Andy Kindler delivered his most sincere and focused State of the Industry Address in years at Just For Laughs in Montreal.
Which, of course, is extra funny since the actual industry hasn’t felt sincere in a long time, could definitely use some focus, and Kindler joked that JFL might be ready for him to pass the torch, so to speak. “Trust me: Nobody wants this torch!”
DeAnne Smith delivered a wonderful introduction that playfully roasted Kindler as well as the comedy biz. “I am the inside of a Hannah Gadsby babushka doll. That is exactly what this looks like. It goes Hannah Gadsby, Cameron Esposito, Moshe Kasher, me.” She joked that bombing at Kindler’s Alternative show at JFL a decade ago was what made them kindred spirits.
You can hear the full audio here. BUT NOTE: The full audio includes four minutes of preamble music and announcements, then Smith’s introduction, and finally Kindler begins speaking at 8:45 in the track below.
Here are highlights from Kindler’s speech, organized by topic.
On Andy’s lack of auditions: “My manager regards me as the Merrick Garland of show business.”
“Chris Hardwick. He got his show back. POINTS! POINTS! I hope that show comes back. Was that already cancelled before the kerfuffle? I mean, I love a show where comics pretend to ad-lib trivia answers. POINTS! And there’s no stakes. It reminds me of where I’ve been for the last 30 years. There’s no stakes. There’s nowhere to go. There’s no reason to do it. Chris Hardwick is back and he’s read every one of your Tweets…Now we can all go back to tolerating Chris Hardwick like this never happened, right? I’m sorry. He’s a great stand-up. I’m sorry, how could I have missed it? Folks, he’s not gonna to hire me. He’s not gonna hire you. Nothing is going to happen. You can’t rub your hands greedily together and go, ‘Oh, I have so many opportunities.’…I certainly hope they bring back The Wall! What a great name during the Trump years for a show. The Wall. When I first heard that people were upset with Chris Hardwick, I thought it had to be his act, right? That’s what I thought. Right?…I used to do jokes about him when he hosted Singled Out.”
“Jo Koy is the stand-up comedians of the year?!? I’m just asking! I’m not making a judgement! Is it based on gross receipts? Is that what you do?”
“Keven James got cancelled. I don’t mean to smile. But not before he changed the game by rebooting just his wife from the last show. That’s how it should work.”
“A lot of people ask me, ‘Andy, how do you choose your targets for the speech?’ Well, what I like to do is really zero in on the people I can come with jokes about. Also, I try to avoid people who I’m sure could beat me up. I won’t be doing my Joe Rogan chunk. I have a ton of Harvey Weinstein material, but I’m waiting until after the sentencing, just to be safe.”
“I finally came up with a tagline for Seeso, so, hold tight.”
“Maybe CNN should worry less about The History of Comedy, and more about not being the source of comedy.”
“Jeremy Piven is back, doing stand-up. Well, I’m not sure if he’s doing stand-up, or if he alienated a whole improv troupe. Maybe stand-up is what he came up with in his jobs with no co-workers search.”
He also joked about the Will & Grace revival, the types of ads you only hear on podcasts, his fascination and infuriation with The New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum for overly praising Louis CK. There were big doses of sincerity, too, since Kindler couldn’t fathom the idea of roasting comedians and show business when Donald Trump is leading us to ruin.
“Remember when the idea of one more year of Gallagher seemed like the worst thing that could happen?”
On Roseanne: “Maybe she could get a job as a judge on America’s Got Racists! Maybe Roseanne could get a seat on the new Match Game. ‘I thought the bitch was ______'” “Roseanne said she was fired because she voted for Donald Trump, and that’s not allowed in Hollywood. I wish Hollywood had a rule that good. It took 120 years just to get to you can’t grope people!”
“I’ve been working on my defection material, just in case…This is not your father’s Tim Horton?”
“I worry that I’ve offended people I’ve never met or who have no idea who I am. But even I have never worried — have never worried in my whole life — that I’ve ever asked a woman if I can take out my penis and masturbate in a casual setting. That has never happened. That would be a reference to Louis CK. Buy a newspaper from six months ago.”
“Louis CK wasn’t even the funniest comedian in New York City. Dave Attell is 40 times funnier sleeping!”
“I always had a problem with Louis, based on my own pettiness, anger, and feelings of what might have been. But you know why people idolized Louis? He used his power. I mean, it’s so clear. He was friends with me, and then he wasn’t friends with me, and then, I thought it was my problem. Perfect. That’s what he wants. He uses carrots and sticks. The carrots are maybe if I hang around Louis another couple of months, he’ll get me something. The stick is his penis.”