"I know there are comedians that think you need to know how to deal with it, but I don't want to be good at it," Kyle Kinane said of hecklers in his Mixmaster interview last week. On Sunday, his last night at the Addison Improv, he proved that whether he wants to or not, he is indeed good at dealing with obnoxious audience members who, while not exactly heckling, nonetheless felt the need to turn a monologue into a dialogue.
"Cocaine!" someone at a table near the stage shouted, apropos of nothing, around the middle of Kinane's set. "I had to quit doing cocaine," Kinane replied, and started into what sounded like a promising story as to why. He didn't finish it, though, before someone at the same table yelled out "Weed!" to derail it. Kinane used the opportunity to point out that the table -- which looked to consist of young adults, mid-20s or so, about the age where one really should already know how to get high without making an ass of oneself or quit doing it in public -- made a good case against drugs.
It led to a routine about how some people don't quit drugs, they beat them. About how if you have a shitty experience one night and consequently give up drugs, you quit. On the other hand, if you do every drug available and hit what for most people would be a harrowing rock bottom, yet still survive? You are the victor.
He had a funnier interaction with the same attention seekers later on, when he started into a story that began with receiving a call "from my Asian friend, Anthony." Whooping and laughter from the table distracted him once again.
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"That wasn't the punch line," he growled. Of course, it turned out that was the name of the Asian guy at the table. After giving them just enough attention to shut them up a bit longer, he continued the story: "... and I saw the call was coming from my Asian friend, Lewis."
Outside of those moments, the set was exactly what you'd expect from the 36-year-old fan of taquitos and maudlin introspection, but even darker. He opened by wishing his aspirations had been higher, because by telling jokes on a Sunday to people in the suburbs outside Dallas above a Jimmy John's, his dreams had actually come true: "At least I could have dreamed it was a Potbelly." There was a recurring joke about how you should avoid looking at your own uncovered pillows because the mysterious stains, caused by whatever fluids are seeping out of your head as you sleep, will horrify you. There was a bit about buying an extra chair at IKEA just because he didn't want to look like a crazed loner. And he finally finished the cocaine story that had been interrupted earlier by a request for a weed story.
But the best parts, of course, were the darkest, particularly a story about suffering what he thought was an aneurysm while wearing a swimsuit and watching a bizarre porn video. The actions he took during what he thought could have been his very last moments on earth were so pathetic and mundane that it made life itself seem so hopelessly absurd that there's nothing left to do but laugh.