Comedian, actor and podcaster Kyle Kinane is coming to Ithaca for the first time for a show at the Haunt on March 12. Kinane has appeared on many podcasts and TV shows, including “@midnight.” He’s also done voice acting in movies like “Hell and Back” and the Netflix animated series “Paradise PD” and was the voice of Comedy Central for eight years.
Kyle Kinane spoke to the Ithaca Times about the late, lamented “@midnight”, the comic that inspired him, and why it’s okay not to get a tattoo.
IT: Boy, I still miss “@midnight.”
KK: You know, it was such a great show for stand-ups to get regular exposure and be able to promote dates. I don’t know, I thought it had that thing that TV’s missing, a kind of unscripted, “Yeah, we can do whatever we want” [show]. It was a bummer that it went away, so… It was one of the conveniences of being based in L.A., and a show that tapes here. “Hey, you wanna come on next week?” “Oh, sure.” I know they do “Live at the Cellar” and Comedy Central has New York-based stuff with the Comedy Cellar, but yeah, it was fun because you could be a bit of a wild card.
IT: How did Chris Hardwick run that show?
KK: I thought he was a great host because as a stand-up, he’s still quick on his feet. Obviously, they’ve gotta edit it down to 22 minutes, but the stuff that didn’t make the cut, there was no stress of “All right, we got this time, we gotta make it in this time.” It was like, “No. Go have fun, they’ll edit into what works.” And you could tell Hardwicke was like, “Yeah, have fun, this will translate to the final product.” You can tell when people are sincerely having a good time.
IT: That and podcasts were how I heard so many new comics.
KK: There’s so many comedians now. There’s so many, which is both good and bad. There’s so much to choose from, it’s easy to get lost in the flood of it. You’ve got Netflix and Amazon and all the streaming services. There’s a ton of comics nowadays. They’re out there, I’ll tell ya. They’re out there.
IT: Who made you laugh when you were a kid?
KK: I had cable at a very young age, which was maybe not the best parenting decision that my parents made [laughs], but I got exposed to a lot of horror movies and stand-up specials. I always thought stand-up as a form was weird, like, “Uh, this person just stands there and talks? That’s it, they don’t have to learn music or anything? And they can get on Johnny Carson? I need that job. All that guy does is talk. He’s not even in a band.” So I was kind of fascinated with the form. But I remember seeing Mitch Hedberg on a Rodney Dangerfield special, before anyone knew who Mitch Hedberg was. Especially in the late 80’s and early 90’s, everyone wore a blazer and talked about their wives and their kids. I’m like, “Well, I don’t really relate to that.” And this guy was talking about lifting a crate of forks with a forklift.
IT: How great is the voice acting gig?
KK: I do some animation stuff. It’s like bank robbery money. It’s not real [laughs]. You go in for ten minutes a day and tell people to watch Comedy Central, go in there in my flip-flops and pajama pants. If you get it, you’re lucky. There’s definitely talent to it, don’t get me wrong. From day one when I got that gig with Comedy Central, I was like, “This isn’t real!”
IT: Kyle, do you think I should get a tattoo?
KK: No. [laughs] You’re how old?
IT: I’ll be 57 in April.
KK: You made it that long without getting tattoos? Yeah, why would you do that to yourself? I mean, mine are all dumb. But if somebody’s alive in this day and age without a tattoo, I think you weathered the storm. There’s enough mistakes walking around out there.