Published on January 21st, 2012 | by Sharilyn Johnson1
Andy Kindler live in Toronto: Friday
“The laughs came fast and furious last night at Comedy Bar…”
Alright, those aren’t my words, but Andy Kindler’s tongue-in-cheek self-review of his two sets at Comedy Bar in Toronto, his first shows there since 2009.
Friday’s early show was bought out by the Humber School of Comedy, filled with the young students of the college program. Knowing this added a whole new layer to Kindler’s style of self-commentary, taking on an instructional tone that only he could capitalize on so perfectly.
The show was followed by a q&a hosted by the school’s director Andrew Clark. We learned about Kindler’s early days as a musician, and how he came to so openly voice his thoughts on stage.
An observation from the back of the room: watching the few nicely-coifed suburbanites, who presumably managed to get tickets before Humber did, lean in to ask each other for clarification on some of the references. The name-drop of simply “Zach” elicited whispers and shrugged shoulders. (The frightening part? The realization that this is actually normal, and that the rest of us are the isolated, nerdy freaks.)
The late show was for the fans. Although he often proclaims “I’m no sellout – literally,” it had to have been close. Kindler’s Toronto fanbase is healthy, despite his infrequent visits to the city. One of the most dedicated, Nancy, earned a brief moment of stage time to show off the latest of her custom Kindler-inspired t-shirts (this year’s features a takeoff of the Conan logo on the front, with the word “Jewgasm” on the back).
Hitting a much smoother groove than during the early show, Kindler actually did have the laughs coming fast and furious.
A highlight near the end of his set: Wondering if a light above the stage was the sign for him to wrap it up, and then realizing the light had been on the whole time. It became a riff about how he interprets every light he sees (light in the hotel room, headlights on cars) as a sign that he should get off stage.
After Kindler had finished his meet and greets, a few Comedy Bar regulars and comics headed into the bar’s smaller cabaret space to hang out. What started as just screwing around on stage by a few standups in an empty room accidentally became something more.
“Uh, is this a show now?,” a few wondered.
Yes. “The Impromptu Show” came to fruition before our very eyes, complete with lights and sound, and an audience of the lucky few to wander into the room. Joel Buxton, Bob Banks, and Georgea Brooks-Hancock all jumped up to do some time. While it’s possible that exhaustion and alcohol were factors, Pat Thornton lipsynching to Adele’s “Someone Like You” probably would’ve driven everyone to tears of laughter under any circumstances. The only person who could possibly follow that was Kindler himself, who gave a bonus performance to close it out.
Kindler is back at Comedy Bar tonight for two shows, and hosts Sunday Night Live tomorrow night.
Photos by Sharilyn Johnson.
Host Sarah Hennessey:
Opener Pat Thornton:
Opener Alex Nussbaum: