|Pictured above: Kyle Kinane is a sassy sea captain.|
Kyle Kinane is the sort of funny that makes you think. His album Whiskey Icarus was about taking drinking a little too far, and it’s the kind of clever play on words that gets stuck in your head. He’s good at that, whether that’s via his comedy, as a contestant on @Midnight, or an interview subject on Drunk History. It’s no wonder that Kinane is the voice of Comedy Central, as he his gruff delivery is like that uncle we’ve all had that gets real merry at the Holidays and does his own thing, and you can hear that in his voice acting with Bob’s Burgers and Adventure Time. You can see what he’s about this Sunday night at the Haymarket Whiskey Bar for a rare Louisville performance. We caught up with him to ask about writing comedy, stage fright, and celebrity gas.
Never Nervous: What led you to comedy? Were you the kid making the jokes in class, or just the smart-ass in the back of the room snickering at your teacher and classmates?
Kyle Kinane: I always wanted to make my friends laugh hard enough to get them in trouble. Not out of any vindictive spirit, but I figured if someone would laugh so much where they couldn’t control it, even at risk of being punished for it, then I must’ve been pretty funny.
NN: Was it always comedy, or did you ever do any other sort of performance? Have you ever played music? Have you ever acted?
KK: I played in bands in my late teens and early 20s.
NN: Tell us about the first time you did stand-up? What was the environment like there and how did you do? How do you prepare for that first time up?
KK: I went to watch an open mic for a while before I couldn’t even muster the courage to try it. I was more interested in the people who would bomb. If someone was funny, I understood why they were there at the open mic, but the people who would bomb week after week made me realize there was nothing to be scared of. If you suck at it, go back again and again.
NN: Relative to that, how do you prepare new material? As a musician, I can spend plenty of time rehearsing before a performance. What is the comedic equivalent?
KK: Shows. I do shows all the time in Los Angeles. That’s the comedy gymnasium where we exercise all the new material and get it in shape for the road.
NN: What was it like to working with the Drunk History folks?
KK: Derek is a diabolical man who can conjure everything he needs out of the boozers. It’s great.
NN: Speaking of, do you improvise very often? Is there any degree of improv in your standup?
KK: I improvised a lot last night when a terribly drunk woman didn’t understand that you don’t answer rhetorical questions. Honestly, who still thinks heckling a comedy show is okay?
NN: What’s your writing process like for coming up with new material? Do you literally write things out and then read it aloud?
KK: I go on stage with the idea and see if it’s got any legs. If it was funny, then I try to make notes as soon as Im done with my set.
NN: How do you deal with hecklers? Is it with tranquilizer darts?
KK: I try to give them one chance to shut up and realize what they’re doing is wrong, but if need be I’ll sabotage my whole show just to spite one asshole in the audience.
NN: Have you ever met Carmen Electra? If you did, what would you tell her and why?
KK: Why would I have ever met Carmen Electra?
NN: Who is the most famous person that you have had gas around and how did you handle those emotions?
KK: This interview got real stupid towards the end.
NN: Last but never least, what have you been listening to lately and why?