Montreal 2008: Andy Kindler’s State of the Industry

Where would The Comic’s Comic be in Montreal without an interview with one of the comic’s comics, Andy Kindler? A meeting of the minds was in order after Kindler delivered his annual State of the Industry address on Friday afternoon at the Just For Laughs fest, which this year moved downstairs to the Grand Salon and even with the larger space, still saw an even larger audience that overflowed into the foyer. What does it say about the state of the comedy industry that Kindler more than packed the room, while Judd Apatow, awarded "Comedy Person of the Year" afterward, got his honors to an audience half that size? So I asked Kindler about that. Hilarity ensues.

"I think this speech peaked five years ago," Kindler said.

Here are some other choice nuggets from this year’s speech, which tackled familiar targets Jay Leno and Scrubs, but also the Writers Guild strike, the possible SAG strike, the Golden Globes, Cavemen and Carpoolers, Evan Almighty, Vegas shows, Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, George Lucas, and the industry itself, starting off by mocking the new Just Comedy confab.

"Who got to take a decision-maker to lunch? And what did they decide on, the chicken or the salmon?"

"When the writers went on strike and Jay Leno went off the air, I thought, that’s a good start. Can’t we just declare victory and move on?"

On the Independent Spirit Awards, "a chance for the small guy," you know, Paramount Vantage and Fox Searchlight.

On Scrubs: "That’s a show that really should have a laugh track..Is it a comment on comedy? Please, tell me!"

On the shortened Golden Globes: "I still feel it went a little long."

His pitch for Cavemen: "Watch the Cavemen…it’s pre-hysterical!"

On how no one seems to put sitcoms on TV any more. "CBS. Wow. A second night of comedy. Don’t you people go dark Tuesdays to Sundays now?"

"Did you know you can’t contact anyone at 3 Arts directly, even when you’re on the phone with 3 Arts…directly?"

Whoopi Goldberg defended Robin Williams and joke theft on The View. "You’d think he’d do something with it if he took it!"

On networks looking for younger viewers. "I heard the History Channel wants to go younger." And later: "This isn’t your father’s Game Show Network! Actually, it is my father’s Game Show Network."

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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