BAND: Kyle Kinane, Dave Ross
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 18, with doors at 8 p.m.
VENUE: The Merry Widow, 51 S. Conception St., www.themerrywidow.net
TICKETS: $18 in advance $20 day of show, available at The Merry Widow and its website
Whether they know it or not, anyone who has watched Comedy Central is already familiar with Kyle Kinane, or at least his voice. For many years, Kinane has provided voice-over buffers for the channel. He has lent his voice to a long list of animated shows that include “Bob’s Burgers,” “Adventure Time” and “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.”
In addition to his vocal work, Kinane has appeared on shows such as “Drunk History” and “Workaholics.” He also had viewers laughing with his hit stand-up television special, “I Liked His Old Stuff Better.”
Kinane took time to chat with Lagniappe about his television work as well as one of his favorite subjects: getting old.
Centanni: Being a comedian on a road tour, it seems like you would be out there flying solo. What’s it like on the road for a comedian on tour?
Kinane: Personally, I like it, man. I like driving. I think that the lower 48 is some of the most diverse landscape that you can experience. To do it by car is great. Last year, I had one tour that took me from Boston through the South out to Phoenix in January. I went from four feet of snow to a desert in a matter of three weeks. I think it’s great. I like it, and I find it very peaceful.
C: So, is it always just you out there?
K: This time I have a buddy with me. He’s a comedian by the name of Dave Ross. He’s touring with me on this run.
C: What’s it been like so far?
K: Dave and I toured a little bit last year. It’s good as long as you realize people have to be quiet for a long stretch of time but not be awkward about it, then it’s OK. I think that when you tour with somebody long enough, you get like, “Alright, let’s listen to some music or listen to a podcast” and space out. He’s a good dude and a pal of mine. So, it’s been fun.
C: I think podcasts have sort of revolutionized comedy by giving it a new outlet. You’ve had some experience in the podcast world. What do you think about them?
K: Yeah, I used to bust balls about podcasts, like “I’m the only comedian who doesn’t have one” and “I wonder who even listens to those things.” Then I go do a show and people are like, “Yeah, I found out about you through this podcast.” Then I was like, “I’ve got to watch my mouth!” I stopped smack-talkin’ podcasts, because apparently a lot of people listen to them and I should grateful that people have had me on theirs.
C: I totally get what you’re saying. I was the same way about it. I thought it was such a cult following. Now, I can’t have a conversation with you without talking about Comedy Central. You’re currently the voice of Comedy Central. How did you get that steady gig?
K: I honestly don’t know. Somebody called me and was like, “Hey! Do you wanna go in and try to do voice-overs?” I had never even done any voice-over work. They were like, “Just go in and read this stuff.” I was like, “Alright!” Then they had me back a few days later and were like, “Go in and do it again!” Then I saw the paycheck for it, and I was thinking, “Don’t you dare screw this up.”
C: You also participated in the Comedy Central show “Drunk History,” which is one of my favorites. There are a lot of people online who want to say that the level of drunkenness is over exaggerated. What’s it like behind the scenes when you’re making one of those segments?
K: I invite any of them to drink as much as I did on one of those shows, and you tell me if it’s exaggerated (chuckle). I’m trying to barf on purpose for ratings (laughing). No, I got that drunk. That’s what happened to me.
C: You dedicate a lot of your material to the realization that you’re getting old, which I think resonates with a lot of Gen Xers. What was the first incident of you deciding that you were getting old?
K: My hair started falling out early on. So, that’s something that didn’t bother me. I always shaved my head anyway. Then I was like, “Hey, I’ll grow my hair out.” Then it was like, “Nah, no you’re not, because it’s not there anymore.” So, that didn’t bother me. I did find out that I had gout last year. That felt like something. So, that’s one thing: gout. That’s not a sports injury. It’s not something you get from doing something cool and useful. You can’t be like, “I played so many sports, and that’s why I hurt.” No, you drank and ate whatever you wanted for too long.
C: As far as getting older goes, what’s your biggest fear?
K: I think it would be that I’m not able to do the stuff I like. I like doing fun and dumb kid stuff. I still ride bikes and go mountain biking. I was BMX’ing at a skate park in Phoenix a few weeks ago, which is something I haven’t done in a long time. Otherwise, I don’t have that much fear. I’m still living life the way I want to. I don’t have kids or anything. I can’t say what I’m afraid of. I’m having a real good time right now. I guess the good times ending is the only thing that scares me. Fun will present itself in a different format, later on in life.
C: Your Comedy Central stand-up special was a hit. What’s going through your head knowing that this one particular set could go legendary or just fail completely? Is the paranoia there when you’re filming one of those?
K: Usually there’s enough preparation beforehand where you know the material and have been trying it out for a few months. It should work. Another thing people don’t realize is that it’s being taped. If I screw something up, I can be like, “Hey, everybody, I gonna say that again, because I screwed up the words.” Usually people know that they’re at a taping. They’re very forgiving. They want you to do well, too. Nobody’s going to a taping and hoping that you suck. They do two shows, in case one audience is lousy. I always tell them at the beginning, “I might screw up a word. If I do, then I’ll go back and do it again. You guys do me a favor and laugh like you heard it for the first time.” I hope I didn’t take the mystery out of it for everybody.
C: It can’t be that perfect every time.
K: No, live shows are one thing. You can tank, or it could not go well. People could interrupt it. With a taping, you minimize what could go wrong.
C: What’s your set going to be like in Mobile?
K: If they know me already, then it’s going to be more of the same (chuckle). It’s the same racket I’m always getting into. It’s an hour of me doing the same shit. It’s not the same material. I haven’t gone right wing or anything. I’m not wearing a suit. I haven’t Dennis Miller’d the whole thing.