm complete with an explosion of feathers.
She was first presented in the tail end of a sketch, in which Dave Foley and Bruce McCulloch portray two kids who come to a circus freak show. Finding one of the freaks - (Kevin McDonald) "The man who can make his nose bleed at will" - on his lunchbreak, they try to badger him to do an impromptu show for them. Annoyed, the freak screams at them to "go see the Chicken Lady" because "she's an emotional dependent!" They finish the sketch by kicking hay at the Chicken Lady who is trying to lay eggs, eager to entertain anyone.
The first fully featured sketch featuring the Chicken Lady centered on her blind date with an unsuspecting young man (played by Dave Foley) who comes to meet her at her apartment. Although clearly repulsed by her appearance and mannerisms, he is initially compelled to stay. However he finally flees in horror when she feeds him an omelette made from an egg she herself laid.
Later sketches included a visit by Chicken Lady to her childhood home, Chicken Lady working for a phone sex line, and a visit to a male stripper revue, where she is captivated by a performer nicknamed "Rooster Boy". A notable friend of the Chicken Lady's was an Irish bearded lady who seemed to always be consuming alcohol and smoking a cigar. She was played by Kevin McDonald and appeared in many sketches alongside the Chicken Lady.
After The Kids in the Hall ended in 1994, Mark McKinney joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. In 1995, McKinney played the Chicken Lady in a one-time sketch called The Chicken Lady Show, and the character was not seen again until the Kids' 2010 miniseries Death Comes to Town in a small cameo. In DVD commentary for The Kids in the Hall's third season, McKinney states that both Chicken Lady and the Bearded Lady were inspired by Tod Browning's movie Freaks.
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