Published on July 24th, 2009 | by Sharilyn Johnson


Just For Laughs: Andy Kindler’s State of the Industry Address

The hour we wait all year for (ok, I wait for… and Elon Gold waits for…you had to be there) was finally upon us this afternoon, as Andy Kindler delivered the 14th (really?!) annual State of the Industry Address at the Hyatt.

The blogged-about-yesterday Marc Maron introduced Kindler this year, because “I, like Andy, have absolutely nothing left to lose.”

Some highlights….

On the room, the logistics, and the crowd

Upon manager Bruce Smith coming up to tell Andy to move the extra mic blocking his face, Andy mused on the hotness of “partially obscured comedy”.

“Let’s make a podium but not make it useful like a podium would be.”

“Am I getting punk’d, or is that to old a reference?”

“We know he’s a standup comic, let’s have him work in the middle of two microphones”.

Later: “How’s the sound coming out of my shoulders?”

On the Festival itself

A Masters show called “the Mastrodesiacs”

“Claude Monet did the Masters show. Before he did a painting, he’d say ‘do you folks like Impressionism?’”

“After 9 years I was able to secure 2 economy class tickets for me and my wife.”

He got a call this year from the festival saying their airline seats might not be together this year, and he should go online the night before and if he could fix it himself. “Only Montreal would be able to find a way to do slightly less than the least they could possibly do.”

All About Andy:

“Everything I try to say is industry related or has to be something I saw on tv. I can’t do ‘on my way into the speech I saw they have energy drinks’.”

“I’m going to ridicule things that I’m not familiar with. I don’t have the time often to see everything. Does that make me the bad guy, as Carlos Mencia says after every joke? I’m the racist guy, because I said the racist thing? I’m the horrible guy because I said the horrible thing?”

“Andy seems to have a good personality, why can’t he have a show? And control the budget?”

“As you know, my act has gone completely digital. I signed a deal with the rabbit ears company. When everyone is no longer digital, I’ve signed on to continue completely in analog. So people in Florida will get me.”

“Sometimes when I’m on the road – and I say ‘sometimes’ because it’s hard to book me.”

“I’m doing a show called Up Your Alley. I play Alvin Alley, a private detective who lost his office due to recession and has to meet clients in an alley.”

Reality show pitch: “Real families who get foreclosed and become homeless, and we force them to act upbeat. Or we make them date each other.. Or give them 50k and make them fight over it.”

Sitcom pitch: “Everybody Feels Sorry For Raymond. Ray loses his job and can’t find any work except for free blog writing. Then he gets into a fight with Arianna Huffington.”

“For a couple months this year I toured the country as Andy Semitic. Sold out in Idaho every night.”

Joke about his mom using hip catchphrases: “my mom works for Bravo, that’s why it’s an industry joke.”

“I just got cast in a show called Over The Hills. Has someone done that joke? It seems too easy.”

Andy received an email meant for the other Andy Kindler, the professional wrestler. Andy clarified, and the guy wrote back with “thanks for letting me, know, I’ve been looking for him for a possible booking.”

“I was the first comic to say “have you seen or heard about the thing I’m about to talk about?’.”

“I was the first comic to fill up a dead moment by asking ‘what else is in the news?’”

“I was the first to say “am I right ladies?” Before that, comics didn’t care what lades thought of them.”

“I was the fist comic to find out what the name of the gay club in town, so I could do a joke about going there by accident.”

“I’ve created a lot of catchphrases. I have back end on ‘my bad’.”

“Facebook is a way to reconnect with people you’ve been trying to avoid for the last 10 or 15 years. This is a phrase I don’t need to hear: ‘are you still doing comedy?’”


The biz & everything else:

On the Shamwow commercials: “Are you following me camera guy?”… “Tell ya what: you go on, we’ll come back and do pickups.”

On the economy hurting the execs: “You don’t know where your next paycheck is coming from, you have no 401k, now you know what it’s like to be a standup comic.”

On Howie Mandel making it onto the list of the 10 richest comedians: “Is anyone looking into this? Is there an investigation underway? I don’t even know if that’s counting Howie Do it.”

“Fox just signed milquetoast to a holding deal.”

“I used to think people didn’t get sarcasm, now I think people just don’t like sarcasm. ‘Why can’t he just SAY Howie Mandel doesn’t deserve $12 million a year?’”

“I have not seen a second of Tyler Perry and I know he’s horrible. My rule is, if you’re dressed up like a woman, that’s it. Mrs. Doubtfire won’t do it for me.”

