Interview: Kyle Kinane – Ghost Pizza Party

This article is from 2015

Fringe interview: Kyle Kinane – Ghost Pizza Party

'Americans are great at irony, and they don’t even realize it. Which makes it double ironic!'

Forget the Ghostbusters reboot, Kyle Kinane is bringing a show about ghosts having a pizza party to the Fringe. He may also be taking some artistic license with the show title. Either way, the Illinois comedian took time out of his war on United Airlines to take our Q&A ...

How well did satire do under Obama? And would another President Clinton be good or bad for American comedy?
Any political figure is going to be fodder for comedy. Personally, I don’t touch on politics at all. I feel voters are informed by lazy or surface-level journalism and the major manipulators (corporations / politicians, etc). Yeah, I’m one of those ‘grand puppeteer’ guys. To me, it doesn’t matter which shape-shifting robot you put in office, they’re there to placate a shifting majority of TV news-educated couch warmers. But yeah, boy, there sure are some funny impersonations on Saturday Night Live. What if another president got a blow job!? Oh, man, that would be a real field day for the nightclub set! I think if anyone was truly informed to how nefarious the government operated, they would be too enraged / fearful to express themselves with a funny song or an uncanny impression. Sorry, this tinfoil hat is very uncomfortable and makes me cranky.

The British are overly keen on saying that Americans don’t do irony. Can you offer a piece of evidence that blows that theory out of the water?
Which Americans? The ones that booted Native Americans out of their homeland in search of freedom? The ones who enslaved black people in their quest for a better life? See how far the ‘give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free’ gets you with the armed patriot militias patrolling the Mexican-American border. We have a state called ‘New Mexico’ that Mexicans can’t get into. Americans are great at irony! And they don’t even realize it. Which makes it double ironic! We’re twice as good at irony as everyone else. USA! USA!

Bill Hicks or Denis Leary?
Ugh. Is that the split? Which straight white dude with all the answers speaks to me the most? Bruce Baum.

Are American comedians bothered about winning awards?
The competitive ones, maybe. There aren’t many awards specifically for stand-up. But it’s silly to award something so subjective, no? Unless your sub-categories acknowledge all-comers. Say you have two or more comics utilizing a saxophone to demonstrate the unseen trauma that waterparks have on today’s Argentinian youth, it would be unfair to throw them ALL in the running for ‘Purina’s Next Big ChucklePug’, wouldn’t it? First, you’d have to determine who was the most effective in conveying the waterpark trauma in a light-hearted but informative fashion. And what about skill? What if someone uses a baritone saxophone (infinitely funnier-sounding than an alto saxophone)? Is that cheating? What if someone IS Argentinian and experiences the waterpark trauma first-hand? Are more points awarded to someone with personal experience? What about the swimsuit portion?

What will Trevor Noah need to do to maintain The Daily Show’s success and reputation?
An entertaining combination of wit and intelligence.

Tina Fey or Sarah Silverman?
So difficult to choose between the only two women performing comedy. Ever since Carol Burnett died, we’ve been left with so few choices. What’s that? She’s not dead? Oh thank god. Carol Burnett. I choose Carol Burnett.

How healthy is the state of live comedy in America? What should be done to improve it?
It’s huge. It’s swollen with tourists right now though, because stand-up is cool and it’s easier to approach than learning an instrument and putting a band together.

Do Americans generally welcome the likes of uppity Brits (John Oliver, Tracey Ullman and Ricky Gervais for three) coming over there and stealing all your jokes?
We like it more when the Australians do it.

Curb Your Enthusiasm or Seinfeld?
Dennis Silverman.

Billy Connolly is widely regarded as the man who helped pave the way for modern British stand-up comedy: who would you pinpoint as doing the same in America?
There is no single road to be paved. There’s no single person. People took stand-up and started putting it in bars and garages and empty parking lots and porno shops. DIY is paving the way for stand-up. Underground music paved the way for stand-up. It doesn’t matter the subject matter or who it’s coming from. It’s the willingness of a bunch of people to convene in some non-traditional place and watch a stranger try to entertain them in some way.

Kyle Kinane: Ghost Pizza Party, Underbelly, Cowgate, 08445 458252, 8–30 Aug (not 18), 10.10pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11). Previews 6 & 7 Aug, £6.

Read more in our series of Q&As with US comedians appearing at Fringe 2015.

Kyle Kinane: Ghost Pizza Party

  • 4 stars

Soho Theatre & United Talent Agency This show is about ghosts having a pizza party. Or maybe it isn't. Maybe, at one point, one of Kyle's stories does in fact centre around the idea of the undead enjoying a slice. But the rest of the show is still just that guy there in the picture telling you stories. One of…