Anyone who thought that Andy Kindler’s annual State of the Industry speech at Montreal’s Just For Laughs had become predictable or stale over the past two decades obviously didn’t see and hear Kindler on Friday afternoon.
A resurgent Kindler — buoyed by a pitch-perfect impersonation of him by James Adomian which served as his introduction — kept it shorter this year, but also more pointed. Despite having multiple pages of additional jokes on hand, Kindler wisely ended his 2012 address after a stirring three-minute robotic rant that called out Louis CK as well as the media and comedy fans who essentially have given him a free pass on both FX’s Louie and anything Louis CK says in interviews.
But what about the rest of Kindler’s speech?
Here are some of Kindler’s 2012 zingers that hit hardest with the comedians and industry in the banquet room at the Montreal Hyatt.
On the speech itself, nearing the end of his second decade delivering it: “How am I going to take this speech to the next level? And by next level, I mean that narrow room by the bar.”
On following James Adomian’s Kindler impersonation: “I always thought this would be foolproof to follow myself, but I don’t think I can.” “I can’t stop doing him doing me.”
On Bobby Slayton: “There’s nobody more helpful in an emergency situation. if you want to bring the temperature of the altercation down.”
On knowing when he crosses the line with his jokes: “Is what I’m going to say end up with me getting punched in the face? That’s why I don’t do any anti-Joe Rogan material.”
On Ellen DeGeneres: “If Ellen DeGeneres ahd danced once to the couch and said, you know what, I cn’t dance, that would have been a funny cold open to the show….Her dancing is worse than Hitler’s dancing. I just wanted to put Hitler in there.”
“I have to go after harder targets. I could do Sullivan & Sons material all day. Look, I haven’t seen the show…but it looks like it could have serious problems.”
After his chunk on the revival of the Titanic movie and other anniversary retrospectives: “If I want to revisit a tragedy, I’ll go watch Leno.” And then this year’s take on Leno: “He did a cutting-edge interview for I think it was, Parade magazine. 20 things You Didn’t Know About Jay Leno. One thing: He used to be a comedian. Did you know that about him?”
On Tracy Morgan collapsing onstage at a show: “I thought it was from exhaustion and attitude. I misread it. It was altitude. Although he’s the kind of guy who could collapse from attitude.”
On Dane Cook: “Dane Cook has his own font now. It’s called Sans Comic.”
On Lisa Lampanelli and Penn Jillette, who participated in the most recent season of Celebrity Apprentice: “Career suicide hotline. Yes, Miss Lampanelli. We were expecting your call.” And on Penn: “Yes. Mr. Jillette. Yes, you’ve made millions of dollars. We agree there’s no reason you would kiss Donald Trump’s ass.”
On Garry Marshall: “Garry Marshall. Stop it with the art-house films, Garry Marshall. Does every film have to come from your heart? Do something commercial! Throw us a bone! New Year’s Day? I don’t get it. Too many levels!”
On recent brouhahas over hahas delivered by stand-up comedians: “Nobody seems to connect that all of these comedians are saying these horrible things at The Laugh Factory. Maybe that horrible club is responsible for comedians saying these horrible things…I would like to apologize for playing the Laugh Factory.”
On The Three Stooges remake: “I wouldn’t see that if you punched me in the face and held my family hostage.”
On Aziz Ansari’s success: “What is Aziz Ansari doing? Laying hands on people at his shows?” Kindler said he was playing a different festival show at the same time Ansari was sold-out elsewhere. “People were yelling at me, trying to get me to get them into Aziz Ansari’s show.” “I watched his special, Dangerously Delicious. Not one blowfish joke.” “Nobody references celebrities better than that guy.”
On Jeff Dunham: “It feels like his puppets and him are talking past each other. I also hear that they don’t talk to each other offstage.” Kindler said Dunham is angry about the fact that his puppets are racist. “All I ask is that he at least threaten to put them back in the box. Now look Jalapeno, you keep promoting those negative stereotypes of Mexican people, I’m going to put you back in the box with the other racist puppets.” “How could audiences get the terroritst puppet wrong?”
On The Comedy Awards from Comedy Central: “They don’t even have Ernst and Young anymore. They don’t have anything.” He said they don’t even pretend to be legit. “Believe me, this is rigged. Anything that was not rigged was not intentional.”
