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Comedian with loyal following pulls humor from life’s situations

Kinane’s Tiger Room shows already sold out

Chris Hupe

Chris Hupe

Whatzup Features Writer

Published June 23, 2021

Performing stand-up for over two decades, Kyle Kinane has developed a large following which appreciates his unique perspective.

Kinane comes back to Fort Wayne to perform two shows at The Tiger Room, inside Welch’s Ale House, on June 30.

Though he had been performing material for a decade already, Kinane first gained national notoriety when he dropped his first CD, Death of the Party, in 2010.

The positive reception of that album gained him the honor of being named one of Variety’s “Ten Comics to Watch in 2010,” and earned him spots on several of the late-night television shows.

10 Years to Overnight Sensation

Kinane recently explained on the Connected Comedy Podcast that although Death of the Party made him an “overnight sensation,” it was a long hard road getting there, one that was filled with a lot of self-reflection.

His transformative moment came after a string of bad shows at a festival early in his career when he felt he had blown his big opportunity.

He returned to his adopted home of Los Angeles a defeated man, but wound up discovering a new approach to his material.

“I realized I could do some really weird stuff that I think is funny to me, but sounds sad to other people,” he said. “I also realized how much more powerful it was for people to understand something as opposed to just laughing at the wording. Laughing at it because you relate is so much different.”

The way Kinane observes everyday situations is often expressed through self-deprecating stories that produce continuous laughs due to their relatability. He can make listeners laugh at some things they may not normally laugh at, not because the situation is funny, but because he knows how to tell a story in a way that pulls humor out of just about any circumstance. Even a funeral.

He said he’s not afraid of broaching any topic that might seem untouchable. Even from the time he started performing at open mics, he’s always liked the idea of hearing some groans from people watching his act. He finds it comforting.

“It shouldn’t be for everybody,” he said. “If it’s for everybody, it can’t really be that great. If everybody likes it, I don’t think they love it.”

Big Show for Fort Wayne

According to Let’s Comedy owner Ryan Ehle, bringing Kinane back to Fort Wayne as one of their first big shows after COVID-19 was an easy decision to make.

As a club trying to bring national comedy acts to Fort Wayne, Let’s Comedy feels that now is the right time to move toward getting things back to “normal.”

“We can’t really even begin to explain how important it is that Kyle is one of our first shows back for Let’s Comedy in 2021,” Ehle said. “Not only did he choose to come back to Fort Wayne, a place he never needed to visit, but he chose to make his stop here the only stop of the tri-state area of Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan.

“Kyle is at the top of a short list of comics who really continues fueling the passion for indie comedy shows with his incredible on-stage ferociousness and his behind-the-scenes kindness within every crevice of the indie comedy community.”

While the COVID-19 shutdown was a tremendous inconvenience to most of the stand-up community, it didn’t affect Kinane a whole lot, aside from the stoppage of live shows and the loss of income they provided.

He told Vulture that he actually may have enjoyed it a bit too much. He was happy to have some time to himself for a change.

“I hate saying it, but I was all right with it,” he said. “I’m an introvert. An introvert is not that you hate being around people, but that it uses up all your energy to socialize. Since I’ve learned that, by that definition, I’ve been good. I’m at home, full of energy, pursuing my own dumb little hobbies. Outside of the global pandemic, racial strife, and the world coming to an end, I’ve been fine.”

Uneasy About His Career

Despite his continued success and growing popularity, Kinane has always been, and continues to be, uneasy about his chosen career.

He’s never purchased a house, started a family, nor chosen to make any major life decisions. Not because he wanted to be ready for life off the road during a pandemic, he admits, but because he is scared that at any moment the idea of being a professional stand-up comedian could be taken away from him.

“It’s not real,” Kinane said. “It’s an uncertain future if you’re a creative type, because if you’re betting on yourself, you don’t know. This year may have been good, but that doesn’t mean next year’s going to be good. It’s not some corporate ladder that you climb up.

“I’ve always planned for the worst. That’s one thing about low self-esteem. It lends a lot to self-preservation.”


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