Why So Serious, Kyle Kinane? - Reverb

Why So Serious, Kyle Kinane?

If Kyle Kinane doesn't immediately respond to your Facebook message, don't freak out. Trust us.

If Kyle Kinane doesn't immediately respond to your Facebook message, don't freak out. Trust us.

Welcome to another “Why So Serious?” — a new column where we ask stand-up comedians five randomly chosen questions, and don’t expect anything resembling straight answers.

For this installment we selected Chicago-bred comic Kyle Kinane, who headlines the Comedy Works South Thursday, Oct. 21 through Saturday, Oct. 23.

Kinane is no stranger to playing for stand-up nerds, having toured nationally with indie comedy heroes such as Patton Oswalt (“The Comedians of Comedy”) and Brian Posehn (“Mr. Show”). But Kinane’s style isn’t all “World of Warcraft” references and hipster baiting: his gravel-voiced observations are devastatingly funny in their directness and his self-effacing manner is more relatable than off-putting.

Kinane’s first stand-up album, “Death of the Party,” was released by respected L.A. label ASpecialThing to overwhelmingly positive reviews earlier this year, and in July he was named to Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch” list.

You seem pretty active on Facebook. What’s one of the most ridiculous messages you’ve ever received on there from someone you didn’t know?

I recently got one from an older woman that was kind of trying to flirt with me. She sent two or three messages and I didn’t respond — not to be rude, but just because I didn’t get to a computer to type out a response. First she was like, “Oh, hey, I think you’re attractive.” And then, “What’s the matter, did I scare you off?” And then the last message was just: “I HATE YOU.” So there was this whole arc of emotion just because I couldn’t get to a computer tor a few days. I don’t get hit on a lot, so that’s always flattering, but this was bit much.

What’s one joke you used to love to tell but now can’t stand?

I used to do this whole thing about a million dollar boat ride and what should be included in that boat ride that costs a million dollars, and it was one of the best jokes I had. But for some reason it just stopped working. I don’t know what happened. It was almost like a “Twilight Zone” thing. I even did it on “Carson Daly” it worked so well, but people just started hating it for some reason. Maybe there was a boat disaster I wasn’t familiar with — some cruise ship sinking?

Last time you were here you played the Orange Cat Studio (headlining the final Los Comicos Hilariosos), and now you’re playing Comedy Works South. Those are obviously two very different environments — a DIY art space and a mainstream comedy club — but what do they have in common?

I’ve never been to Comedy Works, but it’s spoken very highly of by comedians, which says a lot for a club. So I think what’s similar is that the ideals are right. The guys I did the Orange Cat show with (Denver comedians Greg Baumhauer, Adam Cayton-Holland, Ben Roy, Jim Hickox and others) just want to do good comedy. It’s not necessarily about fame or image or anything. They just want to put out a quality show, and from what I’ve heard from other comics, it’s the same way at Comedy Works.

If Denver was a food, what would it be? What about an animal?

If it’s a food, I wanna say omelet… If it was an animal, it would be a goat. For some reason I’m thinking goats. I don’t know what type of personality type that is, but I can’t associate things well. What about goat stew? That takes care of both of them.

Do you read your own reviews? What was one of the harshest?

I do, I have a Google alert on my name. Everybody does even if they say they don’t. But so far it’s been positive for the most part. And I’m incredibly flattered by it because I really wasn’t planning on putting out an album, but the AST guys asked if I wanted to do one, and if a label of that caliber asks you to be part of the roster, you say yes. But as far as reviews, there’s been an analysis of it — and people using far larger words than I would ever employ — talking about how I dissect a blue collar mentality or something. I’m just talking about shitty jobs. We’ve all had ‘em. But they’re these these very intellectual reviews of the album. It makes me think “Is that what I was doing?” I wasn’t trying to reflect the frustrations of the common man, just saying I hate my jobs. Maybe I’m smarter than I think?

Tickets to Kinane’s Thursday-Saturday shows at Comedy Works South are $12-$20.

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John Wenzel is an executive editor of Reverb and an award-winning A&E reporter for The Denver Post. His book “Mock Stars: Indie Comedy and the Dangerously Funny” was recently published by Speck Press. He also maintains a Twitter feed of completely random song titles and band names.