Andy Kindler has often been called a "comic's comic" – someone who many of your favourite comedians love and appreciate. But while that term is certainly meant as a compliment, it's also selling his career in comedy short. Starting in the midst of (and surviving through) the comedy boom of the late 80s, Kindler was part of the early years of the "alt comedy" scene in the 90s that has now pretty much become the comedy scene, while still regularly appearing on popular shows like Everybody Loves Raymond and Late Show with David Letterman.
For 20 years now, he's delivered the "State of the Industry Address" at Montreal's Just for Laughs festival, a scathing but also not-too-serious roast of the previous year in comedy. He also hosts the festival's "Alternative" nights every year (as well as at JFL42 in Toronto), and as of 2014, has hosted and booked a monthly show at Nerdmelt in Hollywood called "The Particular Show". And despite his regular appearances on Letterman ending when Dave finally hung up the talk show mic last year, Kindler can still be seen and heard regularly on TV playing a version of himself on IFC's Maron and voicing Mort the mortician on FOX's Bob's Burgers.
First and foremost, though, Andy Kindler is a stand-up comic. If you like your comedy with a side of self-deprecation, there aren't many better. Deconstructing and reconstructing his own jokes (and comedy in general) while on stage, Kindler doesn't mind when a joke goes south. Usually, it just makes his next joke that much better. Behind the grumpy-seeming material, there's a lot of silliness and unbridled joy involved in an Andy Kindler set.
Though we've briefly met a couple times before, I got the chance to have a long chat with Andy Kindler for our latest "Kinda Sorta Maybe Like a Podcast" in advance of his multiple appearances at this week's Winnipeg Comedy Festival. We talked about his past visits to Winnipeg, Donald Trump and the state of journalism, how far comedy has come since the 80s, what David Letterman meant to television, and his other work in TV. He even tried out (and quickly abandoned) some new hockey material! (Also, if Jay Baruchel is reading this or listens to the interview, get in touch with Andy. He wants to be on your radar, Jay!)
Basically, it was a great chat.
You can catch Andy Kindler at the Born This Way Gala on Thursday, April 7, at The ALT Comedy Show later that same night, co-hosting Tales from Late Night on Friday, April 8, and as part of the Saturday afternoon taping of CBC's The Debaters.
Download the Podcast Episode (right click/save as)
When ShowbizMonkeys.com gets a chance to interview someone cool, but it's not part of one of our other featured podcasts, then it falls to our long-running (and always insecure) Kinda Sorta Maybe Like a Podcast. With no discernible format, we do get to talk to some really awesome folks, including comedians, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and more.
Often hosted by Paul Little, other contributors include J.D. Renaud, Mark McLeod, and Tim Gray.
Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found at The Purple Room in Winnipeg, where he is Artistic Director. (@comedygeek)