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Published on January 24th, 2012 | by Sharilyn Johnson

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Andy Kindler: Sunday Night Live

The weekend leading up to Andy Kindler’s return as host of Sunday Night Live was in itself a solid sketch premise.

With near-capacity houses for his four standup performances, and a memorable turn hosting the weekly sketch show in 2009, Kindler had every reason to approach the gig with confidence. But well-meaning conversation-makers at Comedy Bar only put pressure on him to live up to another recent L.A. visitor.

One by one, performers and fans innocently brought up the subject of Greg Proops’s now-legendary turn as host just two months earlier.

“Did you hear about Proops? He didn’t rehearse at all.”

“Proops totally nailed his SNL, and he barely even looked at the script.”

“When Proops hosted, he healed a leper using only his mind. Like, not in a sketch, an actual leper.”

Alright, I made that last one up. But you get the idea: constant reminders of where the bar had been raised to, as if this was an elaborate plot to mess with Kindler’s head (it wasn’t, though that would have been brilliant).

Fortunately, Kindler prevailed, successfully memorizing most of his script and improvising through the rest.

He played himself, taking a voiceover gig alongside two inept producers who keep butchering his name (a favorite: “Ample Clitoris”). He played the shady Dr. Rellik (that’s “Killer” backwards) hawking his side-effect riddled flu medication. He played the soon-to-be-fired host of a terrible fashion program called I Like Your Style. He played straight man during the News segment, as Pat Thornton hijacked his political commentary to deliver his own screaming rant.

The penultimate scene featured a group of scientists turned into superheroes after a lab accident. Kindler became the outcast Hand Shoe Guy, with shoes permanently fused to his hands as his strength, and the catchphrase “by the power vested in shoes….”

The goofy sketch was made even goofier when Kindler accidentally forgot to keep the shoes on his hands. His delayed realization of his mistake, and awkward scrambling to recover from it, made for the best moment of the night. You don’t get that with Proops.

Photos by Sharilyn Johnson.

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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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