Last year, comedian Kyle Kinane released one of the best albums of the year Death of the Party. And since then, he’s been quickly rising in the world of comedy, having made appearances on Conan, John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show and his own Comedy Central Presents. Now he’s on tour opening for one of the biggest comedians today, Daniel Tosh. I caught up with him on opening night of the tour in Kitchener, ON, Canada after an incredible set filled with bits on poison oak, Wal-Mart and cheap cigarettes. Check out what went down between and me and “Uncle Barbecue,” as Kinane called himself onstage that night.
How’s the tour with Tosh going?
Well, today’s my first night on the tour so it’s hard to say. (laughs)
Well how did you think your set went tonight then?
I think it went well. It’s a little bit different playing to a big theater like this but it was decent. I’ve gotta adjust some stuff though. It’s always hard to come out being a fairly unknown opener to crowds and expect them to listen to you; you’ve really gotta come out with a couple strong ones.
You’re originally from Chicago and somewhat recently moved to Los Angeles. Did you find that move awkward?
It was kind of expected. I mean, they’re totally different lifestyles and they’ve got different ideals and stuff, so you kind of have to be ready for that. I was a fairly comfortable comic though and I had a lot of experience so it wasn’t so bad. I really just knew what I was in for though, so it wasn’t that big of a deal to me.
You used to play in a band, The Grand Marquis. Do you do the music thing at all anymore?
Nah, I was never really that good. It’s the kind of thing where you just do it because you like it, but you were never that good at it.
Do you miss it?
Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. The first band I played in was just with friends and stuff so it felt more like a pick-up ball league than anything professional, you know? It was just a good time. But I’m not good enough and too busy with comedy now.
Did you have a hard time deciding between the two: music or comedy?
Not really. I really enjoy doing comedy and I’m good at it. I like playing music, but I still stink.
Fair enough. So according to your Twitter account you did some voice over work recently?
Yeah, I’m the Comedy Central guy…
Oh, really? We don’t get Comedy Central here in Canada, we have the Comedy Network. It basically airs all of Comedy Central’s programming though.
Yeah, I noticed that. People always ask me if I’m the voice. It’s weird, I never really paid attention to that stuff, but people keep asking if it’s me.
Well you have a pretty distinct voice. You’ve got a lot of rasp and stuff to your voice.
Yeah, I guess that’s true.
Since you’ve been doing voice over work do you have any plans on going further with that? Maybe get into acting or writing?
I don’t really have any major plans, but I’ll definitely try anything once. I figure I might as well get the best experience I can out of this because who knows how long it’s gonna last. Patton [Oswalt] told me to do whatever I can – you know, not like selling out or anything like that – but like if it will help you get exposure and it’s something you wanna try, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it, you know? There’s no netting under this career that says it’s safe. It’s not like if you study really hard you’ll just get a better and better job. There’s no security, so you gotta do what you can.
For sure. Your style is very conversational on stage, compared to someone like say, Patton, who’s a lot more scripted with his jokes. Do you find this helps or hinders you in any way?
Not really either way. It’s just how I deliver. It’s a little bit weirder in a [theater] setting like this because I have no ability to be conversational with an audience member, but it’s not a major issue ever. It’s just comfortable.
Man…I fucking hate hecklers. Is this about that video? (see below)
No no! I’ve seen it. But it’s not about that at all. How do you deal with them generally?
I don’t mind it if I’m at a club and they’re being polite and conversational. Sometimes it’s really cool to talk to an audience member for a bit and riff with them – but I like the fact that I can be like “okay, that was fun talking, but shut the fuck up now” to them.
Any horror stories?
There was one time I was doing a club and a guy piped up and I just yelled at him to shut the fuck up right away. Turns out he was just trying to order a drink from the waitress. So I had to be like, “oh…sorry…carry on.” It was embarrassing. I think I just was having a bad week though.
Yeah, it’s tough. Comedy can be a really weird emotional thing if you’re not in the right mood.
Definitely, man. I don’t know…
This is your third time up to Canada?
Fourth or fifth actually. Yeah, I’ve done Vancouver a couple times, Montreal, these dates…Winnipeg and Edmonton I think.
A woman walks out from the back of the venue holding two dogs: Kyle!
I need your help for a second, can you come open the bus door for me?
Okay, hang on a second. (Kyle goes and opens the tour bus door and then comes back)
Are those Tosh’s dogs?
Yeah. Those are his.
Ah, cool. Do you notice a change in performing in Canada versus the United States?
Not really, man. The only major thing is businesses and locations and stuff. Some companies aren’t in Canada that are in the States so you have to find an equivalent.
Yeah, I remember I was listening to your album and you have the bit about Trader Joe’s and I had to Google what Trader Joe’s was because I was unsure about what it was exactly.
They don’t even have those all over the states either. They just kind of pop up here and there, and they’re only starting to gain ground recently. I guess I could always do Paul Newman’s Salad Dressing or something. He does that shit too.
