Andy Kindler is returning to town on Saturday, September 15 at the Boston Comedy Festival at Davis Square Theatre. Kindler, who was a series judge on the seventh season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, is the star of two half-hour Comedy Central Presents specials and is a frequent guest and correspondent on The Late Show with David Letterman. His annual State of the Industry Address at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal remains a highlight to both industry insiders and comedy fans, and he recently took the time to speak with the Boston Comedy Scene Examiner about his upcoming visit, Massachusetts politics, and how reality television will destroy the world.
“Mitt Romney is coming…he will lose,” Kindler predicts, assessing our state’s former governor. “And how can anybody vote for Scott Brown over there? ‘I drive around in my truck.’ Who buys any of that stuff? I know he posed for those photos…I would have posed, if anyone had wanted to see me. What man wouldn’t? I have a healthy outside ego; I know what I look like.”
Kindler’s humor often focuses on the comedy industry itself, and is often rife with criticism of not only other comedians, but also of himself – something that was a natural fit for his role on Last Comic Standing. But despite his numerous comedy specials and television credits, Kindler doesn’t see himself as a huge success.
“You know how I know that I’m not a huge – well, I don’t think of myself as a huge star,” Kindler states. “The reason why you know I’m not a huge star is that we can still do endless jokes about me drawing, whereas, if you were talking to Jim Gaffigan, you couldn’t do that kind of joke. He can’t make those kinds of self-deprecating jokes anymore. I can say, ‘I’ve never sold out…literally.’ I’ve never sold out a show. And my goal is to do increasingly smaller venues. If I did a thirty-seater, I guarantee you there’d be four empty seats. I don’t care where I play; I’d rather have two people enjoying the show than twenty-five not enjoying the show.”
As one would expect, along with a undersized ego comes a good old fashioned sense of guilt; and as Kindler cites, it really doesn’t matter where that guilt comes from.
“Catholic guilt and Jewish guilt are exactly the same, the only difference is Catholic guilt leads to a concrete hell and Jewish guilt is ‘you’re gonna have a terrible time while you’re here’,” he jokes. “I should right a theological something-or-other. ‘Do you enjoy Andy’s comedy? Well maybe you’d enjoy him prosthelytizing.’ I’m very excited about my use of the word prosthelytizing. I’m stepping up my game.”
While his stint on NBC’s Last Comic Standing put Kindler into living rooms across America, he still possesses a club-comic mentality, knowing exactly what it takes – and doesn’t take – to become a success.
“There was a spurt of activity after I did that show,” Kindler recalls. “I went to clubs that I’d never been to before that were venerable comedy clubs, like Goodnights in Raleigh, North Carolina, Zanies in Nashville, but then the Last Comic Standing shot of adrenaline starts to wear off, because we didn’t get picked up again – instead they picked up America’s Got Talent, which many people feel will be the downfall of America.”
While one might expect that being a reality television judge might inflate one’s ego or industry standing, Kindler ultimately doesn’t believe that reality T.V. is the fast track to show business success.
“I think being a judge on a reality T.V. show doesn’t make you as hated as a politician. I would prefer to have a doctorate in philosophy, or be like, a dentist even,” he told the BCSE. “I was always anti-contest shows; I didn’t believe in them. As I’ve said in my act, when NBC offered me money to be a part of it, I was ‘this is good’ all of a sudden, I turned around on it. But, in general I don’t like the Simon Cowell-ization of our culture. Did I just come up with that? Because that is really not going to take off. But the idea that you encourage insane people to try out for your contest – you put it out there, ‘Come on out, we want people to think that the only way to success is a contest show, get on out here!’ And when they get out there, they’re like, ‘Oh, you can’t sing, what were you thinking of?’ When I first started comedy you had to walk twenty miles each way for the joke.”
Andy Kindler is a frequent guest and correspondent for “The Late Show With David Letterman.” His other noteworthy credits include Comedy Central Presents, the HBO “Young Comedians Special,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, “Home Movies” and “The Larry Sanders Show.” He is often recognized for playing the life affirming character, Andy, on the CBS sitcom, “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Don’t miss your chance to see Kindler perform in an intimate setting as part of the 2012 Boston Comedy Festival on Saturday, September 15 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $20. The Davis Square Theatre is located at 255 Elm Street in Somerville.
“I’m in the same place I was in last time, the Davis Square Theatre, and one show – I think I did more than one show [last year],” Kindler recalls. “I really try to make it a guilt thing – you only have one chance to see me. Don’t blow it!”