As I’m sure we all know and are very saddened by, Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice went their separate ways at the end of last year after collaborating since 1994. Spenny’s first solo program, a heavily scripted, oddball sitcom entitled “Single White Spenny” had plenty of laugh out loud moments but always seemed a little stock standard, not quite meeting the level of hilarity that we had come to expect from the duo. Kenny’s effort, however, meets and surpasses the quality of Kenny vs Spenny as he strives to complete six seemingly impossible tasks in order to embarrass himself on TV.
Kenny Hotz’s Triumph of the Will is pure originality. Never before has a show had such balls and honesty, as Kenny truly strives to complete the tasks he sets himself at the beginning of each episode, regardless of the consequences. Kenny’s history as a photojournalist is definitely exhibited in this program as we see his humour and character become much more mature than it ever was in KvS. Not that immaturity is a bad thing, by all means. And while the show definitely has a very Kenny-esqué feel to it, it lifts its maturity up fifteen notches from KvS, somehow managing to become a serious journalistic show while retaining Kenny’s unique sense of humour.
Additionally, Kenny chooses clever and unique “challenges” at the beginning of each show which allow him to shape his own views of various contemporary issues (such as the treatment of pigs at a slaughterhouse) and his longstanding personal values (his hatred of the French). And let us not neglect to mention what is possibly one of the greatest episodes of television in the last year, “Take My Mom… Please!”, in which Kenny lovingly attempts to find his mother a man after 20 years alone. This episode in particular perfectly blends Kenny’s humour with his sincerity and love for his mother Tzafi, who we all have a soft spot for after her co-operation with KvS for the last 6 years. Then there’s his stubborn attempt at bringing peace between Muslims and Jews (Children of Abraham) and his hilariously disgusting and eye-opening attempt at cannibalism culminating in a professionally cooked 3-course placenta feast in “Kennibal”.
Kenny Hotz’s Triumph of the Will‘s 6-episode run was one of the most creative, original shows not just on Canadian television, but around the world. I’m not giving the following score lightly – it’s a true representation of the quality and originality of this show. It’s truly a shame that it was shoved on Showtime Action, as not only would it convert even the most die-hard Spenny fan, but also anyone who had never even heard of the Hotz.