On another frequent target, Robin Williams: “Good Morning, Vietnam, was about a country so scarred by war that they found Robin Williams funny.”
On Chelsea Handler, who earlier in the day won the Comedy Person of the Year Award from the festival: “Chelsea Handler has just signed a $60 million contract where she has agreed to not come up with any more ideas.”
On Adam Carolla, who in recent interviews claimed that men were funnier than women: “Is Adam Carolla saying The Man Show would have been even worse if it were staffed with women writers?” And: “I’m not like Adam Carolla. I’d never use the C-word in relation to Chelsea Handler. COMIC!”
On NBC’s Parks and Recreation, and fans convincing him that it’s funny: “You have to watch season three and go backward. Then put on The Wizard of Oz and…” “That show needs a laugh track or a young hipster to tell me what I’m missing!”
On Kevin James: “My friend says, do you think he’s had some work done? Well, not on his act.”
“I’m starting an alternative comedy traffic school. I think it’s going to take off.”
“I’m also opening a Japanese comedy sushi restaurant, it’s going to have an item called Is this thing Uni?”
“You know, they should do a humorous version of the Jimmy Fallon Capital One ads. I’m just saying, consider it…A baby doesn’t understand what you’re saying, it doesn’t understand money. It can’t talk yet!”
On NBC’s Whitney, created by and starring Whitney Cummings: “NBC had bought out my peripheral vision, and every time I looked to my left or my right it said, Watch Whitney. 8 p.m.! NBC bought the bottom half of my progressive lenses, and remember my lenses once voted for Kucinich, and every time I looked down, ti said ‘Watch Whitney,’ give it a shot! I saw a billboard that said ‘Half of marriages end in sweatpants’…I thought maybe there’s a law you can’t put something too funny on a highway sign, because people would swerve off the road.”
On podcasting: “I saw Marc Maron had success. I have a new podcast. It’s called 24/7/365, I just leave my recorder on all the time…The first season, I’m releasing, ‘Spring,’ is coming out!”
“I don’t know about (Betty White’s) Off Their Rockers. Yes, old people could be valid. Let’s do something with that…let’s make it a bit! Every stunt on that show is the same thing. An old person doing something you’d never think an old person would do. I’ve just done heroin. Would you like some heroin?” and “Next week on Off Their Rockers, comedy gets dangerous as our elderly pranksters crash the ICU and feign heart attacks.”
“Did you know a dog won Britain’s Got Talent?!? A dog cannot win a show! What is the matter with us? I’m going to hang out by the hotel and hope the dog comes out and get his paw-o-graph.”
“America’s Got Talent is such a terrible show. How are you supposed to judge that? This woman is whistling with crackers in her mouth. How are you supposed to judget that in comparison with someone doing the church and the steeple?…They have acrobatics on that show. Would you like to see something that’s not as good as Cirque du Soleil?
“I follow Howie Mandel (on Twitter), and it’s fascinating the questions these people ask him. What time is your show on?…Imagine your skill level being judged by Howie Mandel. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the teeth?
As someone who blew up a rubber glove on my head, I’ve got to say, I’m not sure you measure up.”
And finally, on Louis CK…
- “Louis CK says he throws out his act each year. The big thing is to make a big deal about changing your act. Put that in your article!”
- “Louis CK was this close to coming up with the unified field theory. Just one more day. One more day. But he had to move on, because everything is fresh and new.”
- “He has a new show called The Emperor Has No Clothes. Written, directed and edited by Louis CK.”
- “Maybe I’ll have to work on my Louis CK material for next year, once the bloom is off the rose.”
- “This New Yorker article which I think was written from Louis CK’s ass.”
- “There are more laughs in two minutes of Portlandia than there are in a half-hour of Louie.”
- “Here are some of the acting choices in Louie: (Kindler blows into the mic)”
- “You know that he smashed a car? He’ll tell you about it. Helicopter thing? That was him. He does it all!”
Kindler then launched into a robotic-voiced rant that included Kindler possibly revealing that a long time ago, Louis CK once cut off Kindler emotionally and didn’t listen to his problem. Kindler also noted that Louis CK often laughs after his own jokes. “That is a major flaw.” Kindler’s voice escalated in speed and pitch and he bounced up and down, continuing to take stabs at CK, before ending to a standing ovation.
The Comic’s Comic caught up with Andy Kindler immediately after his speech for a “post-game” interview. Roll the clip!