Friday during the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, Andy Kindler continued his annual tradition of roasting, skewering, and calling out the sacred cows of comedy in his 24th “State of Comedy” address.
If Montreal is the biggest and most anticipated comedy festival in the world, Andy Kindler is the biggest and most anticipated act at the annual fest. So does that make him the king of comedy? Well more like the court jester who keeps the kings from getting too big of an ego about themselves.
Kindler’s address is mandatory for anyone who lives and breathes comedy- whether as a fan or performer and this year, as always he packed out the room at the Doubletree Hotel which serves as the headquarters for the festival. Everyone who isn’t too hungover to attend is there- from the biggest stars of comedy usually hiding in the back, plus industry and fans. And it’s always brutally funny (which incidentally is our favorite kind of funny). Comics and members of the comedy industry cram into every corner of the biggest conference room at the Hyatt to find out- who is going to be on the receiving end of Kindler’s comedy spear each year. They come for the laughs, the gossip, the insults and to hear someone say out loud some of the things they aren’t willing to say in public.
Since 1996, Kindler has been the unofficial headliner of the festival, delivering his highly anticipated State of the Industry address, skewering comedy itself every summer. Kindler goes on a crusade tipping over sacred cows, taking shots at the powers that be, and pointing out both the obvious and the subtle hypocrisies in the biz, all with a wink, and smile or at least a good laugh. It’s one of the most highly attended events of the festival, and without a doubt the most written about event of the year. Spotted on the right side of the crowd- Nick Kroll, Jeff Ross, Robert Kelly, Rich Vos, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, Rebecca Trent, Christine Marie Evans, Nick Kroll, Joe List, Nimesh Patel and Ron Bennington among the crowd.
Proving he’s still got it, Kindler pulled no punches and delivered an hour of perfect schtick. No one is sacred. No one is too popular or too powerful to be spared from Andy’s pages of material, always haphazardly arranged on the podium.
On the chopping block this year…some usual suspects and a few new ones. Ricky Gervais, Jay Leno, Louis C.K., Hannah Gadsby, Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Foxworthy, Roseanne Barr, Andrew Dice Clay, Seth MacFarlane, Kevin Hart, Dave Becky, Mindy Kaling, CNN, Jeff Dunham, Jeremy Piven, Dennis Miller, Jordan Klepper, Netflix, NBC’s Bring the Funny, white guys, and even the festival itself all took shots to the head.
Of course without Kindler’s trademark delivery, you can’t truly appreciate Kindler’s genius, but here’s a few highlights to keep you happy until the audio is released.
The highlight of the hour was Kindler’s take on NBC’s Bring the Funny. He ripped the name of the show, the concept of the show and its execution. The name, he said is bad. If I was going to make a comedy competition show, he said, and I didn’t want to pay Jay Mohr, I would name it Bring the Funny. He saved the best shots about the show for BTF judge Jeff Foxworthy, saying to the crowd full of comedians “how would you like to be judged by Jeff Foxworthy?” Imitating Foxworthy judging a comedian’s material, he said “you’re problem is you’ve got too many jokes.” You need one joke, he said, with 1,000 premises, and then rolled into a list of “if you’re….you might be jewish” jokes. “The only good thing about Bring the Funny is how uncomfortable Kenan Thompson looks,” he said (incidentally, he’s spot on about this, the show is not good). What followed was a series of spinoffs that could follow, like a dancing competition show called Bring the Graceful, or a cooking show called Bring the Whatever Adjective Means You’re Good at Cooking.
Kindler has a great suggestion for the Roseanne Barr-Andrew Dice Clay tour- why not do some racists Zionist nursery thymes at the end for the 3 people left in the audience? He had a few suggestions the best of which was Knack Knack Paddywack, give a Jew your land.
The new 40 Most Powerful People in Comedy list didn’t impress Kindler this year. Lister Seth MacFarlane has apparently ruined the once beloved crooning genre for him, he says Dave Becky threatened his way on the list, and about Kevin Hart, he said “there are flaming balls of hydrogen that aren’t trying as hard to be a star.”
Riffing on white guys, Kindler said they should stop complaining that they can’t get a development deal, at least they can get a cab. He also pointed out that we should stop complaining about how easy it is in 2019 for people to get offended. It was always easy to offend people, he said, it just wasn’t easy for them to tell you about it.
Congratulations to Andy Kindler for another great run, may his reign continue for many more years. Stay tuned for the full audio of Kindler’s 2019 speech! It’s a great one.
— JFLComedyPro (@JFLComedyPro) July 26, 2019