“I just got a call from Obama. I was named Secretary of Funny. My first act will be to recall Larry the cable Guy…. Immediate moratorium on song parodies…. 20% across the board cutback in shock comedy…. Heavy fines for use of word ‘retards’ by alternative comics….Higher tariffs on overseas props. Buy American, Carrot Top!….Federal option for comedians not employed by Judd Apatow.”

Andy is very sad about agent layoffs, “but would prefer to see layoffs of 100%”.

Agents = “overdressed amoral freaks”

“I believe there should be less people in the entertainment industry who don’t entertain.”

“’Nice going Andy, CAA’s not going to sign you now.’ I would be more likely to have Jeremy Piven represent me.”

“William Morris and Endeavor are merging. Endeavor is bringing their 21st century poaching techniques, and William Morris brings the energy of a company that stopped trying 50 years ago. It’s a perfect synergy.”

Entertainment Weekly’s “What To Watch” section should really be called “Don’t Shoot the Messenger” or “Here it is, Good Luck to You”

The What To Watch writer’s commentary underneath the listing for Watch What happens Live (Bravo show) was ‘Yes because I’m interested in hearing Danielle’s thoughts on Transformers’. “Does anyone know who Danielle is?”

“You can’t yell fire in a crowded theatre, but you can yell fire in any screening of Paul Blart Mall Cop because those people deserve to be trampled to death.”

“Drew Carey, boy has he really parlayed himself into the world’s most boring gig.”

“They’re going to try to put Dane Cook in every format now to see what works. He’ll be Dane Cook CSI…. Dane Cook Morning Show: Good the Fuck Morning!… Game show host of Deal or Don’t Deal With It.”

“An article in Hollywood reporter said ‘Cook’s team agrees the key is finding the right piece of material’. I suggest they don’t go to Dane for that.”

“When did Bill Cosby decide it was a good career move to be deadly serious every time he’s on tv?”

“The Farrelly Brothers are remaking the Three Stooges. When I heard that, I couldn’t keep anything down for a day or two. They’re going to remake everything and ruin all our memories…. Is there something the Three Stooges left unsaid? What stone did the Three Stooges leave unturned? Were they not over the top enough?”

“When you read in the trades that Jim Carrey is in negotiations to play Curly, you know the end is near. What could be holding those negotiations up?”

Alternative titles to I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here: I’m a Celebrity, What did I Do To Deserve This Other Than This? I’m a Celebrity, Who Died and Prevented Me From Making These Horrible Choices?

“Larry King had the Bachelor on so he could get his take on Jon and Kate. A fake person to comment on a fake situation. He also asked Judge Judy what she thought about the Supreme Court nominee. And asked Candy Spelling if she likes to Twitter.”

“I saw a special on the Discovery Channel about unmanned drones. I thought an unmanned drone was Jay Leno at a corporate gig.”

“Will Jay Leno be able to be as edgy at 10pm as he was at 11:35? Will he still be able to have that late night jazzy feel? That subversive devil may care feel? Will people really GET Jaywalking? Will he have to dumb it down even further?”

On claims by NBC that Leno’s topical jokes will be “dvr-proof”: “Really? Jokes so weak that by morning they’ll be completely irrelevant?”

“They’re saying he new set is being constructed for comedy, should Jay not bring any comedy.”

“[Leno’s] jokes will be tested rigorously in Hermosa Beach”

On how 5 hours of Leno will be cheaper to produce than one hour of drama: “You know what would be cheaper? Not making any shows at all. Why don’t you just close at 8pm. Come back tomorrow morning to watch 5 hours of the Today Show.”

On Carson Daly’s fate come fall: “Who else would you want to see after 12 hours of talk shows?”

On the PBS special Make ‘Em Laugh: “It was made by people who clearly didn’t know anything about comedy, because they split everything into arbitrary categories. Wisecrackers! Noise Makers! Seltzer Deliverers!”

“Andy Rooney is still doing bits about crazy stuff he got in the mail.”

“Sherri Sheppard is getting her own sitcom, in case you were wondering ‘how is she going to be rewarded for her outstanding work on the View?’”

“There’s a lot of things I want to say right now in lieu of crying. Maybe I could be paid to stay home next year.”

“I feel bad for the Video Professor…. How good can your product be if you refer to it as a product?”

“I’m going to be Andy Analog. “Do you need tips on repairing a 56k modem? Is the magnifying glass you use to make fire cracked? I can convert any media into older media. Would you like to change your dvds into flip books?”

(And the above, dear readers, is possibly the first situation where being a girl in her 30s with strong office skills is advantageous: I’ve taken dictation for a lot of middle-aged Jewish men in my day. But none as great as Andy, of course.)

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About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.

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