Make no mistake about it, Andy Kindler is a rock star. I can’t personally confirm the fact that he spends his nights downing 40’s and snorting coke off of groupies’ breasts… but rumour has it, he does. However, if you’re one of those people that needs ‘concrete proof’ that Andy rocks, just ask his fellow comics.
The annual State of the Industry address at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal has always been Andy’s platform to take jabs at the comedy world from within. Every year his fellow comics pile into the conference room to hear who’s done him wrong. It reads like a very Jewy version of Santa’s Naughty List. In 2012 he dared to take on Louis CK, this year it was Bill Maher, Jay Leno and poor poor Adam Carolla. I was a big fan of that rant. I particularly loved how he ripped apart Adam’s new crowd-funded film, ROAD HARD. Note, I just went and checked the site, and the guy reached his goal and raised 1.5 million for his movie! Uch, what a fuckin’ prick! You see how easy it is to get into a hissy about Carolla? But fact is, no one can do it quite like Andy… and that is true about oh so many things!
For instance… ah, you see how I segued into a new paragraph and then explained myself? That right there is quintessential Kindler! I’ve been doing my homework! In fact, over the past year, I’ve learned that no one is more adept at finding the humour in the craft itself than Andy. This might be one of the reason’s he’s been affectionately labeled a comic’s comic by the community. This also might be why he is the author of the Hack’s Handbook.
If the comedy term ‘Hack’ is a mystery to you, you’re not alone. Not being a comic myself, I admit it took me a while to grasp the concept. I mean, is there really anything new under the sun? I imagine comics use the same old material all the time. Sure the jokes might not come directly from an off-the-shelf joke book or another comic’s act.. but still, how many different dick and fart jokes can there possibly be? Thankfully we have Andy to help us out. Once you see him live, you know that its not just about the content. It’s the appoach. It’s a love for the craft and the blood, sweat and tears that go into the work, that makes you stand out. Not every overnight sensation is a hack, but you better prove yourself otherwise… or you might end up on next year’s Naughty List.
When I got the opportunity for a Q&A with Andy, for whatever reason, the first two things that came to mind were… Hack and Jew? It got me thinking. Is there such a thing as a hack Jew? Let’s investigate:
TF: Your National Lampoon’s Hack’s Handbook is a must read for both beginners and seasoned pro’s looking for a refresher. Do you find it more rewarding to be known as a comic’s comic, or would you rather be a sellout and hang with Kanye and the Kardashians?
AK: I’m happy to be known as a comic’s comic, but I wish the pay was better. Even if I wanted to sell out, I probably wouldn’t be good at it. I can’t even sell out a comedy club. Hanging with Kanye and the Kardashians sounds like a show on E! I wouldn’t watch.
TF: We were at your JFL State of the Industry address back in Montreal in July. We know you’re in love with Colin Quinn, but have you kissed and made up with Adam Carolla?
AK: I assume this is a joke question, or you were sleeping during that section of the speech. I said what I believed, so there’s nothing to make up about.
TF: Speaking of Jews, you might possibly be the Jewiest human in comedy, maybe on earth. Have you prepared your list of sins to atone for over the High Holidays?
AK: I am Jewish culturally, but I don’t formally observe the holidays. Don’t tell my rabbi. I keep my sins on index cards, just like my joke ideas. I atone on a nightly basis, mostly for my act.
TF: Big controversy these days over the heckling going on at shows, brought to light by Chappelle’s gig in Hartford. Does anyone dare heckle the great Andy Kindler?
AK: I’ve been heckled. I don’t enjoy it, and I’m not in favor of it. Put me down for no on heckling. Thanks for calling me the “great Andy Kindler,” even if you were being sarcastic. (editor’s note: I wasn’t!)
TF: Canada’s always provided a wealth of talent to the comedy industry. Have any favorites? With your country about to invade another country do you wish you were Canadian?
AK: I love Canadian comedians. DeAnne Smith- Graham Clark- Tim Gilbert- harlie Demers. One of my oldest friends in comedy is Brent Butt, who is hilarious. And many more! I reject your premise about my country invading another country. That’s not what’s happening with Syria. I love President Obama, so don’t get me going. Beyond that, I consider myself to be a citizen of the world, whatever that means. (editor’s note: I love Obama too.. and am so thankful he’s thoughtful and war-weary)
TF: If I’m not mistaken, it’s’ been 10 years since your last DVD… When’s the next one drop? And we’re not talking about your balls! Hey Ho! Wait, is that a hack joke? Please explain…
AK: Yes, that was a hack joke. And “Hey Ho” didn’t save it. Don’t go blue, even with your balls. Hey Ho! I’m planning to record a CD in the next couple of months for AST records. Then everyone will call me Mr. Prolific, or Sir Writes A Lot. As always, I closed this q & a weak. That’s why my stage name is Fizzles. Good night!
Need more Andy? For you old folk, there’s always reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond, and for the kids, you can check him out as Mort the Mortician on Bob’s Burgers. For anyone that needs a daily dose of his schtick, there’s always Twitter.
But we recommend you start by coming to see him at JFL42.</>