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Life, Twitter and mascots: Kyle Kinane talks comedy

Kyle Kinane seems poised to make a major breakthrough in comedy. Over the past few years, he’s appeared on Comedy Central, late-night shows and dozens of podcasts. He’s released several albums and specials, most recently 2015’s “I Liked His Old Stuff Better,” and can be seen on the recent Netflix series, “Love.” Kinane returns to Buffalo for three nights at Helium Comedy Club from March 10 to 12.

Question: How long did it take you doing comedy for you to find your voice and hit a groove with your material?

Answer: The funny thing about that is that comedy is great to remind you that you never figure it out. Right when you think, “I’ve got this; I can go on stage and talk about anything,” you’ll immediately get your a-- handed to you. As much as you think you’ll have it four years in, you’ll do it for a few more then look back and think, “Oh, I didn’t know what I was talking about.” That’s the beauty of (comedy) – it’s never solved.

Q: How do you develop your material?

A: For me, I just kind of live life and if something strikes me as particularly entertaining, or if there’s a subject I find interesting, then I’ll start getting some work in and write some jokes out of it. But I don’t really sit down and just write. I (write) in the moment. The homework aspect of it I was never too good at.

Q: You’ve been pretty prolific over the past few years in terms of putting out albums and specials. Are you pretty satisfied with the hour you have now?

A: Yeah, the one now I’m going to record another special in May, so I’m in the fine-tuning part. I’m happy with it, but it’s not perfect. It’s never, “That joke can’t be told any other way.” There’s always other ways to tell a joke. There are always other angles. That’s why I like recording. It’s like, “This is the best I have it right now so I can put it to rest,” and then I start working on other stuff.

Q: You don’t really deal with current events in your act, but you’ll mention them on Twitter. Is there more pressure for a comic to do that stuff on Twitter, or is it easier since you don’t have to include them in your act?

A: There are comics that write for talk shows, so that’s their job to churn out dozens and dozens of jokes about current events every day. The current events jokes have a shelf life. If I’m trying to work to build up an hour – it takes a year and a half to two years to get a special ready – whatever current event joke I put in there now isn’t going to matter in a month, let alone a year.

Every comedian fills up their Twitter with observations and jokes, and it’s fine. It’s a lot of people barfing out their half-thought out jokes. It’s what Twitter’s for. People complain on Twitter, “Oh, I didn’t like that joke.” Yeah, well, you know what? It was free.

Q: I’m sure you have one or two bad experiences in a certain room. Any memories of a rough night performing?

A: I did a college gig in Washington State where I was doing so poorly that they sent the mascot on to get me off the stage.

Q: So he was all ready with the suit in case something happened?

A: Yeah. He sat on stage on a chair next to me as if to say, “You’re done,” but he couldn’t talk, because he’s a mascot. So I gave him a microphone, but then he made a hand gesture like, “Hey, I don’t talk!” And I’m like, “Exactly,” and I walked off the stage.

Q: It sounds like the worst heckler: The one who doesn’t even say anything.

A: The one who doesn’t say anything, but the one who got the most laughs.


Kyle Kinane

When: 8 p.m. March 10, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. March 11 and 12

Where: Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St.

Cost: $17-$32


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