Addison, IL was in the house this past Tuesday, Nov. 21 at Thalia Hall as Kyle Kinane brought family, friends and a whole lot of fans out for a night of comedy that won’t soon be forgotten. The sold-out performance, which saw ticket-holders huddled in lines, circling the venue well in advance of the show, proved that even bitter Chicago temperatures were no match for the need of laughter in these difficult times.
Kinane kicked politics to the curb in last night’s set, noting the unchallenging nature of bashing Trump in an echo chamber. “Do it in an NRA meeting and I’ll applaud that,” quipped the comedian early on. Current events, however, were far from taboo as Kinane — citing the classic quote “comedy is tragedy plus time” — put his one-of-a-kind comedic spin on more than a few sensitive subjects.
There was a sort of fearlessness weaved into Kinane’s set as the comedian pushed boundaries and blurred lines, taking on undeniably difficult terrain while never really “crossing the line” — something only the most skilled joke-writers can successfully pull off. Take for example the cringingly funny bit built around “mass shootings” or the long-form nazi-centric narrative centered on one Ku Klux Klan members’ insatiable taste for ethnic cuisine.
Not all of Kinane’s best jokes were rooted in death, hatred or despair… though the material about “untimely deaths,” which brought forth the hypothesis that Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain was less parts “tortured artist,” more parts “marketing genius,” was certainly among the night’s finest. Other highlights included bits about Kinane’s being agnostic, his recent relationship with Amazon’s Alexa and a hysterical reinterpretation of Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville.”
Earlier in the night, fellow Addison native and Kinane’s high school buddy Chris Santiago took to the mic for a short set, riffing on everything from VHS tapes to karate to Fair Trade cocaine. Local comedic poet Joel Chmara followed things up with a hybrid set of music and comedy, in which he entertained the masses with original tracks — inspired by failed Craig’s List posts and Girl Scout Cookies — with the help of his beat machine “Winslow.”
“I’m patting myself on the back for booking this show,” joked Kinane, prior to delivering his knockout set of fresh, funny material — a definite feat when considering he’d just released an equally hilarious special, Loose In Chicago, in October of last year. Fans can see him make his return to the small screen in Season 2 of the Netflix comedy series The Standups, premiering in 2018.
Kinane continues his winter trek across the states later this month. Click here for more information and to pick up tickets.
(Photos by Laurie Fanelli)