Comedy: Q&A with Kyle Kinane

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From the October 10, 2013 edition

It’s been a little more than a year since Kyle Kinane performed in Columbus. In that time, the Chicago native currently residing in southern California has released the legendary comedy album Whiskey Icarus, (as well as a DVD performance under the same title).

Those at last September’s show at Woodlands Tavern know the levels of hilarity and genius Kinane hits on stage. Those who missed it? Monday offers you a chance to correct one of the biggest mistakes of your life.

How did you know standup was what you wanted to do?

I started as a writer. I didn’t really do anything. I just thought it was a cool thing to say you were a writer. So I went to college to become a writer, but I was trying to write funny stuff. Nobody was laughing because college-age kids that think they’re writers are an overly dramatic, serious bunch. So then I found comedy and [realized] I can just read things I’ve written and people laugh. I’ll just do this instead.

What was it like starting out in Chicago?

There were the three or four [regular] shows that went on. Open mic comedy is the odd kind of net that catches every type of weirdo. Patton Oswalt broke it down; the three types of people you’ll see at an open mic. One of the categories is outright lunatic that realized for five minutes someone is going to listen to them because they have a microphone. There was a lot of that, but a lot of the guys I started with are doing real well now.

Who are some comedians that push you to get better?

I’ve had a couple guys open for me, Ian Karmel and Sean Patton, and just bury me. It’s one of those things watching them — I can’t slough off tonight. They should just be headlining.

You have some stories from being on the road on Whiskey Icarus that are pretty crazy. Are they true?

My friend uses the phrase Irish storyteller. It’s all rooted in my real life. The people that were humping on the plane were just two people screwing around under a blanket next to me. So I just got drunk about it.

For the pancakes, the bagged cakes, that story just ended with me laughing at the idea of it. I was going back to Chicago, waiting for my sister to pick me up and a bird s--- on me. That doesn’t even add to the story, just the actual facts of that day. What’s this guy doing eating pancakes out of a bag, and then a bird shit on me!? This day sucks. It’s a real drag. You feel real singled out.