Totally! So a couple nights ago I saw on Twitter you were staying at your parents’ place…
(laughs) yeah…So you saw my little freak out, eh? I don’t know, I thought it was funny. I think I lost a few followers from that. Fuck it, oh well. **(see full Twitter dispatch after the interview)**
I like doing stuff like that late at night – the people up late get to see the story as it happens. It’s funny. I don’t really care if somebody sees it in the morning and thinks it’s irritating.
I always love reading your tweets in the morning.
Thanks. But yeah, that was a funny night.
What are your parents like?
They’re good people, man. They’re good people. It’s just…moms, you know? They care so much, so they tell you to do shit and stuff. It’s just moms being moms.
Dogs barking from the tour bus.
There go Tosh’s dogs haha.
A bang is heard around the corner.
What the fuck? Oh! Andrew dropped the fruit plate! Hey Andrew! You dropped the fruit plate!
Andrew: Yeah (laughs).
That’s Andrew, our tour manager. This is Dave.
Hey, Andrew, nice to meet you.
Andrew: I’d shake your hand but they’re covered in fruit.
No worries, man.
We’re just doing a little interview here.
Andrew to Kyle: Oh, cool. We just need you to come in and sign some stuff. You know, so you can get paid.
Oh, alright – I’ll be there in a second.
Andrew: Okay, cool.
I gotta head in and sign some papers.
Okay, cool. Got time for one more question?
You’re pretty notorious for drinking on stage. Did you ever get to a point where you drank so much it affected your performance?
When I’m on stage that’s either my first or second beer. I know it’s deceiving just because a lot of my material is based around me being drunk, but I don’t really drink much when I’m performing.
It’s like…if you want this to be a career and you wanna be serious about this then you gotta be professional. You could watch the tapes and think it’s hilarious when you’re hammered and talking to an audience of friends, but to the five people there who actually came out for a comedy show you know they’re not enjoying themselves watching a bunch of drunks talk back and forth for no reason.
Yeah, you can go to the bar if you wanna see that.
Exactly. It’s unfortunate that that’s the catalyst for a lot of my material though, and I’m trying to change that because I don’t wanna be pigeon holed like that. You know how some comics are the “pot” comedian? I don’t wanna become the “drunk comedian.”
Check out the aforementioned heckler video:
The aforementioned Twitter dispatch is below:
“On the night of July 26, Kinane made frequent updates to his twitter account about his interactions while staying with his mother:
“My mom called me fat while I was eating pickles over the sink.”
“Back home, sleeping in my childhood bedroom. Hardly even resembles the place I learned what Catholic guilt was five times a night.”
“My mom just came in to tell me she ate an ice cream cone. What the fuck is with that? She could’ve told me while I was eating those pickles.”
“I mean, if you see your kid eating pickles over the sink because he’s hungry, let him know there’s fucking ice cream cones in the freezer.”
“There used to be a cat in this house. Those were the salad days. I miss you, Fatass. RIP Big Damage, the cat that would lay down to eat.”
“Mom just said I look pregnant the way I’m sitting and then asked if I wanted an ice cream cone. Goddamnit with these mind games already.”
“Is Nardi’s Pizza on Twitter? Yeah, motherfucker, I said “Nardi’s.” It’s got the word “Nards” in the name but it’s pretty decent pizza.”
“Mom always says to get Pizza Hut. That shit tastes likes somebody drooled marinara sauce on a hypo-alergenic pillow. Open up, Nardi’s!”
“Fuck, they’re closed. Gonna have to eat chips and salsa in the kitchen while Mom plays Slingo. Drag. Maybe she’ll take me to White Castle.”
“No dice. The lady who asks me if I want ice cream at 1am won’t take me to get sliders. What the shit. This is the reason I act how I act.”
“”You fly, I’ll buy.” I’m offering this to the entire Chicagoland area. Someone pick me up and take me to the goddamn White Castle on North.”
“What? Am I abusing Twitter? Read the other billion people wishing shit into the universe on this turd, THEN COME TAKE ME TO WHITE CASTLE.”
“GO TO BED MOM. I WANT TO MICROWAVE THIS LEFTOVER BRAT WITHOUT YOU JUDGING ME. WHY CANT DAD BE HOME AND YOU TRAVEL FOR WORK INSTEAD.”
“Mom: “If you eat now, you know what will happen?” Me: “I’LL FEEL HAPPY?” Mom: “Go to bed.””
“I’m going to bed hungry like some fly-eyed African toddler now. This would be some serious DCFS shit if I was younger.”
“Thought I had a Clif Bar in my backpack but I ate it yesterday for breakfast. This totally sucks. DAD IS ALWAYS DOWN FOR EATING.”
“Dad bought some candy called Gummie Gushers or some gross-sounding shit but they were good but he finished them before he left town FUUUUCK.”