WASHINGTON -- One of Patton Oswalt's favorite comedians is headed to the Improv for four nights of shows. Kyle Kinane, a 35-year-old stand-up originally from Addison, Illinois, is setting the template for what success looks like.
A comic's comic, road dog, up-and-comer -- and everything else that's usually said about good stand-up -- applies to Kinane. He started doing open mics in the back of Chicago bars over ten years ago. He released his first critically acclaimed album, "Death of the Party," in 2010. (It was recently re-issued on vinyl.) Now he's able to headline in D.C. for the first time.
Equally influenced by pop punk bands like the Smoking Popes as well as traditional comics like Bill Cosby, Kinane's voice is his own. His material is personal but far from sacred. He'll take the stage wanting to perform, like a good band, but just wants everyone to find common ground and have a good time, like a good comic.
Kinane spoke to The Huffington Post before four nights at DC Improv.
The Huffington Post: Will you alter your set from venue to venue?
Kyle Kinane: You look at the audience beforehand and gauge that. I'm hope that I'm getting to the point where people that are going to a comedy show know what they're going to see.
HuffPost: Are your crowds going to see you or just going to see comedy?
Kinane: It's a mix of both. It is my job to entertain the people that came to hear a comedy show but on the flip side I'm not interested in babysitting drunks. A good club usually doesn't put up with that and I've heard nothing but good things about the DC Improv.
HuffPost: So you won't be doing much political humor.
Kinane: My theory on politics is no one really knows how it works so I choose not to comment on stuff too outside of my league.
HuffPost: What is in your league?
Kinane: It sounds arrogant, but I talk about myself. It's the one subject I may know slightly more than other people, not by much. There are psychologists that can go in and root around me and find out more about me than I know.
I stick to my experiences. I think the problems with comedians that are political, and there are some brilliant ones, are the ones that offer no solutions. Not that there's a moral obligation for a comic to fix things, but I like to see a comic that's upset about something and offer a solution. It can be a funny solution. I like to see the thought process.
HuffPost: In your AV Club feature (see the video below), your off-the-cuff musing about clean comics was pretty insightful.
Kinane: I don't want to make it a hard, fast rule, but it's surprising how many "fun for the whole family" acts are real scumbags. The people that confess they're scumbags on stage are generally really great people. They're more honest with the audience with who they are.
HuffPost: So with that logic you're a family friendly human being but lewd on stage.
Kinane: I feel like I'm a decent person. I'm a bit confessional up there.
There are some comics that are scumbags on stage and scumbags off stage, so don't be surprised by that either.
HuffPost: It seems like you're in a good place, commercially and creatively. What do want to happen next?
Kinane: Maintain this. I am somehow allowed by the universe to do exactly what I want to do to make a living. So far, it hasn't gotten old. I keep challenging myself to work on new stuff. I wrote about crappy food and drinking. Now let's try to broaden the brand a little bit. Maybe I'll write about stuff I'm not familiar with, maybe it'll be politics.
Kyle Kinane will be at the DC Improv from Thursday, August 23 through Sunday, August 26. Nate Craig is featuring and Tyler Richardson is hosting.