"Kindler, not gentler" 


Andy Kindler
Morty’s Comedy Joint
Jan. 24-27

Fresh from a Late Show with David Letterman appearance — where Dave dropped Morty’s Comedy Joint into the ears of a national audience — headliner Andy Kindler hammed his way through a strong set on top of a crowded bill last Thursday. Five comics, including local faves Stan Chen and Hank McGill, who each contributed cameos, relayed the mic on a hot pace at the Northside comedy club that is finally earning some well-deserved traction with patrons.

Following the rapid fire opening of MC Johnny Beehner, Chen and McGill, feature act Drake Withers delivered 20 minutes from the slacker perspective that included insights into defending yourself from bear attack (it’s fruitless), communicating in a foreign language (it’s generally fruitless) and frustrating your parents’ attempts to motivate you toward productivity (it’s surprisingly easy and remarkably satisfying).

Kindler (www.andykindler.com), who isn’t afraid to mash toes, took the last swings and buried the stake with his full-on NYC sarcasm. He repeatedly mocked the formulaic traits of standup — the funny noise, the goofy face and the silly dance — but saved his real vitriol for other comics. After dealing Robin Williams some ill will, he compared HBO’s uber jokester to Adolf Hitler.

Kindler’s shtick is sharp and he showed no patience for an audience that couldn’t keep pace, even though the Morty’s crowd usually did. A few obscure references and a bone dry delivery didn’t make things any easier, but the material was singular and the idea that Kindler wasn’t going to pander to please a crowd was refreshing. If you weren’t laughing on cue, it was your fault, not his and he wasn’t afraid to let you know.

Shredding stereotypes, stupidity and blind adherence to pop culture, Kindler moved a lot of jokes down the buffet. Not everyone in the crowd was able to eat from each dish, but everybody went home full.


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